As you're glued to the TV watching the impressive feats of Olympic athletes who are in peak physical shape, do you ever wonder what a workout looks like for an athlete at the top of their game?
You may think that their workouts consist of a lot of fancy movements, but one Olympic trainer said it’s quite the opposite.
“Depending on the sport, most Olympic athletes require high force production in their movements. Many start with a 'track style' workout in their programming with built in rhythmic drills, plyometrics, and speed development,” said Mat Kite, a weightlifting performance coach and director of education at D1 Training.
Kite is currently training former MLB player Ian Kinsler who is competing on the Israeli baseball team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He has also trained with Olympic athletes Mike Rodgers, Natasha Hastings and Carlin Isles during their off seasons.
“You can often find these world-class Olympic athletes still coming back to the basics, building off a great foundation of movement quality, and doing the simple things well,” he said. But, he added, simple doesn’t mean easy. In fact, you’ll be surprised how intense some of these foundational moves are.
Kite put together this sample workout so we can all channel our inner athlete and get a taste of what an Olympic training workout looks like. Each circuit focuses on a specific training area: performance, strength and core conditioning. Head outdoors and give one of these circuits a try — or string them all together for one serious workout.
Many of these exercises are high impact, so avoid them if you have joint issues, and always check with your doctor before trying a new workout routine.
Athletes prepare their body for an intense workout with warm-up routines like this. You can either perform it for reps or for time, said Kite. Spend about 30 seconds total per exercise, or perform 5-10 reps.
Plank walk up: 10 reps
Single leg glute bridge: 10 reps each side
Leg knee hugs: 10 reps each side
Dead bugs: 5 reps each side
Reverse Inchworm: 5 reps
Supine straight leg raises with bent knee: 10 reps each side
External hip rotations: 10 reps each side
World’s greatest stretch: 5 reps each side
Quad walk and hip stretch: 2x10 each
High knees stationary: 2x:15 seconds
Monster walk straight leg raises: 10 each side
These cardio drills focus on agility and speed. Perform each of these moves twice, for a 20-yard distance each time.
Pogos knee drive traveling
Carioca knee drive
Lateral A skips
Straight leg skips
These moves build strength while also challenging your balance and coordination.
Narrow squat: 2 sets of 12
Dumbbell power clean: 2 sets of 8
Depth drop: 2 sets of 5
Box step up knee drive: 2 sets of 10
Core and conditioning
Fire up your core with these exercises.