Some athletes work for nearly their entire lives for a chance to compete for the fabled Olympic gold.
Grueling workouts and training sessions give these competitors some of the hardest bodies on the planet, and we get to watch them in their sweat-drenched glistening glory on TV while we lay on the couch, wishing we were there too.
Well, maybe you can't be there, but who says you can't have a Olympic-worthy body for your Big Day?
If you're dying for a six-pack of abs, put down that six-pack of beer, grab your partner and check out these workouts, offered up by professional trainers Shirley Archer, Macey Leigh Henderson, Liz DiAlto and Lisa Wheeler. They'll have you walking, lifting and swimming your way to a gold medal body.
Click through the slideshow to start warming up, working out and slimming down.
<strong>Pre-Workout Prep:</strong> The only equipment required for the following three walking workouts is a good pair of training shoes, comfortable workout clothes and access to an outdoor space. The "Interval Walk" and "Toning Circuit Walk" can be done on any walking path, sidewalk or trail, while the "Urban Walk" is designed for couples who live in the city. Whenever walking outdoors basic safety considerations apply: Protect yourself from sun exposure with sunscreen, hats or SPF-ready clothing. Make sure you're visible to any traffic especially if training at dawn or dusk by wearing bright colors, workout clothes with reflective tape or even a reflective vest. Drink plenty of water, both before and after workouts and ideally, eat a nutritious snack within 30 minutes of completing a session to replenish important nutrients and optimize muscle building. <br> Created by Shirley Archer, award-winning fitness trainer and author of "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Deck-Ways-Yourself-Healthy/dp/0811845591" target="_hplink">The Walking Deck: 50 Ways to Walk Yourself Healthy and The Strength & Toning Deck</a>."
Interval Walk (35 minutes)
This workout can be tailored to any fitness level as it is based on individualized pacing. The paces provided are guidelines -- you can replace them with an easy, medium or hard pace based on how you feel. A stroll is relaxed walking (less than three miles per hour or less than 105 steps per minute). A moderate health walk pace is more brisk -- you'll be breaking a sweat, walking at least three miles per hour. A fitness pace is even faster, moving at least four miles per hour (a 15-minute mile pace or 140 steps per minute). A power or race walk pace is five miles per hour (a 12-minute mile or 175 steps per minute) or faster. • Warm up by strolling for five minutes • Increase intensity to a moderate pace for two minutes • Increase intensity to a hard pace for 30 seconds to one minute • Reduce intensity to a moderate pace for a three-minute interval • Repeat 30 seconds to one-minute hard pace • Reduce intensity to a moderate pace for a five-minute interval • Repeat 30 seconds to one-minute hard pace • Reduce intensity to a moderate pace for a three-minute interval • Cool down with a five-minute stroll • End with standing calf stretch, standing shin stretch, standing hip flexor, quad, and hamstring stretch, standing side stretch, standing triceps and upper back stretch, and standing cat stretch
Toning Circuit Walk (30 minutes)
Combine walking with toning exercises for a workout that achieves more results in less time. This is a great option if you don't have time for the gym. • Stroll for five minutes to warm up • Increase intensity to a moderate pace for five minutes • Do one set of lunges for approximately one minute • Resume moderate pace for five minutes • Do one set of push-ups against a tree or bench for approximately one minute • Continue moderate pace for five minutes • Do one set of triceps dips on a bench for approximately one minute followed by the Standing Triceps and Back Stretch • Stroll for three minutes to cool-down • Do final stretches for three minutes Variation: To increase intensity, instead of walking steadily at a moderate pace for five-minute intervals, increase intensity to a power or race walk pace for one minute and then slow down for recovery and repeat.
Tackling the urban jungle can provide fun and fitness: Use the city landscape as your outdoor gymnasium for a toning, circuit walk. • Warm up with a five-minute stroll • Increase intensity to a moderate or hard pace for five minutes • Find a bus stop or park bench and do one set of triceps dips • Do city block intervals for the next five minutes: Alternate between a slower pace and faster pace on each block (For example, on the first block do a fitness walk; cross the street, then power walk for the second block. Cross the street, then fitness walk for one block.) • Find a flight of stairs; walk up taking two steps at a time, pushing up through the foot as if you were doing lunges; walk down; continue for one minute. • Perform another five-minute cycle of city block intervals • Find a bench or wall; perform push-ups for one minute • If energy and time permits, do one more cycle of city block intervals for five minutes • Find a tree, pole, or wall; do one set of calf raises on each leg • Cool down with a five-minute stroll • Enjoy your final stretches
Cardio Strength Circuit
<strong>Pre-Workout Prep:</strong> After mobility warm up, perform three rounds of the circuit described in the following slides (five exercises) with no rest between exercises. Rest/recover for one minute between rounds. Follow up and recover with a cool down/stretch. <br>Submitted by <a href="http://www.lisawheeler.com/home.html" target="_hplink">Lisa Wheeler, Fitness Program Director for DailyBurn</a>
Exercise 1: Wheelbarrow Rows
Partner A begins in plank position with legs wide. Partner B, standing between legs, squats down to pick up Partner A's legs. Assuming a core-supported hinge position, Partner B begins to lift Partner A's legs up in a rowing motion towards outside of hips. Repeat for 60 seconds and switch. <br>(Modification: Partner A assumes elbow plank, Partner B places both legs in one hand)
Exercise 2: Seated Hurdles
