September 13, 2021 7 min read

Wielding a lightsaber is hard work, and yet actress Daisy Ridley makes it look easy as Jedi Master Rey Skywalker.

Since first appearing as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Ridley has motivated thousands of people around the world with the Jedi-inspired workout routine that contributed to her power and physique on screen.

In this article, we take a closer look at Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars workout program, plus the diet she sticks to to stay healthy. We also lay out an exercise schedule that you can use to channel your own Jedi strength.      

Who is Daisy Ridley? 

29-year-old Daisy Ridley is the English actress who shot to international fame when she was cast as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Ridley portrayed the eventual Jedi Master in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), andThe Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Daisy Ridley at the World premiere of Star Wars

Though her time in theStar Warsfranchise has ended, Ridley has continued to grace screens in some of the biggest films of the last few years. These includeOpheliaMurder on the Orient Express, and Peter Rabbit.

Ridley is known for her bright smile; wholesome, girl-next-door good looks; and of course, her powerful and toned physique.    

How Does Daisy Ridley Stay Fit? 

So just how did Daisy Ridley get in shape for such an iconic role? Well, there was no Hollywood magic, that is for sure. Ridley worked, and she worked hard.According to her LA-based trainers, Chris Vincent and Jack Graves (who also trained Ridley’sStar Wars co-star Oscar Isaac), Ridley worked out five days a week for at least five hours each day. Her full-body workouts were especially designed to help her lose weight and get in shape. 

To burn fat quickly, Vincent and Graves assigned Ridley cardio, rock climbing, kickboxing, and sprints. Meanwhile, the actress increased muscle mass with box jumps, preacher curls, and military presses.To fit in both filming and five hours of workouts each day, Ridley would exercise before her call time, during lunch breaks, and even on set during camera turns.    

Throughout the process, Ridley understood that working out is just as much mental as it is physical. Said Ridley, “Physically, I never really had to push myself that hard, and stamina-wise you’re like ‘Oh my God!’ It’s like a psychological thing of knowing you can do it more and more and more.”  

Initially, Ridley maintained herStar Wars workout for film re-shoots and media promotional appearances. However, she kept up the workout long after her films were released into theaters.As she toldElle magazine, she finds comfort in her exercise routine. “Because it’s the only thing structured in my life right now. Training is sort of a therapy session, I guess.” 

Some of Daisy Ridley’s Favorite Exercises 


On her now-deactivated social media accounts, Ridley often recorded herStar Warsworkout sessions. The above YouTube video is a compilation of the workout videos, and it shows the variety of exercises Ridley employed to buff up. After all, training five hours per day for five days a week can get pretty repetitive.

Each day, Ridley would begin with a warm-up jog of about 800 meters, or about half of a mile. 

Once warmed up, she would complete a targeted selection of the following: 

  • Squats: For this lower body exercise, lower your hips from a standing position, then stand back up.
  • Bicep Curls: This exercise builds upper body strength and tones arms using a barbell, dumbbell, or resistance band. It requires holding the equipment, then bringing it up to your chest by bending your elbows.
  • Lunges: There are a variety of lunges, but generally, this leg exercise requires you to step forward with your foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle. 
  • Box Jumps: This plyometric exercise involves jumping from the floor up onto an elevated surface. This high-impact and challenging exercise targets your glutes and quads.
  • Preacher Curls: A variation of bicep curls, preacher curls involve sitting on a preacher bench with your armpits resting on an arm pad. Then, you lift a barbell or dumbbells. Preacher curls provide support while you master your lifting form.
  • Military Press: Also known as the overhead press or shoulder press, the military press is a weight training exercise with many variations. It is a great workout for strengthening shoulders, triceps, the upper chest, and your core.
  • Lateral Raise: This strength training shoulder exercise requires lifting a pair of dumbbells away from your body, then up to the height of your ears.
  • Deadlift: The deadlift is a weightlifting exercise requiring you to lift a loaded barbell from the ground to the level of your hips. According to E! News, Ridley is capable of deadlifting an impressive 176 pounds! 
  • Sprints: Sprints are short bursts of high-speed running. Reportedly, sprinting is Ridley’s favorite exercise. Said theStar Warsactress, “I only ever do five minutes, it’s got to be said. But you get off the treadmill, or you stop running, and you feel powerful.”

Ridley also routinely incorporated kickboxing, rock wall climbing, and the mountain climber machine. One notable exercise missing from the Daisy Ridley workout is the push up. After injuring her wrist during the filming ofStar Wars, Ridley avoided any exercise that put too much weight on her hands. 

The Lightsaber Workout

Perhaps not surprisingly, Daisy Ridley’sStar Warsworkout routine also included what has come to be known as The Lightsaber Workout. As it turns out, lightsabers make ideal workout equipment. They are heavy, but have an uneven weight, and wielding them requires arm and upper-body strength. 

