Get fit with Lindsey Vonn's 8 best exercises
© Joey Terrill / Red Bull Content Pool
Train like a pro with the alpine skiing star – we've the most efficient routines that you can do, too!
Being fit makes skiing on slopes and in the backcountry not only much safer, but also more fun. With the right preparation you can actually enjoy the days in the snow and not bother with sore muscles. Olympic champion and four times Overall FIS Alpine World Cup winner Lindsey Vonn knows how to keep herself fit. Here we show you eight exercises that are an integral part of her training program. Everything can be done at home and without complicated equipment.
Before you start, it's best to warm-up. Five to seven minutes should be enough to get you going und prepare your muscles for the exercises. Jogging on the spot, arm and pelvis circling, jumping jacks and squats should make you sweat a little before you begin the actual workout.
Remember: Warming up helps prevent injuries, so take it seriously and always keep your focus.
Start with side lunges that work your butt as well as your quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand tall, feet hip-width apart and with a flexed upper body. Take a large step to the side. Make sure the knee is bent, the feet point forward and your knee does not extend past your toes. Push off and return to the starting position.
Advanced athletes can bend their knees even more, which is even more intense, but also harder to perform correctly. It's important that you can perform an exercise in the correct way before you increase the intensity.
Single leg deadlift
The next exercise is good for many different muscle groups and also trains your balance. The single leg deadlift, as shown by Lindsey Vonn in the picture, trains the hip muscles, back of your body, hamstrings, butt, shoulders and core. Take some weights (or even water bottles) stand tall, feet hip-width apart and with a flexed upper body. Lift one leg and bend forward. The moving leg should be straight out behind you.
If you want to, you can move the arms with the weights towards the floor. Hold the position – make sure to keep your back straight and don't turn your hip to the side. Straighten up your body. If you want to, you can even lift the leg to the front or bend your knee and lift it. Exercise one side first and change legs for the next interval. Decide for yourself if you need to take a break in-between.
Weighted balancing reverse lunge
Now let's work the legs with this variation of a lunge. Stand up straight in front of the ball and place your right leg with the instep on the ball. Then roll back the ball with your leg and lower until your left knee forms a 90 degree angle. Then push up and come back to the starting position. You can also add some weights to this exercise, but always make sure to use the proper technique. A good form always takes priority to avoid injuries. It's important that your front knee does not extend past your toes. If it does, the distance between your standing foot and the ball is too short. Also, be careful not to lean forward with the upper body.
Here comes a classic exercise for core stability: the plank. Elbows beneath your shoulders, legs extended as if you're doing a push-up, butt and abs should be contracted. Try to form a straight line from your head to your feet.
Hold this position for the whole interval and try not to let your hips sink lower. Advanced athletes can alternate lifting one leg. If this exercise is too difficult for you, you could always do the plank on your knees or put your arms on a higher position to reduce the weight on your body.
Now let's get to the core. 'Russian twists' are a quite complex but very effective exercise for the abs and the core. Sit down on the floor with your hips and knees bent 45-90 degrees. Lean a little bit back.
You can also lift your legs, however, this will make the exercise much more intense. Holding the weight in front of you, twist your torso to the left until you touch ground and then back to the right, again, until you touch ground. You can do this with or without weights. Make sure to keep the movement smooth.
Stability ball plank knee drive
This exercises is one of the most intense ones. Position your ellbows just like you did with the plank, only on the ball. Don't hold the position but bring your knees up to the ball, one after the other. Keep your abs contracted and the pelvis bent forward. Shoulders should be stabilised, too. You can bring your knees forward in a straight way or to the side, which will increase the difficulty and intensity for the core.
Stability ball shoulder press
Of course you shouldn't neglect your arms and shoulders. And to work a little more on your core we'll add a Swiss ball to this exercise. With this exercise you combine strength training with coordination, balance and stability – everything you need. Sit down in the centre of the ball, keep your back straight and place your feet on the ground before you. Keep the dumbbells on your thighs and when you're ready, activate your core muscles and bring your arms next to your head. Then push them up, but don't let them touch above your head. In the end position, keep your arms a little bent.
Without pausing lower the dumbbells next to your head. Keep the head in a neutral position and your back straight. Repeat the movement slowly and controlled. You can increase intensity, by taking turns when lifting your arms.
Medicine ball push-up
Push-ups like these help strengthen your upper body and also improve coordination and motor skills. Beginners can do this exercise without the medicine ball or by kneeling down. To do push-ups, just place your hands shoulder width apart below your chest. Then stretch your legs backward and go on your tiptoes. Your body should form a straight line and be tensed. Now place one hand on the medicine ball, but be careful, this position is very shaky. Bend your arms and slowly lower your upper body. For every repetition take 3-5 seconds.
Pay attention to your breathing!
Due to the higher oxygen demand while training, proper breathing is quite important. As a general rule you should exhale during the intense phase and inhale afterwards. This way the contraction of the respiratory muscles are in line with the contraction of the used muscles. You should avoid forced breathing, because the build up of pressure isn't helping and is unhealthy. Control your breathing in order to make the best of your training session.
Hard facts for interval training
High-intensity phases: our suggestion is 30-60 seconds (depending on your fitness)
Recovery phases: 15-30 seconds; this break can also consist of low-intensity exercises, such as running on the spot, jumping jacks or planks
Equipment: Excercise mat, excercise ball, weights between 1 – 5 kg, potentially a bosu ball