Netflix is an amazing resource for entertainment, but it also includes a wealth of films that educate and inspire. From inspirational documentaries to a reality series following pro trainer Jackie Warner, Netflix offers thousands of hours of streamable video, fictional and not, poised to motivate.
Below are 6 movies that will get you up and moving, even if you’re stuck in another 2014 winter storm.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, and Joel Edgerton
Ultra-buff brothers Hardy and Edgerton are fighters who, after the former arrives home from military service, wind up battling for the biggest purse in MMA history. Hardy is trained by father Nolte, further alienating him from his brother, who has his own problems financially supporting his family.
But oh the six packs! This great movie will get you up and pumping iron in 141 minutes flat. (Yes, it’s a little long, but the epic final battle is worth the wait.)
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty
This true-life story shows an exemplary athlete – boxer Jake LaMotta, played by DeNiro – in amazing, cut shape… and then demonstrates what happens when one STOPS working out. DeNiro gained 60 pounds to play the brawler in his later years.
Of course, the very personality that made LaMotta a relentless competitor created major problems in his personal life. The movie is a great reminder of how important it is to prevent your fitness goals from becoming an obsession.
Starring: William Gates and Arthur Agee
This revelatory documentary follows a pair of Chicago teens as they struggle to reach college with an eye on the pros. Their gumption and willingness to stick through the tough times, surmounting seemingly impossible odds, is a testament to the resilience of athletes.
Use their story to inspire your own fitness dreams.
Starring: Dick Beardsley, Ryan Bradley, and Leah Caille
This documentary follows six runners from various backgrounds as they train for the challenging Chicago marathon. You’ll be impressed with their commitment and positivity, despite long odds and numerous set-backs. With an average rating of 4 stars, this is the movie to watch if you’re a runner.
Starring: Sean Faris and Amber Heard
Another movie set in the world of MMA, “Never Back Down” revolves around a recently transplanted high schooler (Faris) who is forced to improve his defensive skills to stand up to the school bully (played by Cam Gigandet). Trained by Djimon Hounsou, a former MMA champ, Faris gets in fighting shape and reluctantly competes against his foe. Does he succeed?
Note: If you love it, there’s a sequel.
Starring: Who do you think?
Unfortunately Vonn won’t be competing in this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics – an untimely injury sidelined her from repeating her 2010 gold medal effort. But to satisfy your Vonn fix, Netflix offers this documentary of her path to the Vancouver games, showcasing the charismatic downhill skier’s passion and talent.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user ToastyKen.)