The Captain Marvel star used superhero-level strength to flip upside down for a core and upper-body exercise.
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Brie Larson wears a sequin dress against a yellow background
Credit: Getty Images

Trying new things in the gym can feel a bit intimidating, but Brie Larson is here to remind you just how gratifying it can be. The Captain Marvel star shared a snippet from a recent sweat session, in which she's low-key defying gravity. The star managed to turn a pull-up into an impressive upside-down core and upper-body move.

In the brief Instagram clip, Larson casually walks over to a squat rack, turns around to face the camera, and grabs onto neutral grip handles at the front of the machine with both hands. (Related: Brie Larson Does a 'Workout' Before Her Workout — But It's Not What You Think)

Utilizing strength in her upper body, the Marvel alum lifts her body off the ground in a dead hang before quickly folding her knees into a fully upside-down position with her feet pressed flat against the top of the squat rack.

She extends her legs and feet toward the ceiling, using control to slowly bring her legs straight out in front of her with her elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. She lengthens her arms and legs to return to the starting position with her feet planted on the floor. It all happens in a matter of seconds, and she steps away from the rack simply exhaling "okay," like it was NBD.

Larson's caption is equally nonchalant. The 32-year-old simply wrote, "trying new things…" You know, all in a day's work.

All jokes aside, this move requires serious strength and stability, incorporating elements of hanging leg lifts, hanging knees to chest, and toes-to-bar movements, which work almost every muscle in the upper body and core. She has clearly been hard at work perfecting this multifaceted move, even though it looks like she effortlessly pulls it off in the recent clip.

Make no mistake, Larson works hard in the gym, whether she's training for a role or just trying to boost her strength. After all, this is the same person who mastered heavy Bulgarian split squats, tried archery practice, and completed 100 sit-ups in five minutes. She also once scaled a 14,000-foot mountain. Back in February 2021, she shared that she was training for the Captain Marvel sequel, telling fans and subscribers on YouTube that she was working toward mastering a single-arm pull-up and asking for suggestions on other physical feats to work toward.

If you're not quite at Larson's level, there are plenty of less advanced moves you can try as you work on your own core strength. One solid option is an L-sit: a foundational movement that requires lifting your legs parallel to the floor with both hands on the ground with straight arms, forming an "L" shape with your body.

The L-sit move works your abs, obliques, hip flexors, quads, triceps, shoulders, pecs, and lats, Kari Pearce, creator of the Pearce Power Abs Program, previously told Shape. "L-sits are hard, but if you want to improve your core strength and stability, they are a must," she said. While it's not as high-level as Larson's recent move, keep in mind that it does require a solid core strength base, which you can work up to with more beginner ab workouts.

To take a cue from Larson, add calisthenics-based moves, such as L-sits, to your routine. They can help increase strength, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, and aerobic conditioning, which is beneficial whether you're building up to Larson's hybrid pull-up move or working on the basics. (Ready to give it a try? This calisthenics for beginners workout will help get you there.)