See how this superstar skier prepares for the slopes (and sculpts that body) by training in the sand
Olympic alpine skier Julia Mancuso may be known for flying down the slopes at 85 miles per hour, but to stay on top of her game, she puts just as much emphasis on training in the sand as on skis. For the last seven years, the inspiring athlete has been training with Maui-based Scott Sanchez, a two-time alpine skiing Olympian and former Olympic coach for 12 cycles. He's one of the many reasons she decided to move to the gorgeous tropical island in the offseason.
"For Julia to get in winning shape, it's crucial for her to focus on her glutes and hamstrings, plus her ability to be explosive," says Sanchez, who likes to challenge her balance and agility skills with circuits in the sand. "It's also very important for her to be able to recover quickly at high speeds and during risky situations."
Whether you live near the beach or just want to fit in a sculpting session on your next vacation, these four moves can't be beat.
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How it works: Do 1 set of each exercise back to back, with little to no rest between. Repeat twice more (3 rounds total). Warm up by performing each of the following moves for 1 minute: standing high knees, squats with arm swings reaching skyward, jumping jacks, and leg swings front to back (30 seconds per leg). To cool down, do a 10-minute Grandma-pace jog with or without sneakers in the sand.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Paddleboard Squats
In shallow water, stand on the paddleboard with feet hip-width apart. Raise the paddle overhead using a wide grip.
Lower into a squat, sitting back in heels and keeping chest high and core tight. Pause at the bottom and then press through heels to return to standing. That's one rep. Repeat as many reps as possible in the suggested amount of time.
2. Lateral Speed Hurdles
This barefoot workout is perfect for strengthening ankles and the muscles in your feet. You can use T-shirts, shoes, towels, and coolers (basically anything!) to create the boundaries that you need to hop over with both feet laterally for speed. Hop in one direction (be careful not to trip) and then return in the other.
30 seconds to 2 minutes
3. Water Gate
Place the agility ladder in knee-deep water. If you don't have a ladder, just stand in water that hits four inches below your knees (about halfway up your shins). If you're looking for more of a challenge, aim for a water level three inches above the knee.
Perform high stepping sprints while pumping arms for 30 to 90 seconds. Your goal is to get your feet out of the water. You don't only have to move forward—try high-stepping backwards too!
30 to 90 seconds
4. Beach Burpees
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Push hips back and bend knees to lower into a squat. Place hands on the ground and quickly walk or jump feet back into a full plank position.
Perform a pushup, if you can. Explosively jump feet back in toward hands, and from this crouched position, jump up as high as possible. That's one rep. You'll naturally feel slower and heavier when exercising in sand so don't be alarmed when your classic burpee is harder than usual.
30 to 90 seconds