Get Northman-fit with this full-body workout from Alexander Skarsgård's PT

Try this 9-move exercise routine that got the Swedish actor in top shape for The Northman

Screenshot from The Northman featuring Alexander Skarsgård
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The Northman might not have been the most successful Hollywood blockbuster to date, but it sure made us admire Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård's body transformation for the role. The person who got him in Viking shape was none other than Magnus Lygdback, the same fitness expert who trained Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman 1984. Of course, his approach to bulking up Alexander for the Northman was quite different from how he trained Gal a few years back.

For this HIIT-style full-body workout, Magnus uses a range of home gym equipment, including an air bike, dumbbells, resistance bands, barbells, weight plates, kettlebells and even multi-gyms. No surprise then that we'd recommend performing this workout in a commercial gym unless you have a well-equipped home gym, in which case, feel free to use that. Now, watch the workout:

As you can see in the video above, Magnus takes us through nine exercises that involve several devices, such as an assault bike, kettlebells, superband and barbell, that will give you a challenging full-body workout. The celebrity PT uses a mix of cardio and strength exercises to help you build muscle and burn fat simultaneously (as much as possible). The exercises in the workout are:

  • Warm-up
  • Assault Bike - 5 minutes at a comfortable pace
  • Exercises
  • Farmer’s walk (40 steps forward and back with a heavy pair of dumbbells)
  • Woodchop with a resistance superband (15 repetitions on each side)
  • Standing row (4 sets x 6-8 repetitions with a barbell)
  • Seated pull-down (4 sets x 10 repetitions)
  • Superset 1 (60-second rest in between each set)
  • Dumbbell Arm lift rotation (3 sets x 10 repetitions for each arm)
  • Weight disc Arm lift rotation (3 sets x 10 repetitions)
  • Superset 2 (60-second rest in between each set)
  • Kneeling halo (3 sets x 10 repetitions)
  • Lateral Raise (3 sets x 10 repetitions)
  • Rolling knee tuck (4 sets x 1 minute each)

For a more triceps-focused exercise routine, try this 17-minute, superset dumbbell workout. For more pecs/delts action, this heavy-dumbbell routine will help you build definition in those areas. Lastly, if you’re feeling fatigued and struggling to recover from your workouts, you may need to try one of the best protein powders to help you jump straight back into action. 

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.