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Want to train like an Olympian? 3 Beijing-bound athletes share their favorite exercises

Get a taste of what it’s like to train like an Olympian with these six exercises handpicked by athletes competing in the winter games.
Mike Schultz, Maame Biney and Mike McMorris
Beijing-bound athletes Mike Schultz, Maame Biney and Mark McMorris. Tempo

Watching the athletes at the Olympic winter games dominating snow and ice as they fly through the air at impressive heights and speeds may leave you wondering: How do you train for such athletic feats?

A few of the athletes going for gold in Beijing this year gave a glimpse into their training regimen, teaming up with smart home gym Tempo for the Tempo Winter Games, a series of six on-demand classes offered on the platform.

Mike Schultz, Maame Biney and Mark McMorris each released two classes inspired by their sport focused on building strength and endurance through full-body resistance training, HIIT and core work. Curious which exercises they include in their training plans?

Here are a few of their favorite moves that you can incorporate into your own routine to get a little taste of what it’s like to train like an Olympian. Strung together, they make for a quick workout curated by some of the world’s most elite athletes — perfect to squeeze in during commercial breaks! 

Mark McMorris: Snowboarder for Team Canada

Powerful legs and core are essential for big jumps, and the goblet squat and forearm side plank with a crunch are a perfect way to strengthen both.

Mark McMorris Goblet Squat

Dumbbell goblet squat

Stand with your feet wider than the hips with your toes facing slightly outward. Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest. Squeeze your abs and look forward as you push your hips backward and bend your knees. Remember to keep your back straight as you continue to lower your butt until your hips are below your knees. Push down through the heels to stand back up.

Mark McMorris Plank side crunch

Forearm side plank with crunch

Lie on your right side propped up on your right forearm with your feet stacked. Place your left hand behind your head. From this position, crunch your left elbow toward your left hip, feeling the crunch in the left oblique. For more of a challenge, push up into a side plank, balancing on your right forearm and the edge of your right foot. Pull your left knee in toward your chest. Repeat and then switch sides.

Maame Biney, Short Track Speed Skater for Team USA

It takes powerful legs and a strong core to speed around a corner at 30+ mph, bent over, balancing on one skate. Mountain climbers strengthen the core and lateral lunges mimic the skating movement and strengthen both the prime movers of the legs (glutes, hamstrings and quads) and the muscles that move us laterally (like the IT band). 

Maame Biney mountain climbers

Mountain climbers

Begin in plank position, keeping your back straight, your hips low and your core engaged. Bring your right knee under your chest toward your right elbow. Return your right leg back to plank position and bring your left leg under your chest toward your left elbow. Repeat while alternating your legs, keeping a steady pace.

Maame Biney goblet lunge

Goblet lateral lunge

Start standing with your feet hips-width apart. Hold a dumbbell under your chin with both hands. Step out to the right, hinging at the hips and sitting down and back until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle. Engage your core to keep your chest and head forward and keep your left leg straight. Push off your right leg to return to center. Repeat on the left side. Continue alternating.

Mike Schultz, Paralympic Snowboarder for Team USA

Snowboarding is all about quick maneuvering and big air. To make that happen you need strong legs, particularly the glutes, and the ability to “explode”, moving power from the legs, through the core, to the upper body. Deadlifts are a perfect exercise to attack the glutes and push presses translate that lower-body strength into explosive power

MikeSchultz Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlift

Single leg dumbbell deadlift

Start standing with feet hips-width apart holding one dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at the hips and lower the weights toward the floor, kicking your right leg up and back behind you. Use your left glute and hamstring to pull your torso back upright and return to standing. Perform for 10-12 reps then switch sides, kicking the left leg up and back behind you as you lower the weights toward the ground.

Mike Schultz Dumbbell push press

Dumbbell push press

Start standing with feet slightly wider than hips-distance holding one dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells up to shoulder height with elbows bent. Sit down and back into a half squat. As you return to standing, use the momentum from your legs to push the dumbbells straight up overhead. As you sit back down into a half squat, lower the weights back down to shoulder height. Repeat.