Three exercises Dune's Jason Momoa uses to help him build muscle and burn fat

The Aquaman actor, now in the hit sci-fi epic Dune, climbs, swims and uses renegade rows to stay lean and muscular

Jason Momoa
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jason Momoa is one of the most recognisable faces on the planet. The lean, muscular actor's wild mane and tattooed aesthetic doesn't change much role-to-role, but he's played Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian and the superhero Aquaman, to name but a few. He's now back in the epic sci-fi movie Dune, and he's showing no signs of slowing down at age 42. So how does he stay in shape? 

Of course, we have to acknowledge that Momoa is a millionaire, with the ability to have his meals provided for as well as all the training paid for by Hollywood studio. You can cook lean chicken breast in the best air fryer or best health grill, and buy up all the best workout equipment for home, but it won't magic you up his physique without time and training. 

While almost all actors and bodybuilders deny that performance enhancing drugs play a role in these Hollywood transformations, we also have to acknowledge it as a possibility. However, Momoa seems to love more holistic, outdoor pursuits when it comes to fitness, which we can all benefit and learn from. What's the point of getting fit if you're not going to use it out in the world?

In several interviews and press appearances, Momoa's espoused his love of climbing and bouldering (climbing without a harness). Climbing is a fantastic way to build core strength, back strength, arm strength, burn calories and keep fit. Similar to a pull-up (and you can read all about how to do a pull-up here) climbing will train your lats, shoulders, biceps and forearms as you pull yourself up to greater heights. Bouldering also fights depression, according to the University of Arizona

You can watch Momoa show off his skills in the video below:

Watch Dune's Jason Momoa do renegade rows and climbing:

In the video above, Momoa can be seen doing renegade rows, a great way to build more strength in those climbing muscles. The concept is simple: while holding a plank position, shift your weight to one arm and complete a dumbbell or kettlebell row with the other. 

Research by the Les Mills lab found planks engage your core with 20% more activation in your rectus abdominis muscles than a traditional crunch; adding a dumbbell row into the mix only increases instability and works your upper body as well. 

Swimming, unsurprisingly for the Aquaman actor, returns him to his Polynesian roots, as he trained with friends like surfer Kala Alexander for the role.  At a convention in Atlanta, Momoa reportedly said: "My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I'm not, but I'm going to go train with them." Swimming also acts as excellent low-impact cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, ideal for anyone looking after their joints or wanting to improve their lung capacity.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.