Not only is Scarlett Johansson’s Avengers character, Black Widow, a kicking-butts-and-taking-names-kinda gal, but she does all of her dirty work in a skin-tight, leather suit to top it off.
Does it get more Action Hero Babe than that?
And, hey, while earning high espionage marks and adorning her arms with bracelets that fire the “Widow’s Bite” might not be on the average gal’s to-do list, that’s not to say that we wouldn’t mind a little femme fatale attitude in our lives.
Believe it or not, Johansson said slipping into the role of Black Widow –– a world class athlete, gymnast and expert martial artist –– didn’t come easily. Instead, a ton of strength and agility training, and fight choreography were involved, something Johansson said, “you just suck it up and do it.” Well, if the actress in her leaves-little-to-the-imagination costume isn’t proof that hard work pays off, then I don’t know what is!
So how do you channel your inner Black Widow? An Action Hero Babe has to be strong, fast and energetic, and she absolutely has to know how to flex her brain muscles. And, of course, let’s be honest –– an Action Hero Babe has to be hot!
Fired up? Awesome. Here’s how to become a BADASS like Johansson and rock on with yo’ bad (and totally sexy) self.
Step 1: GET STRONG
A huge part of being an Action Hero Babe like Johansson is creating a strong, but not excessively muscular physique. After all, the Black Widow gets her bod by a steady balance of gymnastics, strength moves and even dance training. However, you can replicate the look with a strength routine as easily done at home as it is at the gym.
- Stick Squat –– 20 reps
- Bentover Row –– 15 reps x 8 lbs
- Valslide Sprinter Lunge –– 15 reps each leg
- Dumbbell Chest Press –– 20 reps x 12 lbs
- Valslide Body Saw or Plank Hold –– 15 or 30 seconds
Do the circuit three times.
Start in a standing position holding a dowel overhead with your arms straight and your feet shoulder width apart. Begin lowering your hips down and back like sitting into a chair. Keep your arms straight and abs tight. When your thighs get to parallel, push through your heels and drive yourself back up through your glutes.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, abs tight and knees bent. Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down, and palms facing your legs. Exhale as you bring the dumbbells toward the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Inhale as you lower the weight.
Valslide Sprinter Lunge
Place one foot in the middle of a Valslide. Slide that leg back while bending the stationary foot at 90 degrees. While the leg is sliding back, reach your hands towards the floor. As you power back up by pushing through the stationary foot, raise both arms straight overhead in one motion. Keep your abs tight. Finish all the reps on one side before switching.
Dumbbell Chest Press On Bench
Lie down on your back with your feet up holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. Raise the dumbbells straight up until your elbows are close to being locked and lower them back slowly after a short pause. Exhale when pressing dumbbells up and inhale when lowering them back.
Valslide Body Saw
Get into plank position with your forearms on the floor and a Valslide under each foot. Push back from your forearms, allowing your feet to slide back. Then, return to the starting position by pulling yourself forward with your forearms. Make sure to keep your abs tight and don’t allow your hips to sink.
Get into a plank position as pictured, with your forearms on the ground, keeping your abs tight and your back straight. Hold this position for the specified amount of time.
Step 2: GET SEXY
I’m not talking about putting on a sexy dress and wearing high heels (although that’s fun too). Instead, let’s focus on naked sexy. And I don’t mean you have to get naked. I want you to feel sexy in your skin whether you’re in jeans and a tank top, a fancy dress or your boyfriend’s shirt. The point is a lean, toned body is sexy. The Black Widow actress said in a recent interview that her Avengers’ bod required her to eat a clean diet with “a lot of kale and salmon.” So, how do you get fit like Scarlett? For the lean part, nutrition is key. Here are your basics:
- Ditch the processed carbs and refined carbohydrates (i.e. cookies, crackers, pasta, packaged diet foods, pizza and ice cream).
- Cut out soda and alcohol.
- Have some protein at each meal (salmon, chicken, shrimp, all good choices), but watch the portions. Three to 4 ounces at meals and 1.5 ounces at snack time.
- Eat veggies like kale!, with all of your meals.
- Drink 80-100 ounces of water daily. To create the “tone” follow the Get Strong Workout above.
Step 3: BE FIERCE
Part of what makes the Black Widow so BADASS is her take-no-prisoners attitude. Even in the moments when she’s feeling a little weak, she’s working those brain neurons like their her favorite set of kettlebells. She’s confident, smart and unabashedly willing to take on a challenge. You’ve heard the saying, “Do one thing a day that scares you,” right? Yeah, it’s about time you take on that task. Here’s how to do it:
Try a new class that you haven’t done before. Sure, you love your tried-and-true step aerobics class, but what if you’re harboring a marital arts queen who’s waiting to show off her skills? The point: You won’t know until you step outside of your comfort zone!
Strike up a conversation with someone new. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but remember that the worse thing that’s going to happen is you’ll find out the person just isn’t interested. Not the worst thing ever, right? Put a smile on your face and shake someone’s hand. You just might make a new friend or, better yet, a workout buddy who will help keep you motivated.
Speak up. Go ahead and ask for a discount at a store, or call someone out when you think they have a bad attitude. Just keep calm and do it with a pleasant attitude. I’m betting there’s a gutsy vixen inside of you who’s just waiting to turn on her sexy charm!
Don’t let inside chatter stand in your way. Start being an action taker instead of a passive decision maker. Worried that a friend is mad at you because of something you said during your last conversation? Ask her instead of creating scenarios that might be. Think your boss is peeved about your performance? Address it –– you might find out she has personal problems weighing on her mind that have nothing to do with you.
Check your superhero persona at the door –– sometimes. We don’t live in a fantasy world, and that’s why we need to be able to know when enough is enough. There are days when a 10-minute walk and a few Valslide lunges are all you’re going to be able to squeeze into a hectic schedule. There will be moments when taking a nap is better for your body than taking a swim. That’s OK. But there will also be times (hopefully a lot of these soon) where you feel unstoppable. This is when you want to go throw down. Use your energy when you have it to totally rock your workouts. Part of being a fierce Action Hero Babe is about knowing how to bring balance to your life when everything feels a little off.
These may not seem like rocket science, but switching those neurons from snooze to “Ka-blam!” could be the difference between the everyday you and the one who flexes her FIERCE muscle. But you have to work at it day by day, baby. Because even though, Action Hero Babes, like Scarlett Johansson, are bod role models worth leaning on, this is about YOU. This about YOUR confidence. Because when it comes down to it, you are the superhero for your own life –– no damsels in distress here.