Olympic skiing truly blows my mind. I mean, every time I go skiing, I find myself face-planting on the bunny slope, and I soon realize that my core strength is basically nonexistent when I'm unable to get up after falling. Maybe if I tried Olympic ski racer Lindsey Vonn's ab workout, I'd actually be able to make it down the slopes in one piece. After all, it definitely seems to be working for Vonn, who has casually won four World Cup overall championships in her skiing career. NBD, though.
What's even more impressive about the 33-year-old ski racer is that, despite the fact she has been injured multiple times throughout her athletic career, she's shown true resilience time and time again by coming back stronger than ever. Seriously guys, with 13 years of Olympic success, this woman is basically as badass as it gets.
According to SELF, one of the things that Vonn does to keep her entire body strong and functional is an anti-rotation ab workout that helps her prepare for the snowy slopes. If you've never heard of anti-rotation exercises, they're basically built around the science that your core muscles are supposed to support and stabilize your spine, SELF reports. This is why twisting ab exercises (like Russian twists, for example) actually aren't that ideal when it comes to keeping your back healthy and pain-free.
Anti-rotation exercises, on the other hand, prevent your spine from twisting and rotating to protect your lower back, while simultaneously working your core.
Vonn's favorite anti-rotation exercise is standing anti-rotation holds, according to SELF. These bad boys are incredibly stabilizing and strengthening, which is ideal for maintaining all of the focus, engagement, and impeccable form that she needs to take on competitive Olympic skiing.
Basically, the most beneficial core exercises —the ones that are truly effective at building a strong mid-section — are workout moves that prevent any unnecessary movement of your spine, such as rotating or bending. This is really important for when Vonn (or any other athlete, really) ski-races, because if her core isn't strong and her back isn't stable, she'll be a lot more prone to injury.
Vonn's version of standing anti-rotation holds involve holding around 30 pounds of resistance for 30 to 60 seconds on each side of her body. Yep, you literally just stand there with some weight in your hand. It's that simple, people. Oh, but warning: You will feel the burn.
This exercise doesn't just target your core (though you will definitely feel it in your abs and obliques); it also strengthens your shoulders, biceps, chest, forearms, and middle back. No wonder why Vonn is so freaking strong!
You can easily try Vonn's favorite core workout in the comfort of your own home, because it requires minimal equipment and is super beginner-friendly.
If you have a resistance band, you can definitely use that for your standing anti-rotation holds. If not, you can literally use any object that provides a good amount of weight, resistance, and/or tension for your core exercise. Make sure to start simple, and gradually add more weight or a stronger resistance as you continue to experiment with this move, so you don't strain yourself or run into any injuries. If you feel like venturing to the gym, you can try out standing anti-rotation holds on a cable-weighted machine, like in the video above. So many options, so many #AbGains.
Oh, and just because you're not an Olympic ski racer, doesn't mean that Vonn's workout won't be extremely effective in your own life. Anti-rotation exercises will teach you how to effectively engage your core during any challenging workout that you take on, and the movements can really help prevent future workout injuries by strengthening and stabilizing your core and your back.
Plus, because these movements offer you so much increased strength and stability, the workout will make all your other ab and core work seem a hell of a lot easier. TBH, your typical crunches will probably feel like a piece of cake if you include Vonn's favorite ab workout into your routine on the reg. I don't know about you, but I'm sold.
Erin Jackson is an inline skating world medalist and roller derby MVP. She dreamed of skating in the Olympics, but to do that, she had to get on ice. She took her first steps on a long-track course in 2016 and started training professionally in September 2017. Four months later, she qualified for the Olympic Winter Games. Check out Elite Daily Insights' video on Jackson's incredible story: