Every two years you enjoy a couple weeks of constant Olympic events that consist of one hard body after the next. Ever wonder what they do to get those incredible back muscles, washboard abs, and solid legs? In honor of the Olympics I’ve gathered together exercises you can do to get that Olympic hard body I know you want.
Swimmers Back and Shoulders
Want back and shoulder muscles like Michael Phelps? Ok, you may not have the genetics for the broad shoulders he’s got but here is how you can get the next best thing. Dumb bells will be your best friend for sculpting your shoulders and back. Overhead presses are a great way to work the muscles in the shoulder. Overhead presses work the major muscles of the shoulder, with a focus on the middle deltoid and tricep. To do a basic overhead press, stand or sit holding weights with elbows bent and hands at eye level. Push weight overhead without arching the back and lower back to start. Do 2 to 3 sets of 12-16 repetitions, with a 20-30 second rest between sets.
Being a gymnast take a lot of balance, and good balance comes from a strong core. Lets talk planks and v-sits. Working your abdominals can be done throughout your entire workout. Keeping your core tight during other weight training exercises will work to strengthen the abs. Don’t spend all your time doing tons of crunches. To get visible results try doing planks on your forearms and v-sits. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
If you’ve ever seen an avid runner or sprinter, they always have nice toned legs. Besides the obvious of developing a regular running routine to sculpt your legs, there are other exercises that are a great way to strengthen your legs to make your running better and legs leaner. Lunges and squats are the greatest way to get lean legs. Add these moves to your workout.
Wide-Leg Squats: Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees and slowly lower your butt until your thighs are nearly horizontal to floor (don’t let your knees move forward beyond your toes). Slowly press back up to a standing position. Do three sets of 10 to 15.
Lunges: Lunges train both your hamstrings and glutes. Stand with your feet together and lunge forward with your left foot, bending your leg so it is at a 90-degree angle with your knee positioned directly above your ankle. To avoid knee injury, don’t extend your knee any farther than this. Keep your right leg straight. Push back off the heel of your left foot until you are in a standing position. Once your left leg is fatigued, repeat with your right leg.
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