Winter Olympics in Moscow and riding for free

Snow-sport participation enhances your balance, agility and coordination, but you still need to get in shape to ski or ride. You probably know this already.  This year,  as Russia hosts the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics many people might catch Olympic fever, and head to the slopes.  A shocking surprise awaits those who fail to get in shape before doing so. The Russian Olympic Committee came up with a highly creative way to drive the point home.

The Russian Olympic Committee convinced the Moscow transit system to provide a way for riders to earn their passage on the subway system: By performing squats! After all, they did not want the citizens of Russia to look chubby and out of shape in comparison to their well-toned athletes!

In November 2013,  Olympic officials set up a machine that issues a free subway ticket as a reward for performing 30 squats. They imposed a two-minute time limit, as a means of encouraging people to incorporate “Olympic values” into their commute. Russian gymnastic champion Yelena Zamolodchikova began the event, and she was definitely a hard act to follow.

Alexander Zuhov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, noted that they wanted to show the people of Russia that the Olympic Games were not just a sporting event to watch on television every two years,  but an inspiration to inspire people to engage in an athletic lifestyle.

Those who met the challenge saved the equivalent of 93 cents in US funds. This gives a whole new meaning to the word “freeride.”

As a closed-chain, compound exercise, the squat just happens to be an ideal exercise for skiing and riding. “Compound” means that it works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, just like skiing. “Closed chain” lower body exercises keep your foot in a fixed position. This creates compression forces, which stabilize the knee.

To add an element of balance to your squat, watch the guy in the video who performs them on one leg!

Once you improve your strength and balance, your training one step further, and incorporate the bosu and the medicine ball. Stand on the of the bosu, and toss the weighted medicine ball into the air. Catch the ball as you bend your knees and sit back into the squat.

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