Avengers Infinity War: Pounce like Black Widow
If you’ve kept your eyes open this year, you’ll know Marvel’s Avengers have been up to their usual high-octane action.
With the massive hype around Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming release of Black Widow – who’s played by Scarlett Johansson – it got us thinking about why she’s so popular.
Black Widow is played by one of the most recognisable actresses in Hollywood and spends her whole screen time being awesome, but these aren’t our favourite things about her. We actually love her so much because she’s only human.
Black Widow is one of few characters with no superpowers or ancient alien heritage – she’s just a human with amazing training who makes the most of what she’s got. This is what makes her character so outstanding and it’s why we’ve put this post together – so you can double down on your training and pounce like Black Widow.
TRAINING FOR ELITE AWESOMENESS
Since her first appearance in Iron Man 2, Black Widow (Natasha Romanov) shows off her physical prowess with a mixture of gymnastic performance and amazing action set pieces. This is great because – aside from looking cool – it demonstrates how focussing on performance is the key to looking and feeling your very best. In this Black Widow workout, you’ll be focussing your attention on the main elements that underlie performance – for athletes and international assassins alike!
- Speed and Power
These are the skills you’re going to need if you’re looking to put together your own Black Widow training routine.
THE BLACK WIDOW WORKOUT
- BOX JUMPS – 4 sets of 3 reps
- COSSACK SQUAT – 5 sets of 8 reps (each side)
- BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT – 4 sets of 12
- DUMBBELL PUSH PRESS – 4 sets of 8
- RING ROW – 5 sets to failure
- WEIGHTED PIKE – 4 sets of 20
- HIIT CIRCUIT – 5 rounds of 10 Burpees + 100m sprint (90s rest, tops!)
THE ‘WHY’ BEHIND THE WORKOUT
The main focus of this workout is balance and performance. This routine isn’t just about looking great – although combined with the right diet, it’ll do exactly that – it’s about getting better at everything that makes Black Widow so awesome.
From split squats to ring rows, this workout will provide strength and muscle improvements in almost every part of your body. It’s a full-body workout that’s been balanced to ensure you hit all the key muscle groups, movements and build an evened, effective physique.
By using Cossack squats and split squats for your legs, you’ll develop great thighs and a strong bum – essential for everything from spine health to awesome power.
We’ve included the dumbbell push press and ring rows in this workout too. Push presses are a great way of learning how to move your body as a whole and excellent for strengthening your shoulders, upper back and triceps. Ring rows are your starting point for gaining pull-up strength and will teach you how to use your upper back muscles correctly.
Weighted pikes are great for building your core strength. They’re like hollow holds with additional weight and will get your core seriously strong rather quickly. They’re pretty challenging, so pick a reasonable weight and be prepared for sore abs in the morning!
The Black Widow workout starts with box jumps – a great exercise for developing power and learning to move explosively. If you plan to jump around kicking bad guys, you need powerful legs and hips – they’re the key to almost all athletic movement.
If you want to get better at speed and power, it starts with getting your lower body strong and powerful. The other exercises in this workout work on strength, but box jumps are all about producing force – fast!
This HIIT finisher is all about mixing it up – combining burpees with sprints will improve your strength, your core and really push your engine too. With short rest periods and a mixture of upper and lower body work, it’s a step in the right direction to preparing for everything.
Combining burpees and sprinting is always a great choice as it forces you to really push yourself during your ‘go’ portions. Remember, it’s high-intensity interval training. While you’re doing the exercise you need to be pushing yourself as hard as possible to get the best results.
Flexibility is underrated, which is a shame, because flexibility protects your body from a wide variety of problems. People with better flexibility get less injuries, have better quality of movement, perform better in sports and are generally better at achieving their fitness goals.
If you work at a desk or you’re just getting back into the gym after some time off, you’re going to need to work on your flexibility. You might not have the flexibility of a ballerina, like Black Widow, but with patient, smart work you can make huge improvements.
Cossack squats are a great example of this – they train you in difficult positions, improve your hip mobility, ankle mobility and boost your coordination and balance. They’re an awesome exercise for improving your ability to move – something you’ll need when you’re out and about fighting crime.
Everything in this workout is aimed at making you more aware of your body. If you’ve seen her fight scenes in Iron Man 2 or any of the recent Avengers films, you’ll know Black Widow has awesome control of her own body and puts it to use with grappling and fighting skills.
This workout isn’t going to teach you to flip through the air and fight bad guys, but it will improve your ability to control your body. From unilateral exercise in the form of split squats to improved core control, it’s a great foundation for brining out the superhero in you.
Black Widow is awesome because of her limitations and how badass she is in spite of them. Sure, it’s much easier when you’re a comic book superhero, but there’s no reason you can’t look and perform at a high-level by training smart.
This Black Widow workout is all about focusing on performance – remember that the looks are a reward for putting work in on your performance and getting better at these key areas of athleticism!