Spice up your gym routine with the superstar skier's pre-winter workout plan
Bombing down a snowy slope at gold-medal-winning speeds of 85 miles per hour isn't just about having a super smooth swoosh. What Olympic alpine skier Julia Mancuso does off her skis is just as important to her game. For the last seven years, the fierce brunette 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," Sanchez says. "It's also very important for her to be able to recover quickly at high speeds and during risky situations."
Even if a snow-capped mountain isn't in your future, you can still benefit from Mancuso's training style. Sanchez shared two killer routines (one for the gym, one for the beach) that are guaranteed to challenge your body and spice up your regular routine.
Try this circuit in the gym, and then check out the beach workout here for the next time you have access to sand.
How it works: Three days per week, perform 1 set of each exercise back to back. Repeat twice more (3 rounds total). Warm up by performing the following moves for 1 minute each: standing high knees, squats with arm swings reaching skyward, jumping jacks, and leg swings front to back (30 seconds per leg). Cool down by hopping on a stationary bike with no resistance for 10 to 15 minutes.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Bosu Ball Skate Squat
Place the bosu ball soft side up and stand in the center, shifting your weight onto one leg. Keeping eyes up and shoulders relaxed, brace lower abs in tight (as if you were trying to hold in urine).
Extend left leg laterally and hold it there as you bend your right leg and lower yourself slowly (count to 5) into a squat. Ascend explosively to complete one rep. Repeat, trying to keep the lifted leg up throughout the entire movement.
10 per side
2. Single-Leg Lateral Leaps
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keeping chest lifted and knees soft, bend slightly forward at the waist and lift right leg back behind hip.
Spring in a rainbow-type movement with your right leg as you bound laterally to the right.
Land softly on your right foot with your left leg in the air. Hold for 2 counts for balance, then repeat the lateral jump to the other side. That's one rep.
3. Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch
Grab a dumbbell (8 to 20 pounds) with an overhand grip. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend hips and knees to lower the weight to just in front of knee.
Explosively pull the dumbbell up skyward, keeping the weight as close to body as possible. Get your hips directly under a fully-extended arm in a semi-squat position. Finish the lift with arm and legs completely straight. Maintain gaze forward during the whole movement to help with balance.
5 to 8 per side
4. Box Jumps
Stand with feet hip-width apart next to a sturdy box (you'll eventually work your way up to 2 feet-tall). Keep hands in front to mimic Julia Mancuso's skiing posture and to maximize the use of your butt and hamstrings.
Bend both knees and jump up on top of the box, landing with both feet at once. Land with bent knees to absorb any impact. At the top, stand up straight to open hips and either step off or jump down with bent knees. Do as many reps as possible in the suggested time.
20 to 60 seconds