Partner A begins seated on the floor with legs extended out in front of him/her and arms extended out to the side (if hamstrings are tight, bend knees slightly so that spine stays neutral). Partner B starts standing next to Partner A then begins jumping sequence, jumping over Partner A's legs then over right arm then over left arm. Partner A may adjust arm height to challenge Partner B yet must keep the exercise safe. Continue for 60 seconds then switch (Partner B sits and Partner A jumps). <br>(Modification: Partner B steps over arms and legs instead of jumping, Partner A lifts legs off floor)
Exercise 3: Handstand Prep
Partners begin facing each other about three feet apart (more if taller). Partner B reaches hands to floor and kicks legs up to handstand as Partner A catches legs. Hold for five seconds and release down. Repeat for 60 seconds and switch. <br>(Modification: Use wall for support, add handstand push-up)
Exercise 4: Basketball Tip Off
Partners begin facing each other about three feet apart, each with left leg forward in split stance. Bend knees and jump up attempting to "high five" each other's right hand at the height of the jump. Repeat for 30 seconds and switch to other lead leg and other arm. <br>(Modification: Jump lower or squat heel lift, at 180 degrees turn to jump)
Exercise 5: Stacked Push-Up
Partner A begins in supine position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor with his/her arms reaching up to ceiling. Partner B, standing behind Partner A's head, clasps hands with Partner A and assumes incline plank position. Partner A performs a bench press with Partner B keeping arms straight. After completing the press, Partner B then performs a push-up while Partner A keeps arms straight. Repeat for 60 seconds. If partners are evenly matched, switch after 30 seconds. If one partner is larger or stronger, they remain Partner A for entire exercise. <br>(Modification: Keep range of motion small, execute bench press and push-up at the same time)
Olympic-Style Weight-Lifting Workout
<strong>Pre-Workout Prep:</strong> Olympic-style weight-lifting is not your typical gym workout but you can surely incorporate some of the standard moves you will see the athletes perform in London to help you shape up for your Big Day. Even if you don't have the confidence to prance around the gym showing off your "clean" and "jerk" skills, you can definitely always squat your way to a killer booty -- which will be sure to have everyone turning heads as you walk down the aisle. You can do your squats however you like: with a barbell, a medicine ball, or on a squat rack at the gym! <br>Submitted by <a href="http://www.maceyleigh.net/" target="_hplink">Macey Leigh Henderson</a>.
Olympic Style Weight-Lifting
First, warm up. When lifting weights, you always want to be sure that your heart-rate is already moderately up, and that you have stretched your muscles properly. <br>Next let's learn to do a "clean and jerk": Step to the bar and get positioned with your feet placed approximately hip-distance apart so that the bar (loaded with weights of course) is right over the balls of your feet. You want to make sure that the bar is set right above the point where your toes meet the rest of your foot when you perform your reps. Place your hands just about shoulder-width apart, and then begin to lift the bar by pushing your feet through the floor. Make sure that you keep your shoulders, hips and the bar all moving at the same rate of speed until the bar gets about mid-high. Give your shoulders a big "shrug" and jump your feet out to the sides as you raise the bar to your shoulders, then catch the bar across your shoulders with your elbows held high. At the end of the "clean," you will be in the squat position. Slowly rise up out of the squat until you're standing straight with the bar on your chest. Push your feet back into the floor as you dip, then split your feet with one leg forward and the other one back. Congrats! You have just done a clean and a jerk! Try for a couple sets of 12 reps.
Olympic Swimming Workout
This workout is meant to help develop you into a champion swimmer -- one that has a mastery over all four strokes. If you want to work out like an Olympian, it's important to be able to do more than one stroke in order challenge your muscles and your stroke technique. <br> Total Distance: 900 yards • 2 x 100 yards crawl warmup (rest between 100s if needed) • 4 x 25 yards backstroke resting 15 seconds between lengths (work on swimming straight) • 4 x 25 yards breaststroke resting 15 seconds between lengths (work on technique) • 4 x 25 yards butterfly resting 15 seconds between lengths (choice of strokes if you can't do butterfly) • 2 x 100 IM resting 30 seconds between each 100 (25 butterfly, 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke, 25 freestyle) • 200 crawl warmdown (swim slowly and relax) <br>Just for fun, jump in the deep end and keep your head above water using nothing but your legs for five minutes. The challenge is to keep kicking the entire time -- never let those legs get a rest until you are done.
Tight on Time: 10-Minute Workout for Couples
This short workout, designed by <a href="http://www.lizdialto.com" target="_hplink">Liz DiAlto</a>, will give you a quick metabolic boost on a busy day. To complete this 10-minute circuit, perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat four times.<br> <strong>Push-ups: </strong>Inhale at the bottom and squeeze your abs in nice and tight to support your lower back as you exhale and push up for each rep. For an easier version, drop to your knees; to add a challenge, raise one leg off the ground. <strong>Plank Rows:</strong> In a high-plank position holding a dumb-bell in each hand, alternate rowing on each side. Just like the push-up, you can make this exercise less challenging by dropping to your knees. If you have weak wrists, try one arm at a time and lean your support hand/arm on a bench or a table, instead of leaning your hand on the ground. <strong>Squat Curls:</strong> Hold your dumbbells at your sides as you squat down, when you get to the bottom squeeze your abs in tight, hold for a second and do a bicep curl. Lower arms back to starting position as you stand up. Be sure to squeeze your cheeks and press your hips forward on the way up as well. <strong>Lunge with Front Raise</strong>: This is a reverse lunge, so hold your dumbbells at your sides, step back and -- as you lunge down -- raise the weights to the front. As you return to starting position, lower your weights back down to your sides. Alternate legs.