Train like an Olympian: exercises inspired by the Winter Olympics

Jill O'Brien

Today marks the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

While students may not work out like Olympians during their regular trips to the gym, these exercises, inspired by the top sports in the Winter Olympics, may make you feel like a champion.

This 15-minute workout set alternates between working the legs, core, back and arms, and can be done from the comfort of your living room. No skiing, snowboarding or figure skating required. 

Do each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 10 to 15 second rest period. 

Speed skating – skater

Move from side to side, just like a speed skater would. Keep your hips back and torso out, and try to land with some semblance of control. 

Luge – mountain climbers

Despite being a staple in junior high gym class warmups, mountain climbers require a lot of strength and focus in the core and shoulders. Be sure to maintain proper form and keep your wrists directly above your shoulders throughout the whole set. 

Ski jumps – jump squats

Surprisingly, this glute workout requires a lot of attention to the knees and ankles. Jump from one side to the other, making a 180 degree angle, and be sure to keep the knees and ankles from collapsing in. 

Downhill slalom – lateral jumps

This one takes jump squats to the next level. Instead of keeping your feet in one place, jump side to side to improve mobility and flexibility in the hips, and engage thighs, hamstrings and core muscles. 

Cross-country skiers – high knees

The trick for optimal mobility? Get the legs up about waist-high, increase intensity and speed and be sure to stick a soft landing on the balls of the feet. 

Snowboarding – rotation jumps

Want to learn the secret to sticking landings like a skier or snowboarder? Drive your heels into the floor, jump and land a 180 degree twist. To finish, drop back to a squat.

Bobsleigh – tricep dips

Trying to avoid pushups? This exercise will work the triceps, as well as the back and core muscles. If you need to modify the exercise, bend your knees. 

Figure skating – pistol squats

A move seen in many skating routines, this exercise takes some serious strength and control in the entire body. If you need extra help balancing, hold onto a band or chair for support, and focus on driving weight through your heel. 

Skeleton – yoga push-ups

The final exercise works the triceps and core (again). Keep your elbows close to your body and lower yourself down toward the floor—your upper body should shift forward slightly as you do so. Your arms should form a 90 degree angle as you lower down from the plank position. 

Exercises courtesy of