As, hopefully, everyone is aware, tonight are the opening ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. This marks the beginning of a 16-day long exposition of athleticism, tremendous skill, and the culmination of years (maybe even decades for some athletes) of hard work and training. But, even if some of us weren’t fortunate enough to make it to the games as one of the competing athletes, there can still be some positive takeaways that we as the casual observer can get from viewing the games. And, as we always like to point out, this can translate into fun possibilities for ourselves inside the gym!
As we take in the incredible feats that these athletes will achieve, we can make a fun game out of trying to figure out what it took for those men and women to get to that level of performance. Furthermore we can even use their performance as inspiration to add new and different exercises to spice up our own workouts.
For instance, take hockey; a sport of finesse passing, accurate shooting, but also, powerful acceleration. Undoubtedly, these players spent time in the weight room developing their speed and power by doing power cleans! Don’t know how to do a power clean correctly? Try a simple kettlebell swing to work the same muscles (ie, glutes, hamstrings).
Here’s another example. Take skiing. Chances are these athletes did a lot to practice their balance. So, what are some exercises that we can do to challenge our balance? Perhaps and 1-leg Romanian deadlift; or even a pistol squat!
The point is to try and breakdown the movements that we see on tv, and then think about what exercises could we do to either mimic those movements, or work the muscles that are in charge of executing those movements! The possibilities are endless-the key is to have fun with it!
Enjoy the games everyone, and above all, GO USA!!
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Joe Gernetzke CSCS