Before I get to this Olympics-inspired workout, I need to talk about the opening ceremony for a second. In a word: weird. First off, small children singing in a choir-like fashion make me incredibly uncomfortable for some reason. Secondly, interpretive dancing in cheesey Abraham Lincoln-esque costumes to symbolize the Industrial Revolution? Um what? They should have let me plan London’s opening ceremony. It would have been one big Spice Girls concert, and every 30 seconds or so the camera would pan over to a shirtless David Beckham. BOOM. People would be like Beijing who?
Equipment I Used:
- Two 10-lb hand weights
- Exercise mat
Anyway, I’ve taken inspiration from some of the summer Olympic events in putting together these exercises. Swimming, wrestling, soccer, roller-skating, track & field, rowing and cycling moves were all used (in some vague form). You’ll be completing this Olympic workout for time, but you can choose to attack it any way you wish. I went through a first round and did as many reps of each exercise as I could. I then went through a second time and finished up what was left. Breaking it up into two rounds allowed me to keep up a quicker pace.
- 100 Freestyle Planks: Start in a plank position. Sweep your left arm back (like you’re doing a freestyle stroke), and as you do twist into a side plank position. Continue to sweep your arm around over your head and back into your starting plank position. Repeat, alternating to the right side.
- 50 Sumo (Wrestling) Jump Squats with Alternating Leg Lift: Legs wide apart in a deep squat position (the sumo wrestler stance), do a jump squat, land back in starting position, then lift left leg straight out to the side, keeping right leg bent. Jump squat again and repeat with the right leg.
- 200 Soccer Drill Toe Taps: A slight variation on high knees, tap one toe gingerly on top of the medicine ball then jump onto other foot and do the same. You don’t need to use a medicine or soccer ball—use any inanimate object. Or, if your kids are misbehaving, a small animate object.
- 100 Side-to-Side Skater Jump Lunges: Leap to the right, landing on your right leg and fluidly bringing your left leg behind it and touching the ground with your left hand. Repeat in the opposite direction.
- 50 Long Jump Burpees: This is a burpee with a slight variation. Instead of jumping up, jump forward—and as far forward as you can. So the sequence for one burpee looks like this: Squat down, placing hands on the ground in front of you, carefully jump back into a plank position, jump back up to squatting, then stand up and jump forward as far as you can.
- 50 Breaststroke Lifts: Lay on your stomach with arms outstretched and legs and chest lifting off the ground. Bend arms, bringing them back towards your sides while lifting chest up even further. Extend arms back out to starting position. (Your feet and chest will remain off the ground the entire time.)
- 50 Standing Rows (25 with each leg): Step forward with one leg and lean forward, keeping your back straight. Holding weights (in the pictures I have 5lbs in each land but when I actually did the workout, I used 10lbs in each hand), row your arms back, bringing the weights up towards your ribs. Repeat.
- 100 Seated Bicycles (50 forward, 50 backward): Sit with feet elevated and hands lightly on the ground at your sides for support. Cycle your legs, extending one after the other. Do 50 pedaling forward and 50 pedaling backwards.
The burpees were definitely the most brutal for me. The workout took me about 35 minutes, and it left me feeling like a true Olympian (even though, let’s be real, Ryan Lochte would have finished it in about 7 minutes).
Try this out and let me know how you liked it. And I’m dying to know—what’d you think of the opening ceremony? Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought it was painfully awkward.