We all know Maia and Alex Shibutani stole the show at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. This dynamic sibling duo took home two bronze metals from these olympic games, but also managed to steal the heart of many fans who were watching. Sadly, last spring they announced they will be taking a break from competing in the pro circuit. Kirk Myers, the CEO of the NYC gym Dogpound, shared an Instagram video of Maia working out. The video shows her doing three challenging moves that can give benefits to the workout routine of a professional figure skater or the average woman working on her fitness!
Move One: Slide Board Skater
This move uses side-to-side cardio movement and lower-body strength move that is done on a slide board. The slide board is a specialized piece of gym equipment that helps with sliding movements. This move is great at getting your heart rate up! It also is a fantastic way to strengthen your lower-body and help you move more around more efficiently.
How to do it: Want to try this move yourself? Instead of the slide board, you can try doing it with towels, paper plates, or even socks on a hardwood floor!
- Stand up straight with your feet at a hip-distance apart from one another. Start with the slider under your right foot while you bend the knee.
- Quickly push your right foot to the side then bring yourself back to the starting position. If you want to add another challenge, try moving your upper arms to engage your core!
- This counts as one rep. Do thirty more on your right foot at a fast pace.
- Switch legs and do 30 reps on your left leg.
Move Two: Single-Leg Reverse Deadlift on a BOSU Ball
If you are really up for a challenge, try this variation of a single-leg deadlift! This variation uses a BOSU Ball, ankle weights, and hand weights to add more of a challenge. My easier version of this that is for the average person working out is below. This challenging move helps you to gain balance and total-body strength. If you watch the video, you’ll see Shibutani turns her foot outward as she extends her legs behind her instead of extending her leg straight out with her toes pointed as you would with a traditional single-leg deadlift. The turn she is doing works your inner and outer thighs more so than a traditional version would. She is also using ankle weights and the hand weights to give herself more stability, since this moves uses a lot of balance!
If you closely watch her, you’ll notice that Shibutani arches her back and reaches her extended leg above back level. I don’t recommend anyone to do this at home. Instead, try not to arch your back and to only extend your leg to back level.
How to do it: Do a classic deadlift with a medium to heavy weight. I would highly recommend a kettlebell or a dumbbell for this.
- Stand with your feet together while you hold the weight in your right hand in front of your right thigh.
- Shift your weight to the left leg, and lift your right leg straight behind your body. You’ll use your hips as a hinge to bring your torso parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your back flat and your core tight as you lower yourself!
- Stop lowering yourself when your hamstring feels stretched.
- Press onto your left heel to reverse the movement you’ve done so far and stand back up. Keep your right leg straight while you slide your weight back to your starting position. Make sure you’re keeping your back flat!
- Count this as one rep, then do 10 reps. Once you’re done, switch legs and do 10 more.
Move Three: Plank Jack with Gliders
This variation of a plank helps to further engage the muscles in your thighs. Before you take this on, make sure you can successfully do a 30 second traditional plank first! Given that this variation of a plank is similar to the traditional version, you’ll get those benefits as well as strengthening your inner and outer thighs. You’re engaging more of your body when you move your legs in a plank, so you’ll be strengthening your core more.
How to do it: Just like in the first move, you’ll need a sliding device! This isn’t exactly the move Shibutani is doing in the video, but it’s more challenging than a traditional plank.
- Get on all fours and place your sliding device under the foot of choice.
- Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists, your hips are over your knees, and that you’re pressing through your toes to lift your knees off the ground and extend your legs behind you.
- Also make sure to squeeze your glues and legs while bracing your core so your body is forming one long line from the hips to the ankles.
- Slide your left leg out to the side several inches, pause then slide your leg back in.
- This is considered one rep, do 10 reps on one side, then switch to the other!
Want more information about these awesome moves and how they apply to ice skating? Click here!
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