Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Six exclusive Winter Olympic workouts from SWEAT Fitness

It’s easy to become a couch potato during the Winter Olympics. The Northeast has been undergoing extreme cold temperatures (not to mention snow, sleet, and power outages) there’s really no reason to leave the comfort of your home. Well except for one reason, you have fitness inspiration.

We may not be gunning for gold medals (this year) but we can still look to Olympians for every day exercise inspiration. Whether it’s bobsledding or figure skating that draws you to the winter games, these workouts can help you hone the same skills required of the world’s top athletes. The trainers of SWEAT Fitness have developed six fun, unique workouts based on six Olympic sports that can be done at any of their eight locations. These exercises are designed for anyone at any fitness level – the trainers at SWEAT are always present to teach you the proper technique for each of these workouts. Start working out like an Olympian today!

1. Biathlon

From the trainers at the Queen Village location.

Biathlon demands tremendous cardiovascular fitness and full body strength. Mixing things up helps you learn to focus intently on what’s in front of you – an essential skill for biathletes.

20-minute workout:

  • 15 Kettle Bell Swings
  • 15 Burpees
  • 14 Kettle Bell Swings
  • 14 Burpees
  • 13 Kettle Bell Swings
  • 13 Burpees
  • 12 Kettle Bell Swings and so on

2. Figure Skating

From the trainers at the Old City location.

To be an Olympic Figure Skater it takes cardiovascular endurance and incredible lower body and core strength, at the same time it keeps your muscles long and lean. It’s also important to be flexible so spend some time at SWEAT’s Yoga and Pilates classes!

Warm up: 5 to 10 min of active stretching

  • Speed skater hops - 10 each side
  • Bosu ball push up -12
  • Death squats - 10
  • Bosu ball toss – 20

Repeat Circuit 4-5 times After full workout is completed rest 5 min and run 400m as fast as you can, for speed.

*Bosu ball push up -set a light body bar across the flat bottom of the bosu ball and do a pushup *Death squat - stand on spherical side of bosu ball with a stability ball pressed against the wall behind you with another one between your knees. Hold a medicine ball straight out and do slow squats keeping your core engaged

*Bosu ball toss- stand on top of bosu ball and toss a medicine ball to partner

3. Bobsledding

From the trainers at Center City location.

This might be the sport that demands the most total body agility, speed, power and mental acuteness. A lot of explosive power and agility is needed for the run and the push before jumping into the sled. Core strength is needed for the ride down the chute to steer and stay steady.

At the Center City location, SWEAT Fitness incorporates Road Barriers into functional fitness classes. This is a great way to practice the motion of pushing a bobsled to gain speed and explosive power. There is also an indoor track, which makes it simple to run laps!

  • 1 lap barrier push
  • 20 skiers R and Left sides
  • 2 lap sprint
  • 1 minute dumbbell row
  • 1 minute box jump

*Skiers - Stand with feet hip width apart keeping your chest lifted and knees soft, bend slightly forward at the waist and lift right leg back behind hip. Spring in a rainbow-type movement with your right leg as you bound laterally to the right. Land softly on your right food with your left leg in the air, hold for 2 counts balance and repeat the lateral jump to the other side.

*Row - Grab a dumbbell and choose a flat bench. Place your right leg on top of the end of the bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support. Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. Pull the dumbbell up to the side of your chest keeping your upper arm close to your side and torso stationary.

4. Luge

From the trainers at the Manayunk location.

Though it may look like you just lie on a sled and hope not to crash, this sport seriously works the core muscles. You are in control of the sled by contracting your core. You also need to have a strong neck to see where you’re going and strong arms for the initial push.

Who would have thought that sandbags could be used to help gauge the core muscles?

  • While in a plank position, place the sandbag on your back to add resistance. Hold for 1 minute
  • Next, get up and push the bag on the floor doing 5-10 wall climbs
  • Do 5 pull-ups, or assisted ones if you can’t do a full pull-up
  • Finish up with 20-30 bicep curls on each arm.

Repeat circuit 3-5 times

5. Alpine (Downhill) Skiing

From the trainers at the Conshohocken location.

Downhill skiing requires some serious lower-body strength; the glutes, calves, quads, and hip flexors are all involved.

  • 5 Rounds of 10 Dumbbell Front Squats
  • 10 Weighted Dumbbell Side Lunges (per side)
  • 20 Jumping Air Squats
  • 15 Box Jumps

6. Ice Hockey

From the trainers at the South Philly location.

There is really no substitute for on-ice work for your skating but getting ice time isn’t always easy. One of the best substitutes for skating is incorporating a hockey slide board. A slide board has many benefits including: building upper body strength and endurance, hip stability and strength, reducing the risk of hip and knee injuries, improving skating balance as well as distance skating. Slide boards are also used in rehab for ACL injuries and provide a good aerobic workout.

Circuit Training:

  • 1 min working hard on the slide board
  • 30 secs rest
  • 30 secs of pushups
  • 15 secs rest
  • 1 min of crunches
  • 30 sec of rest
  • 30 secs working hard on the slide board doing mountain climbers

*Grab one of the bumpers with both hands and tuck legs under your body. Alternate pushing your legs out one at a time.

If you want to add in more strength training, have someone toss you a weighted medicine ball as you stroke from side to side.

“People don’t know the process which athletes undertake in their individual sports to reach the Olympic level,” says Tracy Shannon, “it’s a full-time job but spectators of the sport can channel their inner Olympian with these workouts that can be done at any of the SWEAT Fitness locations.”

Sochi may be out of your reach, but a leaner, stronger, more energetic you is only a few weeks away.


At SWEAT Fitness, everyone is welcome. Their expert trainers, instructors and fitness professionals are committed to helping their members achieve fitness goals. Members of SWEAT have unlimited access to their 8 convenient locations, which include: Center City, Fitler Square, Manayunk, Queen Village, Old City, South Philly, King of Prussia and Conshohocken. SWEAT features state-of-the-art cardio machines, circuit equipment and free weights and boasts a variety of unique classes ranging from Cycling to Yoga, which are all included in their memberships. For more information please visit

SWEAT Fitness
Latest Videos
Also on
Stay Connected