Exercises Olympians Love
These Olympians already shared their beauty secrets with us, but what about the workout moves and equipment that helped them in the quest for gold? We asked about their favorite workout gear and that one exercise they couldn’t live without.
DARA TORRES, Swimming
What exercise moves are essential for a champion swimmer? "Anything involving your core," according to 12-time Olympic medalist Dana Torres. "In swimming, there's a lot of rotation, so keeping my core strong is key."
Torres takes advantage of the TRX, which is a form of suspension training that uses "more of your bodyweight than actual weights." The Olympic veteran also uses a Swiss ball to work her core. "You can literally do hundreds of exercises with it," she tells us.
MARY WHIPPLE, Rowing
London Olympic gold medal winner Mary Whipple relies on a strong core. To prepare for competition, the American coxswain does twists and planks "that help me hold my posture in the boat and be as 'one with the boat' as possible."
Whipple also depends on an important piece of apparel as she's going for the gold. "Since I need my eyes to steer and keep a straight course, I always wear polarized sunglasses," she says. "My favorite pairs right now are Oakley's Enduring and Commit glasses."
Tim Morehouse, Fencing
"There are so many aspects to a great lunge," says U.S. Olympian Tim Morehouse, who relies on the exercise to prepare for his fast-paced fencing events. Morehouse, who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, says its important to "explode from your back leg and fly across the floor" during competition.
When he's not lunging, Morehouse's favorite exercises can be performed on his Technogym Kinesis. "You can do almost any exercise on it, and I’m able to do a really great 30 minute workout if I need to get in a quick training."
BRYAN CLAY, Decathlon
Bryan Clay, a gold medalist in 2008, can’t choose just one favorite exercise. “Being a decathlete, every exercise move is critical,” he says.
However, Clay tells us he always works out with his Oakley RadarLock eyewear. "They fit well to my face and don’t fall off while I’m throwing or running,” he says.
Kerri Walsh Jennings, Beach Volleyball
Walsh does lots of lunges, squats and step-ups to stay in top beach volleyball form. “They’re a great way to engage your entire lower body.”
Her favorite piece of workout equipment? It would be hard to beat the beach!
SUSAN FRANCIA, Rowing
“I would say that lunges are the most important for our sport,” Susan Francia says. “Lunges help with stabilization in the butt and core … so they are truly the perfect exercise." Stabilization isn't the only perk of her favorite exercise, as it "Makes for a nice butt, too!”
Francia also loves using her foam roller. “After hard workouts, it feels so great to stretch and then roll on the foam roller,” she says. “Our coach calls it the poor man's massage — it feels great on all parts of the body!”
SUMMER SANDERS, Swimming
Winning four Olympic medals at the Barcelona Games took lots of focus and training, but Olympic veteran (and current Olympic commentator) Summer Sanders realizes that eating a proper diet also played a key role. "First and foremost, I find that nutrition is key," says Sanders, who emphasizes the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast.
When she gets to the gym, Sanders heads straight for the squat machine. "As a woman, the squat machine is the best all-around piece of equipment," she says. "In my opinion, it’s probably the best all-around exercise you can do when you’re at the gym. Make sure you know your limits, though. Use the proper position and don’t overextend yourself on the weight."