A Core Like Thor And A Chest Like Cavill’s, Five Of The Best Superhero Workouts

Five tried and tested workouts that turned ordinary actors into the silver screen superheroes we all know and love
10:00, 22 Nov 2020

Superheroes are truly awesome aren’t they? Who hasn’t watched all the Marvel movies and wished they had the physical prowess of their favourite heroes, whether that be Thor or Wolverine? 

But how did they get into such ridiculous shape? Below we’ve sourced the workouts of some of these uber-fit stars of the big screen and, spoiler alert, these people were once just mere mortals like us. From the abs of a Norse God to the chest of Krypton’s finest, these are the tried and tested workouts that turned ordinary Hollywood actors into the planet-saving, galaxy-protecting stars we all know and love...


Chris Hemsworth's Abs Workout

Photo: Marvel Studios
Photo: Marvel Studios

When it comes to in-shape superheroes, Chris Hemsworth takes some beating. The Australian actor, who plays Thor, joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe seemingly with the abs of an actual god but it wasn’t divine intervention that made him this way, in fact his core workout is deceptively simple. Anybody should be able to give a go, with a few adjustments based on ability. 

He runs a circuit of four basic exercises; a 60 second plank, 12 hanging leg raises, a 60 second side plank (both sides) and finally 12 toes to bar on a pull up bar. Start with lower reps if needed, perform the exercises slowly and do this circuit twice, taking a minute-long break to recover in between, and before you know it you will have a core like Thor. 

Wolverine’s Back And Bicep Workout

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine is arguably one of the most iconic character performances on the silver screen in modern cinema history (seriously, good luck to the actor who has to step into those shoes next) and every time he takes on the role of Logan’s sharp-clawed alter-ego, the actor seems to get more and more ripped. His arms and back are defining features of his character, but how did Hugh get so huge? 

Well his back and bicep workout is actually down to three easy to learn exercises. First the vertical pull, (4 sets, 8 reps) pulling the bar down behind your head and squeezing your shoulder blades together to work your laterals.  A one second pause at the bottom will give you the best results. Then a horizontal pull, following the same instructions (4 sets, 10 reps). Finally, a dumbbell pullover, which involves lying on a bench and moving a dumbbell behind your head (4 sets, 8 reps).

Change the weight of the dumbbell or bar to suit you, and crack on. 


Henry Cavill’s Chest Workout

Photo: Warner Bros
Photo: Warner Bros

The most iconic and instantly recognisable superhero ever has to be Superman and when Krypton’s most famous son rocks up in his skin-tight, latex suit, with the iconic  ‘S’ emblazoned on the front, it’s pretty clear that our man Cavill has been putting some serious work into his chest. So what’s his poison? No not just Kryptonite, Cavill like all the others puts the work in to get the best results.

He works out for two and a half hours every single day (that’s only two minutes shorter than the whole Batman Vs Superman film, for reference), but for his chest it is a whole lot of pressing. Bench Press (6 sets, 10 reps), Military Push Press (6 sets, 10 reps), Arnold Press (6 sets, 10 reps) and Hammer Curls  (6 sets, 10 reps) are all covered to get you to look this good. One of the toughest workouts of the lot. But then again, that’s Superman.

Chris Pratt’s Legs Workout 

Okay so Star Lord may not be the most famous of superheroes but that doesn’t mean he isn’t badass. Chris Pratt, who plays Peter Quill/Star Lord made his name as the loveable, yet slightly chubby Andy Dwyer on the excellent sitcom Parks and Recreation, but blew the internet’s collective mind when it was shown just how ripped Pratt had gotten for the role of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s leader. In particular, his legs, with some of the bulkiest pins in Hollywood.

Pratt mainly focuses on classic squats, leg presses and lunges as well as leg extensions and leg curls, but these are all very simple exercises anybody can get to grips with. Doing seven sets of squats, reducing the reps every time is sure to build muscle and get you looking like Star Lord himself in no time.


Gal Gadot’s Cardio Workout

Photo: Warner Bros
Photo: Warner Bros

It isn’t just the men that have been putting the work in to get in tip-top shape for a comic book’s big screen outing and Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot is leading the way in the superhero world as one of the physically fittest out there. Having spent two years as a fitness/combat readiness officer in the Israeli Defence Force, Gadot was already a badass but her routine in preparing for the role of Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) was particularly gruelling.

From a cardio standpoint, this really is within everyone's reach. She begins with ten minutes of running before tackling mountain climbers, a bit of rowing and burpees. With the heart rate nicely raised she continues with a minute-long bird dog, then push ups and pull ups. Simple right? 

They are called Superheroes for a reason so don’t set too high expectations, but these workouts can improve both your physical fitness and mental wellbeing at a time when we need it more than ever. 

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