Nothing motivates us more than a great action scene in a movie or a character who is so unbelievably strong, fierce and unstoppable that we can’t help but want to be like them. While you may not be the next Spartan or Million Dollar Baby, that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by their killer physiques and their ‘all or nothing’ attitudes. Below we feature 5 of our favorite exercises for making anyone feel like a real life warrior, inspired by your favorite butt-kicking movies.
1. Chopping Block: Inspired By 300
To get a core that will help you fight in Spartan-like battles, try the exercise below. You’re going to start with both hands on a cable pulley in the upper right position, tighten your core, maintain straightened arms and pull down towards your opposite knee. Return to start for one rep. Do 3 sets of 12-15 on each side.
2. Iron Lift: Inspired By Iron Man
Sculpt strong shoulders and tone your glutes with the exercise below. Place the bar inside of a 45lb. plate positioned on the ground and add weight to the end facing you. Steady yourself in a 30 degree squat position with one or both hands holding up the end facing you and use your legs to move upward and your shoulders to finish the exercise so that your arms are extended and the end of the bar is above your head. Lower to a squat position for one rep. Do 3 sets of 8 on each side or 3 sets of 15 if using both arms.
3. Reverse Knockout: Inspired By Million Dollar Baby
A stabilized core and strong back are trademark to a good fighter. Strengthen yours by doing the tricky exercise below. Start in plank position with your hands on the dumbbells (try to use dumbbells that are square or hexagon shaped so that they won’t roll as much when you’re starting out), make sure your core is stabilized and then pull one of the dumbbells up to your ribs. Place that dumbbell on the floor with your hand still on it and pull the opposite dumbbell up to your ribs. Return to starting position. This is one rep. Try for 3 sets of 10.
4. Squatting Eagle: Inspired By Rocky
Rocky really works his calves when he runs up those stairs. To work your calves without the cardio, we love the exercise below because it forces you to work on balance and calf strength at the same time. Start in a squat position with the balls of your feet on two side-by-side 45lb. plates. With your arms out in front of you and still in squat position, lift up onto your toes. Come back down without letting your heels touch the ground. That is one rep. Do 3 sets of 20.
5. Stealth Squats: Inspired By Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is a sneaky one. Mimic her stealthy ways with the exercise below. You’re going to get into a squat stance with your feet shoulder width apart and an elastic band around your ankles. Take a step forward with your left leg while still crouching to work your hip flexor muscles. Bring your right foot up to join your left, still at shoulder width apart. Then take a step to the left with your left leg to find yourself in a wide leg squat. Finally you will bring your right leg in to achieve a shoulder-width stance again. This is one rep. Do 3 sets of 8 on each side.