Chris Hemsworth’s Functional Fitness Workout to Stay Lean for Everyday Life

Chris Hemsworth functional fitness

Hemsworth’s Functional fitness training prepares you to handle day-to-day tasks. 

Widely recognized for his remarkable physique, Chris Hemsworth is an esteemed actor. The Australian talent portrayed the iconic character Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a significant part of the past decade. In particular, his portrayal in last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder highlighted his impeccably sculpted muscles. In this post we examine Hemsworth’s functional fitness workouts to stay lean for everyday life. 

Chris Hemsworth had to train heavily and build muscle to keep up with the demands of that job. So, over the years, we’ve seen him do some intense resistance training as an actor. An example is this insane upper-body workout.

Recently, however, Hemsworth has been taking a different approach to his training as he pivots to other roles. Sports physiotherapy professor Michal Novotný and Hemworth’s personal trainer Luke Zocci discussed the reason for this in a promo for Hemworth’s role in Extraction 2. They pointed out that Chris Hemsworth was not getting enough time for rest or recovery between his intense filming schedule and workouts.

Another difficulty was that Hemsworth was also suffering from back pain. In response, they turned to functional training to meet his needs. This post looks at what functional training is, why some experts advocate for this type of training, and some of the routines in Chris Hemsworth’s new functional workout.

What Is Functional Fitness?

Functional fitness training focuses on making movements you use in your everyday life. Research shows that functional training impacts speed, agility, balance, and muscular strength (1). Functional training strengthens and prepares muscles for daily tasks and activities.

Experts who advocate for functional training often point out that it prioritizes muscle movement over appearance. This can also help prevent injuries and reduce your risk of getting hurt. For example, functional training can protect your spine from exercises that could lead to back pain. 

Functional training also teaches your body to work as a whole by working multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This can be a time-efficient way to lose weight and improve your fitness level. A few shorter but intense full-body routines can help boost your workout.

Chris Hemsworth’s Functional Workout

In a recent Instagram post, Chris Hemsworth talks about doing fewer heavy weight sessions and more functional movements lately. He says, 

“Doing a lot less heavy weight sessions lately and incorporating sprint work and more functional movements. A solid full-body workout routine. Feeling good.”

This post also shares some of the movements he’s been using to train. Below, we take a look at them. 

Functional Exercises
Medicine Ball Slams
Battle Ropes
Standing Medicine Ball Rotations
Bear Crawls



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A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

Sprinting is an explosive lower body movement that recruits multiple leg muscles, including the hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, and calves. It’s also a great exercise for your core. Research shows posterior chain muscles are essential in sprinting (2)

Chris Hemsworth paired up with endurance athlete Ross Edgley and his Cocker Spaniel for his sprinting. We see them sprint at maximum speed on the lawn. Hemsworth jokes in his post that he left Edgley behind, but the video doesn’t show this.

Medicine Ball Slams

The medicine ball slam is a full-body power exercise that strengthens your triceps, glutes, quads, abs, obliques, hamstrings, hips, and lats. It’s a great way to improve your conditioning and strengthen your core. The fluidity of this exercise also helps to work on your balance and coordination.

While doing reps of medicine ball slams, you can see him use explosive power to slam the ball and then squat to lift it. 

Battle Ropes

functional fitness

Battle ropes is an exercise routine that targets the muscles in your upper body, core, and lower body (3). These include your biceps, triceps, abs, obliques, delts, rhomboids, glutes, hips, hamstrings, and quads. This endurance-based exercise also helps to improve your stability and balance.

Chris Hemsworth did the unilateral waves variation of battle waves. This involves swinging each rope opposite to the other. Battle waves are classified as vigorous activity and can help you burn high calories in a short amount of time.

Standing Medicine Ball Rotations

Standing medicine ball rotations are great for your core muscles but also recruit your shoulders. It strengthens your abs and obliques and hits the biceps, too, as you’ll use your arms to hold the ball in place while rotating. This exercise trains your muscles to twist, grab, or pass something in everyday life.

Hemsworth not only did a standing side-to-side medicine ball rotation, but he also did a high-to-low variation. He did it bilaterally and then unilaterally, passing the ball from one arm to another while rotating. Then, he moved to the following routine — pushups.


Push-ups target your chest, core, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It’s a versatile bodyweight exercise, and you can modify it to increase the difficulty level, for example, by doing plyometric pushups or decline pushups. Doing this exercise in a slow and controlled manner is excellent for your core and builds muscle by increasing the time under tension.

Chris Hemsworth used pushup bars for his push-ups, which work your chest and forearms better. This equipment also helps protect your wrists by reducing pressure. Plus, using a pushup bar increases your range of motion, allowing you to drop deeper. 

Bear Crawls

Chris Hemsworth did forward and backward bear crawls to round up the functional workout. The bear crawl is a compound exercise that targets your abs, delts, and quads. When done correctly, this movement can recruit almost every muscle group. This exercise is excellent as a warmup but also helps save time by training multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It also improves your conditioning and is a perfect movement for circuit training

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  1. Xiao, W., Soh, K. G., Wazir, M. R. W. N., Talib, O., Bai, X., Bu, T., Sun, H., Popovic, S., Masanovic, B., & Gardasevic, J. (2021). Effect of Functional Training on Physical Fitness Among Athletes: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in physiology, 12, 738878. 
  2. Dorn, T. W., Schache, A. G., & Pandy, M. G. (2012). Muscular strategy shift in human running: dependence of running speed on hip and ankle muscle performance. The Journal of experimental biology, 215(Pt 11), 1944–1956. 
  3. Calatayud, J., Martin, F., Colado, J. C., Benítez, J. C., Jakobsen, M. D., & Andersen, L. L. (2015). Muscle Activity During Unilateral vs. Bilateral Battle Rope Exercises. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 29(10), 2854–2859.
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.