Feb. 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM ET
Figure skater Gracie Gold is looking to make her last name prophetic with a win in Sochi, adding another medal to the display case that sits in the room she shares with her sister. And to do that, the 18-year-old needs to practice on the ice for hours a day, all while maintaining great posture.
Gold told TODAY.com that she puts a lot of energy into strengthening her core. Here, she shares a few moves, and discusses her overall workout and diet routine.
Core rotations: Three sets of 10
"This is a variation on a core rotation; it works the obliques and it’s really important not to use your upper body or your hips – isolate the obliques," Gracie explained. "Keep your shoulders and hips straight. I usually focus on my right side, because as skaters we always rotate to the left."
Plank rotations: Three sets of 10
"Put your elbow on the Bosu ball, and small weight in your other hand and rotate in. It's important to have good posture and to twist all the way in without moving your hips or your feet, stabilizing your obliques. I usually do three sets of 10 on each side, or before a competition, two sets of eight."
Pikes or pull-ins: As many as you can!
"Grab an exercise ball. Start in a push-up position. The hardest variation is to pike up using your abs and really suck in your belly button to the ceiling. The easier version is to pull your knees into your belly button. It’s a really great core workout."
Typical workout routine:
"A lot of the off-ice is actually spent sort of as a recovery process. Because the closer we get to a competition, the more and more you do on-ice. So if you’re already on the ice three to four hours, you get enough cardio doing your run-throughs. But I sometimes do the elliptical or bike. We just try to do recovery, really focusing on the torso and the lower legs. It’s really important to have strong calves, strong feet and strong ankles
Most hated workout:
We do a little like hip activation series with an ankle weight on — you’re lying on your side and you have to do hip circles. And you really have to isolate your hip, which is really hard because it’s tedious. You have to do 10 one way, 10 the other, and 10 in front and back and then you have to do these bicycles.
Go-to workout song:
Recently I’ve started my workouts with “Pompeii” by Bastille. It’s a nice pump-up song.
I’m really all about clean eating, lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s great, because in California, there are so many farmers markets, so I always have plenty of fresh produce. I always start my breakfast out with oatmeal, because it’s full of vitamin D, it’s a great carb and you can get like some fun flavors in there. I either have overnight oats, which I make the night before and I just mix it with some Greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage and some fruits. Or have it in the morning hot with cinnamon and honey.
I’m trying to focus on carbs, I eat brown rice, but I’m not a huge bread eater and I’m not crazy about dairy. I usually have soy or almond milk. And of course, sugar and fatty foods, you can’t really have leading up to the Olympics.