The move I love to hate: Snowboarder Arielle Gold's weighted squat jumps
Snowboarder Arielle Gold is a proven fighter: At the Pyeongchang Olympics last year, she clawed her way back from last place to land on the podium with a bronze medal.
This year, with three years before the next Olympic Games, Gold's goal is to focus on having fun snowboarding. "Last season was really intense for me, so I'm looking at this year as an opportunity to get back on my snowboard and enjoy some riding with friends while continuing to progress as much as possible," she said.
She shared a move that helps to train the explosiveness and fast-twitch muscles she depends on when she's on the halfpipe.
What it is: Weighted squat jumps
How to do it: You can do this exercise with or without weight. If you have never done squat jumps before, I would recommend starting without weight, and working your way up to a 45-pound bar. I never go much higher in weight than that, as I prefer to do more reps with less weight and better form.
Hold the bar behind your head and sit back into a squat, then explode up off the ground. Land with your knees slightly bent and immediately squat and jump again.
For this exercise, it's important to keep your core engaged and back flat. I try to go about as deep as I can go without breaking form.
When I do it: I usually do this exercise about once a week, and use it as a warm-up for weighted squats. It's great because it gets my legs moving, and I can do it on the same squat rack, as I'll be putting weight on for the next exercise.
Why I do it: I like doing this particular exercise because it helps build power in my legs, which is really important for snowboarding. As snowboarders we deal with a lot of G-forces, so it's important to have strong legs that can resist those kinds of forces.
Why it's so killer: Typically I do three sets of 10, so that in itself will get your heart rate up. It's an awesome exercise because it's a combination of strength and plyometrics -- the bar helps to improve strength, and the repeated jumps mimic most plyometric exercises. This exercise builds power in both your legs and back, and helps tune fast-twitch muscles that are essential for staying safe in snowboarding, as well as other high-risk sports.