7 questions with Team USA Winter Olympians, including what winter sport they’d be terrified to try

Karen Chen, figure skating: I just do a lot of glute work because it’s really important for us to make sure our glutes are strong. And I think most of it just has to do with my hip injuries and whatnot, but I think just having a really strong butt is really necessary for stabilization. So I think doing a lot of clamshells and banded stuff with those mini bands across my knees is definitely one of my go to exercises.

Erin Jackson, long track speedskating: My most common workout is probably time training. A tempo for me is basically a max-effort lap on the ice. Sometimes, I’ll also do a two-lap time average with a set lap time average as a goal.

Erin Jackson (Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports)

Colby Stevenson, freestyle skier: Going mountain biking. So I’ll go up the hill, climb for like an hour and then just descend down. That’s my favorite workout, and I think it’s the best way to relate to that skiing mindset, where you’re not thinking, you’re kind of just in that flow state. I get a lot when I’m going downhill on a mountain bike.

Mariah Bell, figure skating: The most common probably is our edge class. So it’s just like our edges that we do in the morning. We’re not jumping, we’re not spinning. It’s literally basic skills of skating that we learned when we’re really young, and then, obviously, it’s more advanced than that too. It’s all the skaters on the ice at once, and we’re in a line, and somebody will lead and do an exercise and we just all follow. But they’re just like really simple. It’s kind of like yoga on the ice, almost, because some of us are stretching and just [practicing] the positions that we hold. But it’s fun because we’re all on the ice together.

Jake Brown, biathlon: Essentially, we’re on roller skis from May until November [when there’s not enough snow to ski on]. It’s hard to learn to ski on roller skis and then translate that to snow. But if you’re used to skiing on snow, the roller skis are a great training tool, and we can ski with pretty much identical technique to snow on roller skis. So we’re training all the same muscle groups. We do all our intervals and everything on rollerskates distance train just like we would on snow.

Winter Vinecki, aerial skiing: A lot of our workouts are strength-based, and so most of the time, it consists of some sort of main lifts. Back squats or hex bar deadlifts are two pretty common ones. And then we usually kind of have a combination of total body, so we’ll have a lot of hamstring exercises. Also some sort of lunge in there, usually some abductors to be able to keep our skis together in the air. And then some shoulder stuff to be able to keep our shoulders healthy to be able to withstand any impacts, and a lot of core. Core obviously is really important when we’re coming into the jumps with our arms above our head. We need to be able to keep that core nice and tight so we’re basically like a plank going off a jump.

Tabitha Peterson, curling: So our typical workout in the gym lifting weights is a dynamic warmup for about 20, 30 minutes, getting the heart rate up and then also stretching and getting your muscles moving a little bit. On the turf, you go 10, 20 yards back and forth doing karaoke and little like lung things and sprints. And all the workouts are basically three or four different lifts, eight to 10 reps, three times through, and we do three different sets of workouts in that. And then when we’re actually [in season] curling, cardio is kind of on your own time. But offseason, we do a variety of things, like tire flips and the battle ropes and running up or down stairs. We keep it different so that it’s not predictable. We don’t get bored, I guess, but it works like literally every muscle group.


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