Train Like an Olympian

One thing that Olympians all have in common when they are training and that is a goal.  Olympic athletes are looking to be the best at the sport that have chosen to compete in.  So if you are going to train like an Olympian, pick a goal.  Your goal may be something like achieving a handstand or run in a road race.  Regardless of the goal once it is set you have something to work for.

Here are a few exercises from gymnastic training that will be sure to improve your strength, balance and agility.

Hollow Body Hold


Set Up: Lie on the floor in a supine position, legs extended long and together, with arms overhead.

Action: Contract the abdominals and imprint the back into the floor.  Raise the legs, head, shoulder blades and arms off the ground.  Elevate the shoulder blades as high as possible off the floor while keeping the legs lifted and the abdominals drawn in and up.  To additionally protect the back, slightly tuck the pelvis. The body should be in a crescent shape.

Hold this position for 30 seconds.


Arch Body Hold


Set Up: Lie on the floor in a prone position, legs extended long at hip width apart; arms overhead, or placed lightly on the back of the head with elbows wide.

Action: Contract the abdominals.  Think of pulling the belly button up into the spine.  Squeeze the glutes and connect the shoulder blades drawing them back, down and together.  Raise the legs, ribcage and arms off the ground.

Hold this position for 30 seconds.

*Alternate between the Hollow Body Hold & Arch Body Hold – 4 times with 30 second hold intervals.


Down and Out with a Jump Twist (Burpee with a Twist)

Set Up: Standing legs together, arms overhead.

Action: Lower into a squat position and place the hands on the floor in front of the feet.  Jump both feet back into a plank position. Jump both feet back into the hands, jump up and half twist.

Repeat this alternating the direction of the half twist.  *Challenge with a full twist.


Hop to Handstand

Set Up:  Forward fold with hands on the ground.  Knees may be softened.  Step both feet back to an inverted V position.

Action: Bend the knees and jump floating the feet off the floor and landing softly.

Repeat this for 30 seconds.




Wall Handstand with Shoulder Tap Challenge



Set Up: Walk the feet up a wall to a handstand position.  Bellybutton facing the wall.

Action:  Hold the handstand.  For a challenge shift the weight to the right shoulder and arm while tapping the left hand to the left shoulder.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Either hold the handstand or shoulder tap for 30 seconds.