By now, it goes without saying that Chris Hemsworth knows how to stay physically strong and healthy. The Australian actor – who is currently filming the Netflix movie Extraction 2 – dedicates serious time to ensuring his body is in peak physical condition.
But his workouts aren’t all bicep curls or sled pulls for aesthetics. Instead, many of his workouts can fall under the functional strength umbrella. Functional training is, as we’ve learnt from Chris before, where you complete and perform workouts and exercises that are relevant to movements you do in everyday life.
These everyday tasks can include things like picking something heavy up off the ground, and in this case, a deadlift would be a prime example of an effective functional training exercise. Fortunately, you don’t even need to lift anything heavy in order to improve your functional strength, as Chris Hemsworth’s latest workout posted to Instagram – and part of his Centr workout program – proves.
Instead, all you need is a medicine ball and a wall. Chris then demonstrates seven exercises to perform with the medicine ball, all of which are completed for 5 reps (or 5 reps each side in some cases) for 4 sets, with a two-minute breather in between each set.
Chris Hemsworth’s medicine ball functional training workout is as follows:
- Right ball slam x 5 reps: Standing perpendicular to a wall (with the wall on your right) and with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, twist your body to the right and throw the ball at the wall with as much force as you can muster. It will bounce back, so catch it and absorb the energy. When you catch the ball, twist slightly to the left so that you can generate momentum to throw it back towards the wall.
- Left ball slam x 5 reps: Complete the same steps as above, but this time with the wall on your left side.
- Ball slam x 5 reps: The regular medicine ball slam follows the same idea, but this time, you’re throwing the ball at the ground with as much force as possible. Throw the medicine ball at the ground, with the ball starting up above your head to get a full range of motion and to target the greatest number of muscles.
- Front squat x 5 reps: Holding the medicine ball in front of you with elbows bent, squat down. Be sure to keep your core braced and maintain your visual focus on looking out in front of you.
- Alternating push-up x 5 reps each side: The alt-push up is a more advanced progression of a regular ball push-up. Here, you perform a push-up, but with just one hand on the ball at any time. It will torch your chest, shoulders and triceps. With one hand on the ball and one hand on the ground, perform a push-up, ensuring your body is straight. Push yourself back up and quickly alternate to have the other hand on the ball to perform another.
- Sit-ups x 5 reps: Holding the ball above your chest, brace your core to perform a sit-up. As you near the top of the sit-up, push the medicine ball up in the air. Bring it back down to your chest as you lower your body to the floor.
- Russian twists x 5 reps: You want a six-pack? Then do Russian twists. Your entire abdominal region, along with your obliques are targeted with this movement, so it’s essential. Sit on the floor so that only your pelvis is touching the ground. Have your legs slightly elevated in the air with knees bent and your upper body almost upright (you can put your feet on the floor to make it easier if you wish). Whilst holding the ball, twist your torso from left to right, ensuring you rotate to close to 90-degrees. Chris is performing this move pretty quickly, but with this one, you can go at your own pace.
Once you have completed all 7 movements, rest for two minutes before repeating again. Aim to complete four sets, but if you feel you still have some energy after completing all four, go for another.
Chris’s medicine ball workout will work the vast majority of muscles in your body – making it a full-body workout – and should only take around 30-minutes to complete (including rest periods). This is the beauty of functional, HIIT-style workouts; they don’t take up much time from your day, yet are incredibly effective at raising your heart rate and improving your cardiovascular system.
Doing so will help you to increase your metabolism, lose body fat and increase muscle mass all at the same time.
So, next time you’re in the gym, pick up a medicine ball and complete Chris’s workout either as a standalone workout, or as a finisher once you’ve completed your regular workout routine.