Inside Zendaya's Intense Workout Regimen Before Shooting Challengers

Earning $15 million during its opening weekend in late April, Luca Guadagnino's "Challengers" has now grossed $78 million worldwide, Collider reports. Zendaya turns heads in the role of Tashi, a tennis coach who led her husband to fame, who now seeks her help to bounce back from a string of losses. The part-romance, part-sports drama physically requires a lot from the actress, seeing as her character is a former tennis legend forced to turn in her racket due to injury.

According to research published in 2006 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, speed, agility, joint and muscle strength, and increased cardiorespiratory capacity are key elements required of competitive tennis players. Therefore, to be the best, you want to train with the best, which is why Zendaya turned to tennis pro Brad Gilbert months prior to the start of production to ensure she'd be at the top of her game (via Women's Health).

Zendaya focused on agility and strength training

They say, "If you can see it, you can be it," which is why the star began her fitness journey by studying tennis pros at work, both on tape and at hours-long live matches. In addition to Gilbert, Zendaya also had strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo on her team. Doo told Women's Health that the actress went all in, training five days a week for as many as two hours each day with her workouts centered on agility exercises and strength training, a type of exercise that has been shown to improve a number of health conditions.

But things were only just heating up after three months of personal training with Gilbert and two weeks of work with Doo, after which time Zendaya and her co-stars went into rehearsals for a period of eight weeks. Starting at 7 a.m., the three lead actors underwent two hours of practice on the court with Gilbert, followed by another two hours spent in the gym with Doo. The first 30 minutes were dedicated to movement patterns before each actor started in on their own personalized workouts.

How Zendaya strengthened her shoulder muscles to look the part

For Zendaya, her personalized strength-training workout involved curtsy lunges, Romanian deadlifts, chest presses, and weighted squats, amongst other exercises, reports Women's Health. The actress also incorporated plate raises, resistance band exercises, and cable presses into her workout routine to bulk up her shoulder muscles in order to more closely resemble a tennis champion.

But Doo didn't only want to get the actors' bodies in shape; he wanted to get their minds right, too. With tennis being a fiercely competitive sport, Doo would have the stars compete to be the first to grab at a ball or cone, with Zendaya consistently stealing first place over her co-stars. Doo would then finish off their training session by having the actors cool down with a series of stretches. Oklahoma State University Head Women's Tennis Coach, Chris Young, echoes the importance of this step, telling Nike Sports Camp that a proper cooldown can rid the body of metabolic waste as well as promote flexibility and range of motion. While Zendaya admits that she initially struggled with the intense workout regimen, in the end, her work speaks for itself.