Mikaela Shiffrin's Olympic Workouts Look Hard AF, But Here's How To Make Them Easier
You know those days when you think you're about to go super hard at the gym and absolutely slay your planned workouts, but then you get there and wind up being lazy AF and letting your inner slacker come out to play? Same, fam. Well, apparently, Olympic athletes don't have those kinds of days, like, ever, and it blows my mind that they give all their training sessions 100 percent all day, every day. Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin's workouts in particular look intense as hell, and kind of impossible for the average, non-Olympian human. Rest assured, though, if you want to work out like your girl Mikaela, you can definitely tweak some of her go-to exercises to fit into your own routine.
Guys, I think Mikaela Shiffrin is the coolest 22-year-old I've ever encountered. I mean, TIME called her the best skier in the world, and she's casually the first woman in 78 freaking years to win three consecutive world titles in slalom, according to the Team USA website. So yeah, that's a thing.
But you don't just acquire those beast-like skills overnight, people. Shiffrin's worked her ass off every freaking day to get to where she is, and her ridiculously challenging workouts reveal just that.
Here are five of Shiffrin's workouts that would most likely make you cry if you tried them on your own — but fear not, because I've come up with ways to modify each exercise to fit your own level of athleticism, so you can low-key pretend to be just as cool as this amazing Olympian. Happy sweating!
1. Weighted Step-Up Jumps
According to Women's Health, weighted step-up jumps are a staple in Shiffrin's ski training routine because of all of the lower-body strength, stability, and balance that this exercise helps you build and maintain.
If you're not an Olympian skiing fiend, though, you can try basic step-ups onto an elevated surface or bench. TBH, this variation isn't even really that "basic" without the weights, since you'll still be sure to feel the burn in your calves and glutes regardless.
If you're down for the challenge, and you truly want to train like an Olympian, feel free to add a set of weighted dumbbells that work for your level of strength. After all, Mikaela Shiffrin uses weights, so like, if you use them, too, you're basically the same person now... right?
2. Barbell Lateral Lunges
Barbell lateral lunges are another lower-body exercise that Shiffrin performs on the reg to improve her coordination and acquire some major glute strength to help perfect her turns on the slopes.
Instead of straining yourself with a huge barbell, though, you can try single-leg lateral lunges (which are basically just a side lunge) for similar strengthening effects and more accessibility.
BTW, Chloe Kim does single-leg lateral lunges, so you'll still be on that Olympic workout spectrum, girlfriend.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training Sessions (HIIT)
If you don't consider yourself a generally emotional person, I can pretty much guarantee that Shiffrin's intense interval training workouts would make you shed a tear or two.
According to The New Yorker, Shiffrin grades her workouts on a scale from one to 10, where a 10 apparently equates to "dying or passing out." The badass skier told the publication that she usually clocks in around a nine on that scale, and that she's apparently come close to passing out from her grueling training sessions.
So, yeah, I wouldn't exactly recommend you try her exact moves at home, nor do I suggest exercising to the point of passing out. But opting for a sweaty and demanding HIIT circuit that matches your skillset is a totally doable alternative that'll definitely still challenge your body.
4. Single-Leg Deadlifts With Your Eyes Closed
Deadlifts are an incredibly hard move to master, even in their most basic form. But being the overachiever that she is, Shiffrin decided that her workout routine should include single-leg deadlifts... with her eyes closed. Very casual, NBD.
OK, she didn't actually decide this on all on her own. Jeff Lackie, Shiffrin’s U.S. ski team coach and trainer, is the one who includes them in her routine to "create spatial awareness" and stability, according to a 2016 report from NorthJersey.com.
For a more approachable alternative to this intense workout, try barbell hip thrusts or simple glute bridge raises to get similar lower-body benefits, without face-planting and destroying your lower back in the process.
5. As Many Box Jumps As Possible, As Fast As You Can
To add power and explosiveness to her Olympic techniques, Shiffrin includes lateral box jumps into her workouts. Obviously, though, she doesn't just stop there; according to NorthJersey.com, the Olympian moves as fast as possible, and she squeezes in as many reps as possible, in the shortest amount of time she can manage. Damn, Mikaela. I would ask you to teach me your ways, but I'm kind of frightened of even attempting to become as skilled as you are.
For an alternative to the workout, try hopping on the leg press at your local gym so that you can work the same muscle groups as Shiffrin does before she hits the slopes — without risking scraped shins or ankle sprains, because let's be real, box jumps are an injury waiting to happen for us plebs.
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: