To prepare for her martial arts fight scenes in Kill Bill, Uma Thurman trained for several hours a day, six days a week. Her trainer, Christel Smith, traveled to China to help Uma Thurman get fit for the part. We're sure you won't need to engage in samurai sword fighting anytime soon, but we can help you look ready to do it anyway. Here's the upper-body exercise Christel Smith used to get Uma Thurman in killer shape.
The exercise: Shoulder series
A. Tie the band to the base of a sturdy object. Stand to right side of band, feet hip-distance apart, holding end in left hand, palm facing body. Keeping elbow slightly bent, lift left arm out to side to shoulder height. Hold 1 count; slowly lower and repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides.
B. Untie band and place it under the middle of left foot, feet staggered, holding one end in each hand, palms facing behind you. Raise right hand forward to shoulder height while pulling left hand back. Hold 1 count; lower and repeat, lifting left hand forward and right hand back. Do 12 to 15 reps per side.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2008.