Feb. 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM ET
It’s been nearly 16 years since figure skater Tara Lipinski won gold in ladies’ singles at just 15 years old, but the NBC Sports Olympics correspondent still works ridiculously hard to keep her lean figure. Here, she tells TODAY.com about her workout routine and shares her moves for strong calves and hips – a must for skaters. And good news: Turns out you can eat bagels and still have a flat belly!
For calves: A variation on the plié. "It’s very close to the ballet move. Spread your feet spread apart with your hips underneath you, engaging the core, and then bend your knees and try to stay as low as possible, so you really engages the calf muscle. Then, so the same motion with your feet in fourth position."
For hips: A variation on the hip extension. "I do hip extensions, but based toward a skater’s needs. You can open up the hip and target a different area — not just your glutes — sort of the side of your, very similar to when you see the skaters do spirals.
Hold onto a chair and make sure the leg you’re standing on is slightly bent. And then the first variation is keeping your hips extremely straight, your foot flexed, and then just lifting, and you should feel your glutes start working and hurting.
And then if you want to switch it to more of the skater extension, you open up your hip, point your toe and you’ll feel it more in your hip area."
Plies: Three sets of 10 or 20 – go until you start to feel muscle fatigue
Hip extensions: Three sets of 30
Typical workout routine:
"I love taking spin class, and I also do bootcamp and then a lot of this ballet bar work. I love Exhale, so I take classes there. I’m always in there and it’s the one thing that’s really changed my body since skating. It’s really hard. I have a skater’s body and you always try to find different exercises, cardio and running etc., to keep your body in that same shape. And this is the most similar that I’ve found to skating and using the same muscle groups. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll do two days of spin or other cardio and three days of Exhale a week."
Most hated workout:
"I did a lot of work with the exercise ball to strengthen my core. And that’s important for anyone doing a rigorous sport like skating – you need to keep your core strong to protect your back from injuries. I didn’t necessarily hate it, but it was tedious. it was just another thing added to the day."
Tips on getting motivated:
"It’s just getting past that first day. If you haven’t worked out for a while, you can just get so stuck in that routine and that rut of not doing it, and then it seems like there’s so much ahead of you. But after the first day, your body starts to feel a little sore and you feel like you’re changing."
“I try to eat healthy, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth. So I definitely eat probably more chocolate than I should, but I try to balance it out. I don’t really stick to a diet. If I’m working out a lot, I feel that I have the ability to sort of indulge here and there.”
And wait for the shock of your life: Tara says that bagels, which are but a dream for most body-conscious people, are a regular part of her diet.
“When I was training I tried some more protein-based diets and it just didn’t work for me. I think everyone’s body is so different. And I grew up on carbs — pasta, rice, bread — and would eat that before I would compete. I’m not going to eat like four bagels a day, but I eat one with butter. And sometimes I scoop out the center.”
In addition, Tara says she makes sure to include lots of veggies in her meals (she’s on a Brussels sprouts kick right now) and says for protein, she prefers a simple pan-roasted salmon or sushi.