You might be seeing ski racer Julia Mancuso's name being thrown around a lot lately in the aftermath of teammate Lindsey Vonn's announcement that she would not compete in the Sochi games. But Mancuso's trophy case is actually filled with more medals than Vonn's—and she'll compete in the World Cup this weekend, most likely clinching a trip to her third Olympics.
Mancuso, a part-time Hawaii resident, is a well-known free spirit. Her love affair with skiing actually started out as a fun thing she'd do as a kid.
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"I could beat most of the boys when I was 10 years old," she says, laughing. "It's just one of those sports you get into by having a good time."
Fast-forward to her professional career, when world championships and Olympic medals are at stake, and she's whipping down courses at 80 mph.
"It's a fast sport, and it's really about making the smoothest turn, the fastest time out of the gate," she says.
To help snag those wins, core and leg strength are pretty crucial. So the skier depends on moves like tuck jumps, which help "connect your core with your legs," she says, while simulating quick turns on the course.
For the skiers out there, this move will help keep you in shape to hit the mountain, be it a bunny slope or black diamond.
THE MOVE: TUCK JUMPS
Begin in a standing position. Bend your knees to 90 degrees. Using your full power, do an explosive jump, bringing your knees up to your chest. Keep hands forward, as if holding ski poles (beginner? Use your arms to help gain momentum, as shown in the pic). Continue jumping for 20 seconds, then rest 20 seconds; repeat until you hit a minute. Try to work up to five sets of this one-minute combination.
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Image Credits: Top photo: Roger Witney/Alpine Canada; Move: Larsen + Talbert
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