Get fighting fit with the Divergent workout

Shailene Woodley, Theo James and their fellow Divergent cast members had to go from normal people to fighting fit in just five weeks. With the help of J.J. Perry, they scored sculpted bods with a partnered workout. Here’s how to get their abs, guns and killer endurance.

Boost the intensity

The idea: Perry combined cardio with high-intensity plyometrics to get the most out of training time. Plyometrics involves short bursts of your muscles being pushed to their limits.

The cast workout: Competitive knee-highs. The actors were paired up to race each other at a 7- to 8-minute knee-up sequence. Face your partner, standing feet hip-width apart, one leg back to support your weight. Your partner extends her arms toward you at chest height. You bring your forward-most knee up to hit her hand as hard and fast as you can 30 times in a row. Switch legs, repeat, then switch places with your partner. Each girl does 3 sets of 30 x 2 reps.

Mix it up: Run sprints, jump rope or do frog jumps competitively with your partner, or solo to beat your personal best.

Get movie star abs

The idea: Your core powers all of your movements, so strengthening your abs is essential for pretty much anything you want to do, aside from looking good in a swimsuit this summer.

The cast workout: A sit-up chain. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, facing your partner. Interlock your legs. Cross your arms over your chest and slowly lie back until your shoulders touch the floor, in unison. Come all the way back up, using just your abs to control your movement. Do 10 reps, then do 10 more, but lower your upper body only halfway to the floor. Do 10 more full sit-ups, then do another set of 10 but stop when your upper body is just hovering an inch or so above the floor.

Mix it up: To hit the rest of your abs, throw in some oblique sit-ups by doing bicycle movements in tandem. Throw in some reverse sit-ups, as well, lifting your bum in the air as you keep your shoulder blades just off the ground.

And the guns to go with them

The idea: Diamond push-ups. Push-ups in different positions work all the muscles you use to strike, Perry says.

The cast workout: Get arms that are ready for action by getting into push-up position. Touch your thumb and index fingers together to form a diamond shape, and do 10 push-ups. Repeat, but move your fingers 2 inches apart. Repeat, but move your hands to just under your shoulders. Remember to keep your elbows tight to your sides, and your back neutral and flat.

Mix it up: Hate push-ups? Get the same workout without feeling like you’re working your arms by doing pilates or yoga matwork on your hands and knees.


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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016