Actor Chris O’Donnell’s Workout Secret Revealed


By Dana Meltzer Zepeda   |  

He may be one of the most in-demand leading men in Hollywood, but Chris O’Donnell works hard to stay in shape for his role as Special Agent Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles. When not on set, the 42-year-old father-of-five can often be found at YogaHop, the Santa Monica studio he’s attended for the past eight years.

“Chris is an athlete and his job is physically and emotionally demanding,” says YogaHop owner Matthew Reyes. “When he steps in our studio he wants two things: to get a fantastic workout and to loosen up.”

YogaHop is up for the challenge. Calling itself the “home of high energy, fun yoga” you won’t find any Sanskrit here. Instead expect booming speakers, hip-hop beats, and mic’d instructors ready to make you sweat.

When O’Donnell is in the house, Reyes blasts a handpicked soundtrack that includes everything from Eminem to Katy Perry to Coldplay. Then he puts his client through the paces with plenty of vinyasas and targeted holds.

“What stands out in [Chris] are his sculpted arms and shoulders,” says Reyes. We asked Reyes to reveal the secrets that got the star looking like, well, a superhero. Try it yourself.

Practice #1:

Starting in Downward-Facing Dog, flow through 3 vinyasas, from Plank to Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog, coming back to hold each Down Dog for 5 deep breaths.

Come into Plank then move into Side-Plank Pose on your right side. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on your left side. Go back to Down Dog for 5 breaths.

Return to Plank then lower into 5 straight push-ups. (You can lower your knees if needed.) Move back to Down Dog and hold for 5 breaths.

Drop to your forearms to come into Dolphin Pose. Hold for 30 seconds then go back to Down Dog for 5 breaths.

Move into Plank then drop into low Plank but holding your body halfway to the ground, squeezing your arms into your ribcage. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Go back to Down Dog for 5 breaths.

Rest in Child’s Pose.

Practice #2:

Vinyasas

Start in Downward-Facing dog then flow from Plank to low Plank to Upward-Facing Dog back to Down Dog. Repeat 30 times. “Repeating these as often as we do ensures everyone is elated with the strength and tone of their shoulders and triceps,” says Reyes.

Side-Arm Balance

Begin in Plank then roll on the side of one foot, balancing on one arm while the other arm lifts to the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat two times.

Push-Ups

Build your chest, shoulders, and triceps with sets of 5 push-ups. “Chris grinds out sets of 10!” says Reyes.

Low Plank Hold

Start in Plank then lower your torso halfway down to the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

Dolphin

Begin in Downward-Facing Dog then drop to your forearms so your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times, pushing back to Down Dog then coming down again into Dolphin. “It seems easy but it’s a muscle burner!” says Reyes.

Playlist:

“Timber” by Pitbull
“Rest Of My Life” by Ludacris
“Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore
” Wake Me Up” by Avicii
” Work Work” by Britney Spears
” We Own It” by 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa
” Bonfire Heart” by James Blunt
” Who You Love” by John Mayer
” 400 Lux” by Lorde