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Yaktraction

Moved by the Olympics

Posted by Clara on Thursday, August 16, 2012

While we love our winter sports and the US Ski Team/US Snowboard that make it rain medals, The XXX Summer Olympics has grabbed our attention for the past few weeks. The games always seem to be well-timed in the season to capitalize on the combination of your desire to enjoy outdoor sports and activities with your want to stay out of the heat to do them yourself.

The United States won 104 medals, 46 of them gold, putting us at the top of the medal count (GO USA) – or Grenada, if you look at it per capita (Go Granada!).

What did we take away from the Olympics? I, for one, was left thinking I should be in better shape. Not that I should be as fit as an Olympic athlete (simply watching water polo was exhausting) –but it makes you rethink how hard you could push yourself to reach your goals. If they can pull off those stunts with relative ease, my body is clearly capable of doing more than it is. So, we’ve added a few Olympics-inspired exercises to some daily routines:

Negative splits

Incorporating negative splits, or the practice of running faster during the second half of your run, into your workout can improve both endurance and speed. Running at a slower pace in the beginning gives your muscles and joints more time to warm up, and running faster in the end gives you a greater sense of endurance. Plus, it makes the wine feel more deserved once you’re done.

Kerri Walsh Jennings’ total-body tone up

I came across this jewel for sculpting my abs and glutes – a workout from three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings. After three sets of 10 reps for each move, you’ll understand why she has so much more jump than you.

Swimming

If you haven’t tried swimming as a workout before, don’t be fooled. You’re still going to sweat…a lot. Swimming is a great workout for your arms, legs and core. Always remember to warm up first and then divide your workout into sets of laps for each stroke. If you get bored with laps, there are lots of other swimming options for you to try. Fitness Magazine provides great pool routines for every level of swimmer

Work Out Like an Olympian

If exercise classes are your thing, there are tons of options for Olympic-type workouts. Vanity Fair’s Michael Carl shares how he made his own Olympics in New York via classes “competing” in everything from boxing to synchronized swimming.

If the Olympics inspired you to get moving, there’s one thing to remember – start slowly. Jumping into an exercise program without being ready will set you up for injury, not to mention you may quickly lose the motivation to keep it going. If you’re starting from the beginning, build a solid foundation – here are some steps and tips to get you on the right track.

Even if I don’t perform like an Olympian, I’m still going to feel like one. Have any workouts or tips you’d like to share?

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