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Keri Russell gets in fighting shape

  • 660_WomensHealth_KerriRussell.jpg

     (Patric Shaw)

  • Reuters_KerriRussell.jpg

     (Reuters)

In order to play a tough KGB agent on the FX series The Americans, Keri Russell worked out with Avital Zeisler, a Krav Maga instructor who moonlights as a hand-to-hand combat consultant. 

"Working out [this way] makes you feel fierce," says Keri. "I tend to be very internal—getting on the subway and keeping my eyes down. But I would leave those workouts looking people in the eye, like, ''Sup," she says with bravado. 

For each of Zeisler's moves, do three sets of 12 reps.

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1. Striking Squats
Get into a squat with your elbows bent, hands open at cheekbone level, and palms facing in. As you stand up from the squat, strike with your left hand and then immediately strike with your right. Return to start. That's one rep.

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2. Elbow Striking Abs
Do one crunch, with your elbows bent and hands on either side of your face, palms facing in. At the top of the move, bring your left forearm out and across your body until your left elbow is slightly past the center line of your chin. Return to start. That's one rep. Repeat with your right arm.

3. Lunging Defensive Knees
With your hands raised to cheekbone level, lunge back with your right leg until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Shift your weight forward as you bring your right leg forward, leading with your knee. Return to start. That's one rep. Repeat with your left leg.

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4. Self-Defense Pushup
Do a pushup, then lower your body so you're lying on your stomach. Roll over, and in one movement, bend your knees, lift your hips, and kick your left leg in front of you, leading with your heel. Return to start. That's one rep. Switch sides and repeat.

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5. 360 Kick
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands at cheekbone level, palms facing in. Leading with the heel, kick your right leg to the front, then side, then back (touch your foot to the floor between kicks). Return to start and do a jumping jack. That's one rep. Repeat with your left leg.

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