Win at Everything: Olympians' Top Success Secrets
More Ways to Win
Keep your goals on the brain.
Even though your resolution may involve stepping on a scale instead of standing on a podium, you could still use some Olympic-size willpower to get you there. Post your goal where you can see it daily -- on your fridge, in your calendar, on your smartphone's screen saver. "I have 'Always be faster than the boys' written on my helmet," says teen phenom slalom skier Mikaela Shiffrin. "It reminds me that I'm trying to be the best in the world."
Soothe post-workout stiffness.
An afternoon of skiing or your CrossFit WOD will fry your thighs. How do star Olympians rescue their muscles so they can hit the slopes day after day? "I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes, and then I stretch and foam-roll," slope-style freeskier Grete Eliassen says. Check out fitnessmagazine.com/roll for key roller moves that your achy legs will love.
Find your killer focus.
Freeskiing is a new sport in the Olympics this year, and that means more pressure on the athletes to wow us. Lose the pre-race or other performance anxiety as freeskier Angeli VanLaanen does before her go on the half-pipe. "I do a lot of self-affirmations: I am strong, I am capable, I got this," she says. "I also try to think of something I'm grateful for, because that really wipes out any nerves."
Give your legs a workout edge.
Hockey player Hilary Knight, a forward on the women's U.S. Olympic team, is a fan of wearing compression tights -- ones with special squeeze-you-in fabric that helps your circulation. Knight puts them on post-workout as her "recovery pants" ("It's like a reset button for your legs!"); they're also a nice performance booster to use while running. Try CW-X Pro tights ($110, backcountry.com).
Skate all winter without a wipeout.
We asked speed skater Emily Scott for the training secret to staying rock steady on the ice. "Squats," the short-track star says, plus a strong core. Try one-legged squats, resting one foot behind you on a bench, to mimic the demands of perching on one blade, and incorporate her timed abs circuit into your routine: "I'll do 50 seconds each of windshield wipers [lying faceup, lift legs 90 degrees and sweep them together from side to side], planks and side planks with 10 seconds of rest in between."
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