How Halle Bailey got so incredibly fit for 'The Little Mermaid'
Ariel's abs? Amazing.
Editor / June 15 2023
Halle Bailey's performance in The Little Mermaid will no doubt go down in history as one of the greatest of all time. Those vocals? Breathtaking. That hair? Stunning. Those abs?! Out of this world. Like, just imagine having the core strength to swim while pretending your legs are in fact a mermaid tail.
So how did Bailey get her body to be as strong as her powerhouse voice? Well, she committed to the cause, that's for sure, tailoring her training routine and meal plans to get into what she called "the best shape of her life" while promoting the film.
Want to work some of Bailey's wellness rituals into your own life? Here's her exact diet and exercise routine...
Exercise: Early starts
"When I was filming, I was in the best shape of my life," Bailey confirmed on the LIVE with Kelly and Mark show. "It was intense every day: 4am gym, then stunts, then get in the water. It was, like, a lot." Um, wow; we're tired just hearing this, but hey, strength like Bailey's doesn't come without some devotion (and apparently some extremely early starts). "Every single day I'd either be up on wires and a harness or I'd be in the water all day," she also elaborated in a Q&A on her YouTube channel.
Diet: Vegan lifestyle
Bailey prefers to stick to a vegan diet, telling BuzzFeed that some of her favourite foods are avocado toast, rice, and bread. She loves a sweet treat, too, naming vegan cheesecake, donuts, and pancakes as a few of her go-tos when she's craving something extra exciting.
Exercise: Personal training
Bailey wanted to make sure she was approaching her role as Ariel the healthiest way possible, so she recruited personal trainer Sana Shirvani to help her plan a program.
"Core strength is very different to a visible set of abs," Sana told Women's Health about what the pair worked on. "It was important for the cast to look the part, but also be able to film for hours on a rig. As the mermaids have no legs, they are heavily relying on their core and back strength to hold them up. This required a huge amount of abdominal strength as well as a huge amount of strength through their back extensors."
Some of the things they incorporated into their plan? Strength and conditioning workouts five to six times per week (to get Bailey "stronger, fit, and agile", Sana shared), as well as nutritional work that ensured Bailey was eating a balanced diet.
Exercise: Hot yoga
Bailey isn't only a fan of fancy wire work and 4am workouts; she also prefers a slower (and steamier) way of getting her body moving: hot yoga. "Hot yoga kicked my ass," she once captioned an Instagram post, confirming her love for a heated exercise studio. Able to aid joint stiffness, release endorphins, and boost blood circulation, hot yoga is a great way to get your sweat on (in more ways than one).
Diet: Healthy smoothies
Bailey has also professed her love for a good vegan smoothie. Her fave recipe? One that blends raspberries, almond milk, blueberries, apple, agave nectar, and ice. Um, yum.
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.