You don’t have to be in the Athlete’s Village to exercise like the Olympians this summer; you can get the same results right in your own gym! Last week we got the chance to chat with trainer Josh Holland, who will be traveling to London as the only American trainer on behalf of TechnoGym, which will be supplying all the Olympic workout facilities with gym equipment.
Though Holland won’t be training individual athletes (as they have their own personal trainers), he’ll be on site showing them how to use the TechnoGym equipment to get the most out of it for their sport. Below, Holland demonstrates three exercises you can do on the Kinesis Personal system. Try these on your own with your gym’s cable cross machine to improve your form in running, swimming and basketball.
More from FITNESS Magazine: Make the Most of the Weight Machines at Your Gym
Ever since Kate Middleton was snapped mid-race with her rowing team last August (which she reportedly did to get in wedding shape), rowing has started to pick up speed on the fitness front. And with gyms stocking up on indoor machines, including Equinox’s new class Shockwave, you don’t have to be near open water to get in a good rowing workout.
Interested in trading in the treadmill a few days and testing this total body cardio instead? Start with these tips from Olympic rower Esther Lofgren, who will be competing in London this summer.
1. To start, sit with your legs extended and relaxed, chest up, shoulders down and core muscles engaged. Draw the handle to your sports bra line. This is the finish position of the rowing stroke. From there, extend your arms and squeeze your bellybutton forward while keeping your chest up so that your shoulders are in front of your hips. Relax your knees and let your butt come up the slide rail towards your feet. When your shins are vertical, make sure your core is high and your shoulders are relaxed. Push off the footplate with your hips, it should feel similar to pushing off a wall in a swimming pool. Once your legs are fully extended, keep the motion going by swinging your body back a few inches as you draw your arms in and pull the handle to your sports bra line. That’s a full rowing stroke. Just remember: On the “drive” (the pull stroke) you use legs, then body, and then arms. On the “recovery” do the opposite–arms, body, then legs.
As the Olympic trials wrap up and athletes prepare for the last month of training, their diets will become more important than ever. To help naturally power Olympians like soccer player Lauren Cheney, track and field star Lashinda Demus and Paralympian cyclist and skier Allison Jones, Chobani has shared its winning breakfast recipe, which was created by the chefs at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers and served in the dining halls.
Read below for the recipe, no medal required to enjoy this tasty morning treat!
Bruléed Banana Waffles (serves 4)
- 2 1/4-cups 0% Vanilla Chobani
- 1/4 cup instant oatmeal
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 bananas, halved and chopped
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
With the London Games less than a month away, we can barely stay in our seats with anticipation. Now imagine what it’s like for an athlete who’s actually competing. We talked to gold medalist Abby Wambach about how she feels in the days leading up to the Games, her training and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
How are you mentally preparing for the Olympics?
It’s an ongoing process; for me it’s been a 30-year process and lifelong dream to represent our country in the Olympics. It’s an honor and even though I’ve been in the Olympics in the past, I still feel like pinching myself. Right now, I’m training my hardest and focusing on the little details to give us the edge.
What’s a typical day of training like for you?
Training varies depending on the schedule of the tournaments and games. My daily routine involves waking up, having a smoothie for breakfast, working out or going to practice with the team, going home and having a sandwich. In the afternoon, I’ll either lift weights or do something regenerative like a cold plunge or a massage.
When you’re not playing soccer, what other fitness activities do you enjoy?
I like all kind of sports: tennis, mountain biking, anything that involves cardio. It’s nice to go for a run without a watch or a heart rate monitor; anything that keeps me active while having fun.
If you were going to put a label on mountain biker Georgia Gould, well rounded would definitely be the term. Between playing the banjo, raising two chickens, tending to her beehive and representing the U.S. in the London Olympics as part of the LUNA Pro Team this summer, she’s got a lot on her plate! To keep her eye on the gold and make sure she can reach her goals, Gould shared with us her five diet, fitness and time saving tips that have helped her along the way. Read on below to see how they’ve helped her make it to the Games.
1. Go hard on your hard days and easy on your easy days. Take recovery as seriously as you take training.
2. Anything is better than nothing. We lead busy lives and often it can seem hard to fit in a workout. Don’t scrap the whole idea of a workout if you are short on time. Instead, head outside for a walk. Again, anything is better than nothing!
3. Chop stuff! Cooking healthy is easy, but it can be time consuming. When you are short on time or tired we tend to grab whatever is fast, not necessarily the healthiest. When you do have some free time, chop up extra veggies and fruit and store them in the fridge so making a healthy stir-fry, pasta sauce or salad will be much easier. Have some nuts on hand too, they are a great snack when you need something quick.
Tomorrow is a big day for U.S. swimmer Janet Evans. The 40-year-old mother of two will come out of retirement after 15 years and try to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. We caught up with Evans before the trials to talk about her training thus far and most importantly, why she’s hopping back up on the starting block again.
Why have you decided to get back in the pool after all these years off from competitive swimming?
I decided to retire after the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. At that time I was 24, I had done everything I thought I wanted to do and I was ready for something new. I took time to travel the world, get married, have two beautiful children and enjoy my family. But a few years ago, I realized that I had put swimming on the back burner, and because it is a part of who I am, I wanted to bring it back to do something for myself. My family is everything to me, but I think it’s important for all moms to follow their passions, and I’m lucky enough to have a family that supports me in doing so.
What have you missed the most about competing?
I really missed the team camaraderie, and the passion and the thrill of the competition. It was such a big part of my life and personality when I was growing up, and I enjoyed being around people who shared that similar passion.
Anything you missed the least?
The lack of sleep! It wasn’t bad in my 20s when I could come home after practice and head to bed, but now I want to hang out with my family, make dinner and help the kids with their homework. I love it all and I love being busy, but I am definitely sleepy most of the time!
