Playing a superhero is no small feat… and getting into superhero shape? It’s not exactly a piece of cake. Kicking butt and taking names on the big screen takes more than just doing hours of cardio or crushing heavy weight-bearing workouts—in fact, Captain Marvel star Brie Larson says that incorporating stretching into her workout is just as essential when it comes to achieving her body goals.
In a new YouTube video, Larson takes fans through her daily stretching workout, explaining that the routine has enabled her to improve her flexibility and avoid injury on set.
“Stretching is a huge part of exercise,” says Larson. “This is great for mornings, before workouts, as you’re winding down your day, or, if you’re somebody like me who’s spending the majority of their time at a desk looking at Zoom all day, it’s good to incorporate a couple of stretches and be kind to yourself.”
Read on to discover six of the star’s essential daily moves that have helped stay fit and toned on set. And if you’re eager to transform your body, try these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
To get her stretching workout started, Larson does some Toe Sitting, in which she sits on her heels and presses her toes against the floor, slightly elevating her backside.
“I’m just going to sit here for a couple of minutes, feel my body, [and] rest into my toes,” explains Larson, who incorporates a few neck rolls into her Toe Sitting pose to stretch out her upper body, as well. And for more celebrity fitness news, Megan Thee Stallion Reveals How She Transformed Her Body in a Week.
To help activate her core, lower body, and back, Larson makes sure to do a few Cat Cows. For this pose, Larson gets on her hands and knees and alternates between rounding her spine upward toward the ceiling while tucking her head down, then pushing her spine down toward the floor while simultaneously raising her buttocks and her head.
“You feel activation in your buns,” says Larson. “We’re just going to open up [and] exhale.”
RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter for the latest weight loss news.
Thread the Needle
One of Larson’s favorite upper-body moves is the Thread the Needle stretch, in which she gets on all fours, then extends one arm underneath the other so that her shoulder is resting on the ground and her back gets a nice, deep stretch.
However, Larson says that it’s easy to overdo this move, so she urges anyone attempting it to be gentle with themselves. “Please only go as far as your body allows,” says Larson.
RELATED: The 30-Second Trick That Packs on Muscle, According to an Exercise Expert.
To stretch out her lower body, Larson makes sure to incorporate a few Cobra Poses into her routine. To do so, she props herself up on her hands with her chest and thighs parallel to the floor, and, with her legs extended behind her, slightly pushes herself up using her toes.
“It’s really important to be kind to that lower back,” says Larson.
Stretching isn’t just a way to relax for Larson—it’s also an essential means of avoiding injury on set. She says that lunges have been particularly instrumental for her wellbeing while filming Captain Marvel.
“This one, in particular, was huge any time I was stunt training,” says the actor. “I probably racked up thousands of times of doing it.”
“You get warm doing the fight sequence, but then they’re moving cameras around, and you start to cool down, so you have to find ways to continue to stay limber, because that’s where injuries happen,” Larson explains.
To wind down her stretching workout, Larson typically does a Savasana, also known as corpse pose. With her back on the floor, arms extended into a T shape, legs outstretched below her body, and ankles together, Larson concludes her workout.
“It’s always nice to end with just full rest, saying thank you to ourselves,” says the star.
If you want to make sure you’re fueling those workouts right, check out the 14 Best Foods for Better Workout Results, According to Experts.