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I tried Chris Hemsworth's 35-minute bodyweight workout — here's what happened

A photo of Chris Hemsworth, and a photo of Chris Hemsworth doing a push-up
(Image credit: Getty/Theo Wargo / Staff/Instagram)

If you’re looking for a workout that will build muscle without weights, why not turn to Thor himself? Chris Hemsworth has shared a 35-minute superset bodyweight workout, so I gave it a go when traveling to see if I could get in superhero shape, without having a gym nearby.

It goes without saying Hemsworth is in fantastic shape, with his arms in Thor wielding as much attention as his lightning-infused hammer (check out the exact arm workout Hemsworth followed here). The Australian actor has also launched his own fitness app, Centr, and you can find out what happened when we trained like Thor for a week in our Centr app review

Yet like the rest of us, Hemsworth must find himself without a luxury gym when on the move, so how does he stay in shape using just his body weight? The answer is supersets — two exercises performed back to back to overload a certain muscle group, forcing it to work harder. Hemsworth’s bodyweight workout consists of five supersets, one exercise of 30 seconds and one of 20 seconds, with a 20-second rest between. The circuit takes seven minutes, and Hemsworth suggests you repeat it five times in total. 

What bodyweight exercises does Chris Hemsworth do? 

Hemsworth has shared a video of the workout on his Instagram, but if you prefer to screenshot the entire workout before unrolling your exercise mat, here’s the deal: 

Switches — 30 seconds
Plank get-ups —  20 seconds
Rest —  20 seconds
Burpees — 30 seconds
Toe crunches — 20 seconds
Rest — 20 seconds
Mountain climber to elbow — 30 seconds
V sit bent knee — 20 seconds
Rest — 20 seconds
Prisoner squat — 30 seconds
Scissor kicks — 20 seconds
Rest — 20 seconds
Plank jacks and push-ups — 30 seconds
Jump lunges — 20 seconds
Rest — 60 seconds 

Repeat the entire circuit four more times. 

I tried Chris Hemsworth’s 35-minute bodyweight workout — here’s what happened

When it comes to keeping fit while on the move, I’m normally one to head out for a run rather than scout out the hotel gym. However, on this particular morning, it was still dark out, and I didn't fancy running around the Peak District alone. Instead, I cleared some space in my hotel room and tried this 35-minute bodyweight session — and wow, it was intense. 

The aim of the HIIT-style workout is to push yourself, as you’re only doing each exercise for a short amount of time. While I definitely wasn’t smashing out as many reps as Hemsworth (because a. I’m not Thor, and b. I’m slightly hungover on this particular morning), I enjoyed the fast pace of this workout, which doesn’t give you much downtime. 

I also found the workout to hit most of the major muscle groups, making it a brilliant full-body workout for those still exercising at home. The day before this I’d completed a 10-mile hike, so my legs definitely felt the burpees and prisoner squats, but I also found my core and arms got a good burn too. 

While I’ll probably be returning to weight training and Pilates once I get home, this workout reminded me that you can get your heart rate up and torch a good amount of calories using just your body weight. 

Spoiler alert: I didn’t finish the workout looking anything like Thor (read, a sweaty mess), but if you’re looking for a circuit that’ll work you hard, I’ve found it. 

Looking for more workout inspiration? Here’s what happened when I tried Kumail Nanjiani's arm workout and you can read about how Natalie Portman got in serious shape to play The Mighty Thor

Jane McGuire
Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.