Fighting fit: action film star Lisa Cheng shares her moves
She has the build and the grace for action film roles. Now you can follow her workout plan, writes Vanessa Yung
NOT EVERYONE is suitable for the role of a female fighter practising Hung Ga and manoeuvring double swords.
Helped by her strength, fitness and grace, Lisa Cheng Lai-sho has got the part in Hollywood action film Lady Bloodsport, which starts shooting next month.
Nicknamed "Hong Kong's spider girl", the 27-year-old has won titles such as the Hong Kong Sports Climbing champion and Miss World Fitness. She may have stepped away from competitions recently - her most recent was the bun contest in Cheung Chau in May - but she is getting back into the spotlight with cameo appearances in two upcoming films, The Constable and Buddy Cops.
She aspires to become a recognised action film star and will be studying part-time for a masters in drama and theatre education at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts which starts this September, the same month she marries her boyfriend in Guam.
However, no matter how busy she is, Cheng says working out and exercising are never absent from her schedule. She coaches fitness and Muay Thai in the Hayabusa martial arts and fitness centre in Central, where she is one of the partners. It also offers her a place to work out whenever she wants to.
"For me, sport is fun. I love doing it even when I'm not in any competition," says Cheng. "It's about being persistent and finding your interest. People who want to get fit and healthy should always go for what they enjoy best.
"I do gym, boxing, Wing Chun and so on because I love learning new things. It's important to have goals, so I set different targets when I start a new sport and take my time to gradually reach a higher level."
Cheng has designed a simple five-step workout routine to get you fighting fit, focused on strengthening and toning your core. Do 10 to 20 sets of each exercise, depending on your fitness level, and repeat the whole circuit three times.
Lie on your back with knees bent and shoulders off the floor. Place hands next to or behind head for support. Bring chest to knees, touching left knee with the right elbow. Repeat on other side, bringing left elbow to right knee. Engage abdominal muscles and sit up with head and elbows facing front. Return to starting position.
Begin on all fours with knees and palms on the ground.
Lift right leg until right thigh is parallel to the floor. The left thigh should be perpendicular to the floor. Lift and straighten right leg, keeping foot flexed.
Lift and straighten right leg, keeping foot flexed. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
Lie on your left side with left foot slightly behind right foot. Supporting your body with your left hand, lift hips and thighs up into a side plank position. Place right hand behind your head.
Bring right hand to your waist and lower hips. Lift hip back up and stretch right arm upwards, looking at your fingertips. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
Shoulder and core
Begin in plank position.
Touch right elbow with right knee. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
Return to starting position and repeat on other side.
Buttocks and core
Lie on your back, hands by your sides and knees bent. Lift hips.
Raise left leg towards chest, bending it at a right angle.
Straighten the leg so that it is perpendicular to the floor and flex your foot. Return to starting position and repeat on other side.