The Lightsaber Workout resembles martial arts training. The exerciser holds the lightsaber in one or both hands, then practices a series of thrusts in one of four directions: left, right, up, and down. 

“Rest” Days 

Vital to Daisy Ridley’sStar Warsexercise plan were rest days, of which she would take one or two. But despite being called “rest days,” these days weren’t exactly a time to veg. Ridley would use these days to visit the chiropractor, nutritionist, and/or massage therapist.

Rest days were also a time to use the Leg Sleeve, which would pump 10 minutes of hot water, then 10 minutes of cold water in order to help flush lactic acid from Ridley’s muscles.  

Of course, the average person does not have access to Leg Sleeves and massage therapists. In this case, recovery supplement can go a long way in helping athletes’ muscles recover and rebuild. 

According to one of Ridley’s trainers, extra stressful days also became rest days for his twoStar Warsclients, Ridley and Isaac. “I’m a massive believer in quality over quantity, so if they have had a stressed day, I’m not going to expect them to work because it’ll only stress the body more, and put them at risk of getting ill.”

Though taking a rest day to protect your mental health is always a good idea, you can also support your immune system by takingan  immune booster consisting of essential vitamins and minerals.

A Jedi-Inspired Workout

Below, we’ve outlined a sample workout routine inspired by Daisy Ridley’s. Just as Ridley preferred variety, this routine is meant to be mixed up. Put together a schedule that fits your strengths, interests, and goals.

Monday: Full Body Workout & Strength Training

Three sets each of:

  • 3, 5, then 8 reps of deadlifts 
  • 12 reps of lateral raises 
  • 10 reps of barbell curls 
  • 10 reps of crunches 

Tuesday: Plyometrics, Speed, & Abs

Three sets each of:

  • 10 reps of crunches
  • 10 reps of lying floor leg raise 
  • 20-second plank 
  • 10 reps of bicycle crunch for each leg 
  • 10 reps of lying heel touches for each leg

Wednesday: Speed & Abs

Three sets each of: 

  • 10 reps of crunches
  • 30-second plank hold 
  • 10 reps of military press
  • 10 reps of preacher curls 
  • 10 reps of box jump

Thursday: Strength Training

Three sets each of:

  • 8, 8, then 6 reps of overhead press
  • 8, 5, then 3 reps of barbell back squats 
  • 8, 8, then 6 reps of box jumps
  • 10 reps of spider curls 
  • 12 reps of lateral raise  

Friday: Full Body Workout

Two sets and 10 reps each of:

  • Squat jumps
  • Band pull apart 
  • Weighted lunges 
  • Chest press with dumbbells or bar 

Saturday and Sunday

  • Rest
  • Recover 
  • Practice self care 

What is Daisy Ridley’s Diet? 

Daisy Ridley’s diet during filming was certainly just as important as her workout routine. According toElle UK, Ridley describes herself as a “cheating vegan.” She cuts out a lot of things from her diet, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Ridley also stays away from sugar, though she has said that that is to help control her acne and endometriosis.   

Healthy vegan food. Fresh vegetables on wooden background.

While filmingStar Wars, Ridley focused on a diet that included lots of essential nutrients. This required eating lots of fish, legumes, and spirulina shakes. Since her favorite food is sushi, Ridley also enjoyed plenty of Asian food, especially Japanese.

As a proper English woman, Ridley enjoys a daily cup of tea. But unlike most of her countrymen, Ridley trades the typical black tea for green tea, which she then sweetens with honey instead of sugar. 

To eat like you are preparing to play the role of Rey, you can follow Daisy Ridley’s diet by sticking to the following: 

  • Salads
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains 
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Fresh fruit
  • Spirulina 
  • Fish 
  • Green tea 
  • Water 
  • Honey 

Avoid:

  • Meat, especially red meat 
  • Dairy 
  • Eggs 
  • Animal products 
  • Sugar 
  • Fruit juice 
  • Empty calorie foods 
  • Processed foods 
  • Fast food 
  • Artificial Ingredients 
  • Chemical additives 
  • Gluten 
  • Trans fats 

Conclusion 

English actress Daisy Ridley took the world by storm when she portrayed Jedi Master Rey Skywalker in the most recentStar Warstrilogy. Not only is Ridley absolutely beautiful as Rey, but she is also a total badass. No wonder so many have wondered about the exercise routine Ridley employed to earn her Jedi physique.

As described by her trainers and documented on her now-deactivated Instagram account, Ridley prepared forStar Warsby working out for five hours a day, five days a week. She challenged herself with more than a dozen different exercises, mixing them up day by day to keep up her energy.

Ridley also stuck to a strict diet of vegetables, fresh fruit, spirulina shakes, and fish. Though her diet complemented her workout routine, she also credits her diet plan with controlling her acne and painful endometriosis.


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