Chris Hemsworth's Avengers: Endgame stuntman shares his core workout for abs of steel
If you think actors train hard, you should meet their stunt doubles
Bobby Holland Hanton is a case in point. You've no doubt seen him in a Hollywood blockbuster before without realising - and now he's Chris Hemsworth's stuntman in Avengers: Endgame.
He has doubled for Hemsworth for seven years, as well as performing stunts for Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises). He's as much an athlete as he is a stuntman.
Why is fitness essential for a stuntman?
Hanton is a former gymnastics champion. When he became a stuntman, getting certified meant mastering everything from scuba diving to kickboxing, trampolining to the 25m high dive, parkour to acrobatics.
Now working together with Hemsworth on personalised digital health and fitness app Centr, Hanton has put together this complete core workout to help you carve abs of steel.
Perform each exercise for 20-30 seconds, back-to-back, with no rest in between. Rest one minute after all five are completed, then repeat the sequence three to four times.
By working the large muscles of the glutes, quads and hamstrings you will build muscle while burning energy. Mastering the Air Squat is a prerequisite for completing weighted squat exercises, and will have carry over benefits to all other lower body movements.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your side
- Sink down as if you're sitting on a chair, pushing your weight through your heels so your knees are in line with your toes
- You can bring your arms in front of your chest to stabilise yourself. Then stand back up to the starting position
This is used by everyone from professional athletes to fitness models to develop a strong and tight core. The humble plank is transformed in the Plank Pulse, one of the most challenging and valuable exercises in your toolbox. Add in the pulses to work your calf muscles.
- Begin in a forearm plank position, with your back straight and your backside tucked in
- Keeping your forearms in position, pulse your body forward so that you are on the tips of your toes and your shoulders are almost above your wrists
- Pulse back to the starting position and repeat
Medicine Ball Wood Chops
Rotational movements are sometimes overlooked in exercise programs, but their ability to build strong oblique muscles and whole-body stability is second to none. Although a medicine ball is preferred, this exercise can also be completed with a dumbbell (held sideways), kettlebell or anything else heavy.
- Begin standing, legs hips-width apart and holding the ball in front of your chest
- Raise the ball straight above your head, then back down as you squat and tap the ball on the ground to the right of your body
- Raise back up to the starting position then complete on the other side
Sometimes your own body is all you need. Crawling exercises are used to build whole body strength, balance and coordination. Additionally, the Bear Crawl is performed at speed to increase the amount of energy and calories burned.
- From a squatting position with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, place both hands on the ground so your body forms a kind of table – resting on your toes, your knees hovering above the ground and your back flat
- From here, crawl forward on your hands and toes, with your feet and knees kicking out a little wider than your hands to generate speed
- Then push backwards on hands and toes to return to the start
Arch Hold Swims
Strengthening muscles in the back is important for shoulder health and good posture. Plus, Arch Hold Swims with a static extension boost your glutes and core. The 'swimming' movements performed with the arms will have you feeling the burn in no time.
- Take the superman position by lying on your front and hovering your feet and arms slightly off the ground as you tense your abs and glutes
- From here, bring your hands toward your face, bending your elbows
- Then, straighten your arms so your hands sweep out on either side, before bringing them back to your face again and back up
- Ensure they are hovering for the entire movement.
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