The days are getting shorter, the country's getting colder and snow is starting to fall. Despite practically living in icy powder, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler remains hotter than your Uncle Jim's fireplace on a deep December night.
In the small-but-passionate niche sport of snowboarding, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist looms large, thanks in part to a physique that snow and cardio bunnies alike would melt for. (Heck, even Hollywood starlets might want a piece.)
Gretchen's fit form is no fluke, either. People often overlook how much body control high-level competitive sports require, and snowboarding is no different. It's demanding, rigorous and physically challenging.
By understanding the demands of snowboarding, you can discover some important tricks that might be missing from your own training program. Workout like a snowboarder to build a body that melts snow and warms winter coats from within.
Snowboarding Solution 1: Get Heated with Dynamic Warm-Ups
Dynamic warm-ups are essential to improving your performance in the gym - which will help determine your results. Top-level competitive athletes do them, and they have the bodies the rest of us want.
Dynamic warm-ups will improve your range of motion during your workouts. This, in turn, allows you to perform more reps, lift more weight and focus more on the muscle being worked. Dynamic warm-ups can also strengthen hard-to-train areas like your glutes. Don't go too crazy with these, however. Take "warm-up" at face value: warm-up work is preparation.
Perform a single-leg glute bridge and a kneeling bird dog before every workout and you'll find yourself looking, moving and performing better in no time.
Snowboarding Solution 2: Single-Leg Exercises for Cardio and Strength
Lost somewhere in the debate between bodybuilding and functional training, single-leg exercises not only allow you to increase the intensity of your training without adding more exercises, but they also provide a challenge to your core that is tough to achieve with traditional exercises like crunches and planks.
Add some single-leg training in the gym and you merge cardio and strength work. Furthermore, you'll train and balance key stabilizer muscles. Single-leg training will also help you carve the curves you crave - on the slopes and your body.
Enough said. Let's melt some snow and build your best winter body ever.