Fitness Secrets of Our Fave Olympians
Posted by Katie Ostoich on July 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM
There’s no denying it – our Olympic athletes look good. They put in hours at the gym or on the track or on the field to be able to preform the way they do. While most of us are not professional athletes and don’t work out for a living, these amazing women can be healthy role models. Unlike actresses or models who lose weight for roles or to stay popular or whatever, these women eat and workout to stay healthy and be their strongest selves, a goal we should all adopt! While I as doing some browsing a few days ago, I came across these two articles, written by two of my very favorite fit-girl role models, soccer player Alex Morgan and beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. Both of these women are super busy and they give great tips on how to stay active and tone up like they do!
Alex Morgan shares that while she’s worked out all her life, with grueling hours indoors — a prerequisite for an Olympic hopeful, when the weather outside is wonderful, she sort of dreads any time spent in a stuffy gym. Instead, she likes to gather the family and invite your friends to join you outdoors for a calorie-blasting good time. These activities make it easy to enjoy the season — and still lose weight, stay motivated, and build muscles — so you can look your best in the height of bathing suit season and still enjoy your favorite summertime treats and picnics.
Put your mind into a "competitive" mode and show off your speed, strength, and tenacity by working out in the sunshine each day. Here are some of her great tips to keep you in shape outdoors much in the same way you work out at a gym:
1. Swim to Keep Trim: Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the cardiovascular system. Do 20-30 minutes of laps in a pool, lake, or ocean. Swimming strengthens your chest, back, arms, abs, legs, and shoulders. Talk about a total-body workout!
2. Life's a Beach: Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn't have on a treadmill or on asphalt. You can do it barefooted and you'll feel a great workout in your feet, shins, and calves, and beach walking is great for ankle stability.
3. Beach Buddy: You can create a great strength workout with just you and a beach towel. Alternate walking, jogging, and sprinting to work the lower body and get the heart rate elevated. The beach can be so tranquil and yet so energizing. Start out by walking, and all of a sudden you get the energy from the earth and you start to jog a little. To maximize the experience, do walking lunges or stationary lunges the length of your beach towel. Work the upper body with pushups and reverse planks and the abdominals with crunches on the towel.
4. Peace of Mind: The peaceful mood of the ocean's edge is a great time to stretch as well. Finish with some stretching, deep breathing, and meditation. Take time to close your eyes and feel the ocean mist and smell the salty air.
5. Pedal off the pounds: Power up each hill on a bike to help tighten and tone your legs, hips, and butt.
6. Finally, make it social! Bring your friends along for a weekly workout challenge. And for a little inspiration from the Olympic Games, download the GE HealthyShare Facebook app and carve out your own Olympian workout!
And if you simply need to gym to keep you motivated (some of us do need the feeling of routine), we found Lolo Jones' amazing ab workout (here) and Kerri Walsh shares some of her favorite toning moves that work for everyone. Try these moves to get your own gold-medal body:
Single-Leg Dead Lifts
Deadlifts are challenging enough on both legs...doing them on one leg will really challenge your balance as well as add intensity to the working leg.
Stand holding weights in front of thighs and place left leg out behind you with the toe lightly touching the floor (or lift it completely off the floor for more of a challenge). Keeping the shoulders back, abs in and the back straight, tip from the hips and lower the weights towards the floor.
Lower as far as your flexibility allows. You can bend the knee slightly if you need to. Push into the heel to go back to starting position. Do 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps.
Side planks not only kill your core, they seriously challenge your shoulders too, building all over strength.
Start by lying on your side, legs straight, feet stacked. You can either straighten bottom arm or stabilize with your elbow (as shown), keeping it in line below shoulder, and place free hand on your hip. Flex feet and balance on sides of feet (feet are stacked).
Use abs to keep hips lifted. Don't allow hips to drop to the ground and be sure to keep breathing steady. Hold for 30 seconds. Work up to 1-3 minutes.
Trunk Rotations with Medicine Ball
Looking to trim your waist? This ab move is no joke.
Sit balanced on the floor with feet in air level with knees holding Medicine ball in front of you. Twist side to side bouncing the ball on floor for desired number of reps. Pull belly in tight to keep abs switched on and support back. You can make this more challenging by slightly extending your legs and leaning back in between each rotation – this adds a mini crunch to every rep. Ouch!