By Sarah Finley published
We're used to seeing her beat the bad guys as a superhero in the Marvel movies, but Brie Larson is also proving she's not to be messed with in the gym either.
The Hollywood actress, 31, who has also starred in Room and the Avengers, loves to share her tough workouts on Instagram. From pull-ups to landmine lifts she's definitely got the bug when it comes to strength work.
We get the lowdown from David Wiener, a fitness expert at coaching app Freeletics, about how you can do her strength exercises at home, or in the gym, while looking at which muscles they work.
Brie is seen lifting a very heavy 135lbs, which she's probably worked up to, so if you're new to the exercise start small and increase as your muscles adjust.
The same goes with sets and reps - David recommends starting with three sets of five reps, then building up the amount of reps week on week. To perform the landmine lift begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the secured weights to your chest. Engage your core and lengthen your spine as you perform a squat. Engage your glutes and legs as you return to the starting position.
While David says this exercise is a great one for working a large number of muscles in the body: "It's a great full-body exercise, working the trapezius, deltoids, obliques, abdominal muscles, quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings."
Weighted pull ups
This exercise is another one that targets the arms, and is incredibly hard to do, with or without the added weights. David advises: "Make sure that the weight is safely secured before starting. If you are using a weight belt, make sure that it is tightly secured and the weight isn’t too heavy." Don't have a weight belt? The PT advises putting the weight into a backpack and wearing it as you do the pull-ups.
To perform the exercise with the best form David says you should start by placing your hands just wider than shoulder width apart on the pull-up bar, then passively hang with your arms and legs straight. Bring your hips forward to create momentum and pull up through your elbows, until your chin is above the bar. Then lower yourself backdown.
Found that easy? Maybe it's time to try one arm pull ups....
One arm pull up
As if pull ups aren't tough enough already Brie pulls it out of the bag and does them one-handed in this video, which got over 3 million views. And it's not just us who were impressed, her comments section has blown up with appreciation, while David says they are the "holy grail of bodyweight exercises and are always going to be a hard exercise to master."
Fancy trying it for yourself? Start with one hand on the pull-up bar, with your palm facing you. Then, place your supporting hand around your wrist. Once you are in a comfortable position, bring your hips forward to create momentum and pull up through your elbows until your chin is above the bar.
David also says that due to their difficulty, "begin by doing 3 reps at the end of each workout so you get yourself comfortable with the movement." While you'll also be working multiple upper body muscles for this one - including the biceps, chest, lats, and abdominal muscles.
One arm push ups
The Marvel actress barely breaks a sweat as she tries another one-armed exercise. So, what muscles is she working on? "One-armed push-ups work the same muscles as a regular push-up, but they isolate one side of your body at a time," says David, "You'll be working pectoralis major (chest), anterior deltoids (fronts of the shoulders), and triceps (arm) muscles, obliques and abdominal muscles."
While David goes on to say that you should start with 10 on each arms, the build it up as you go. If you fancy adding it to your routine position one hand on the mat below your chest, with your other hand behind your back. Ensure that your head shoulders and hips are in line at all times and your feet are wider than shoulder width apart. Then, push up so you are in a one-handed plank position and slowly lower yourself back down.
Sarah is a freelance journalist who writes about fitness and wellbeing for the BBC, Woman&Home and Tech Radar. During lockdown she found her love of running outside again and now attempts to run around 50 miles a month. When it comes to other fitness, she loves a sweaty cardio session – although since she’s been working out from home she’s sure her downstairs neighbors aren’t too happy about it. She also loves to challenge herself - and has signed up to do hiking holidays, intense bootcamps and last year she went on her dream activity holiday: paddle boarding around deserted islands in Croatia. On her rest days, she loves to recover with a simple yoga flow session – the perfect antidote to her active fitness schedule.
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