The gymnastics career you saw flourish on the bars, beam, vault and floor at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games began at the tender age of three for Dominique Moceanu. As part of the “Magnificent Seven” she took home gold and inspired countless young gymnasts around the world.
One of the girls who idolized Moceanu, Jennifer Bricker, had much more in common with the medal-winning athlete than she could have ever dreamed. The two were in fact sisters—Bricker had been given up for adoption at birth after being born without legs. Despite growing up in separate households, both participated in and loved gymnastics. The pair reunited in 2007 after Bricker found legal documents and shared them with Moceanu (who confronted her parents for the truth).
Now, Moceanu is sharing details about this experience, her time training as an all-star gymnast and more in her new memoir, Off Balance. We sat down with her while she was in town with the sister she was raised with, Christina, to learn about her new book and who she thinks will strongly represent the U.S. in gymnastics at the London Olympics.
We can’t wait to ask: Which athletes do you think will lead the way in London next month?
Team USA won the last world championship, so the gold is theirs to lose. There have been a lot of individual stars in recent years, but now they have a strong team and new coaches. Jordyn Wieber is solid mentally and a tough competitor. Gabrielle Douglas is a shining star, who is coached by [Liang] Chow, Shawn Johnson’s coach. Alicia Sacramone is a friend of mine, so I’ll be watching in the wings and cheering her on. We’ll see if Nastia Liukin can make the team as a specialist in bars and beam. At this point, it’s all about staying healthy.
Here at FITNESS, we’re all about empowering women to embrace their strength and have a kick butt attitude. And while much of that comes from a healthy lifestyle, our foundation was built with the help of our parents. So in celebration of Father’s Day this weekend, we got some advice from father and gold medal Paralympian Casey Tibbs, who is the first active-military member to compete in a Paralympic Games after losing most of his right leg in a motorcycle accident. He’s now gearing up for the London Olympics this summer, but got the chance to tell us what his father and grandfather taught him, and what he hopes to pass on to his kids.
In the spirit of Father’s Day this weekend, what is some advice from your father and grandfather that has helped you in your racing career and life?
Growing up, my grandfather used to always tell me a story of a coyote chasing a jackrabbit. The only thing the coyote could eat to live was the rabbit. So whenever times get tough for me, my grandfather would say, “Never quit chasing the rabbit.” This advice has been a huge inspiration to me throughout my life; it has helped me get through the hardships of my accident and pushed me to become an accomplished Paralympian, naval officer and father.
Now being a father yourself, what are three pieces of advice you want your kids to carry with them?
I always want them to know that no matter what you do in life you should always strive to be the best at it. Second, I want them to always do the right thing, even if it’s hard. Last, I want them to get as much education as they can so they can do what they love.
This week I got the chance to grab some breakfast with the ladies of the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Team. In addition to getting the ins and outs of the sport I learned that two of the team’s swimmers, Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva will be representing the team in London this summer, competing in the duet event and sponsored by Infusium 23. Below, a look into how the team gets ready to compete. (Hint: It includes lots of eating!)
- The girls work out eight hours a day, six days a week and mostly in the water. When they’re not practicing their routine, they’re lifting weights to stay toned and strong. Boosters (the girls who launch a teammate, known as the flier into the air) do lots of squats to power up their legs.
- A synchronized swimming routine is typically between three to five minutes, and the moves and even positions of the swimmers are always changing. If a routine is done in competition and a judge makes a comment about a position or move, it gets replaced and new moves and angles have to be learned.
- During the routine, swimmers are holding their breath 50 percent of the time. To train for this, they often do underwater laps during practice to exercise their lungs.
- Things can get rough in the water! The girls have all experienced sprained toes from being kicked, bruises and even concussions–ouch!
- To keep their bodies fueled the girls stick to a low-carb, high protein diet. Since they work out for so long, an assistant brings them meals in Tupperware to the side of the pool to eat while practicing. Sounds like a dream come true, but the girls say eating while you work out is actually not all that appetizing!
Killman and Koroleva will be off to London for the Opening Ceremony, and then will spend a week in Dublin training before competition starts August 5. For more information on them and the rest of the team visit usasynchro.org.
Eight years ago Samantha Clayton was lacing up her track spikes during her final preparations for the Sydney Olympic Games. Four kids, multiple careers and countless personal training clients later, she is helping you get fitter than ever with her BeFit in 90 program.
“I decided to hang up my racing shoes after I had my son, since I didn’t want to travel so much with him. My hairdresser asked me to teach her what I knew about fitness in exchange for free haircuts,” Clayton says. Realizing that she had a strong knowledge base in fitness already, Clayton made it official by getting certified as a trainer and her following quickly grew. Soon, she was hosting workout DVDs and helping “clients” across the globe.
Her latest project is the free, YouTube-based BeFit in 90 program, which Clayton describes as “a match made in heaven with my athletic background.” You won’t need to bring too much coordination or any dance skills, but will need a towel. “The Fat-Burning Cardio Workout is my personal favorite since it requires no equipment and includes track moves like lateral jumps and high knees,” Clayton says. “But the most fun thing about the program is that there is so much variety so you shock your body and never get bored.”
Today, Clayton is keeping her own routine from getting stale by gearing for her first triathlon. “All of my running before was very sprint-based and I never ran more than a lap [quarter mile] at a time before I started training for this race. I did my first 10-mile run a few weeks ago and I thought I was going to die for the next three or four days! It’s all about building up endurance slowly,” Clayton says.
So with the Olympics coming up on her home turf in London, who does Clayton (who is also a coach for the women’s track team at Pepperdine University) expect to make waves? Record breaker Usain Bolt, her friend Joice Maduaka and American sprinter Alyson Felix.