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Chris Hemsworth has shared all kinds of workouts on his Instagram page, from bodyweight exercises to sled pulls to boxing drills. The latest addition to his fitness routine? Chopping wood.
In a recent video, Hemsworth's trainer Luke Zocchi challenges Hemsworth to put his strength "to good use" by cutting up some firewood. "If at first you don’t succeed try try try try again and again," Hemsworth wrote in the caption for the video, which sees him taking swing after swing at the same block of wood with an axe before finally cutting it in half.
It's certainly one way for the Thor star to demonstrate the strength he's been building in the gym, but it turns out, it's also a pretty good rotational workout that works the abs and obliques, and reminds the body it's designed to twist and turn in different directions.
"I love chopping wood," says Men's Health fitness editor Brett Williams. "It's not just a great workout that hones my rotational power—it's also a meditative task that allows me to chart my progress in real time as a bunch of stumps and limbs becomes a neatly stacked pile of firewood. Anytime you can mix your workout into your daily tasks, I call that a win."
Not only is this kind of lumberjack activity a fun way to mix up your fitness routine, it's also a burgeoning sport in its own right, with lumberjack athletes like Matt Cogar who show off their physical prowess by participating in the STIHL Timbersports Series.
"You have to have a little bit of that natural strength, absolutely, but you can only do so much naturally," Cogar told Men's Health. "I use a workout routine to build myself up and be a little more athletic... What you do in conjunction with your typical training is what makes a difference. It’s 50 per cent training with all the disciplines, 50 per cent work in the gym."
Some of the exercises that Cogar uses to compliment his natural strength and stature in chopping events include squats to build power in the lower body, planks for core strength, and cable rotational chops to help him in his swing.
If you're not the woodsy kind but are still eager to show off your strength and feel macho while doing so, then you can recreate similar rotational power and swing movements in a tyre sledgehammer workout. Namely, using a weighted sledgehammer to lunge back, squat, and hit a giant tire repeatedly.
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