If you’ve ever been ice skating — be it at Rockefeller Center at Christmastime or in a more organized, professional setting — you’ll know that the seemingly leisurely activity can give you a serious workout. And as Margot Robbie, who plays Tonya Harding in the biopic “I, Tonya,” can attest, it’s all about strengthening your body.
The film — which, by the way, scored Robbie a Golden Globe nomination and a win for co-star Allison Janney — tells the story of the infamous incident involving Harding’s longtime skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan, who was hit in the knee ahead of a skating championship in 1994. Though Harding has insisted that she was not involved in planning or carrying out the attack, she did plead guilty to having knowledge of the incident, was fined, had to serve community service, and was forever banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.
To take on the role, Robbie started training on and off the ice. Thanks to rigorous ice skating lessons—and a good dose of general athleticism—she worked to reach the level of power and talent that Harding was able to display while performing.
But while Robbie focused specifically on training and strengthening her legs — those jumps, spins and miles skated around the rink require serious strength — it wasn’t until the real Tonya Harding gave her the best training tips:
“She’s like, ‘Forget that, worry about your core strength.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do more sit-ups,'” Robbie told Entertainment Tonight.
And she did. In fact, she did at least 100 sit-ups every single day to prepare.
A strong core means a strong back and legs, so a few (dozen) sit-ups a day can improve everything. Robbie’s performance speaks for itself.