Born in small-town Minnesota, Lindsey Vonn's father put her on skis at age 2, and the 32-year-old has never looked back. Today, she is the most decorated female skier in history, she’s incredibly determined, hard-working, and resilient. She has an impressive five World Championship medals, 77 World Cup wins (the all-time record for a woman), and two Olympic medals: a bronze in Super G as well as a gold in downhill, both earned at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She's also the only American woman to win a gold medal in downhill skiing at the Olympics and the only American woman with four World Cup overall titles.
But all this success hasn't come without a lot of hard work—and some big setbacks. Vonn always pushes herself to her limit, and in February 2013, she crashed in the World Championships and required surgery to repair her torn anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ligaments (MCL). She tried to return to skiing at the end of that year, but re-injured her knee in a November crash, forcing her to withdraw from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. However, with a lot of grit and a commitment to her rehab, she recovered to complete a full season in 2015, when she won her 63rd Alpine skiing World Cup race, making her the winningest female ski racer in history.
Unfortunately in February 2016, while charging hard in a super G run at the World Cup, Vonn suffered three fractures in her tibial plateau. After recovering from that injury, nine months later, she crashed during training in Colorado. This accident left her with a severely fractured right humerus bone and nerve damage in her hand. Never one to give up or get down, Vonn focused 100 percent on her recovery and returned to competition, an impressive two months later and fearlessly won the World Cup downhill event in January, her 77th World Cup victory. She also took third in downhill at the World Championships in February. The bronze makes her both the first American alpine skier to capture a medal at five World Championships and the oldest female skier to medal at the World Championships.
When she's not in her ski boots or on the slopes, Vonn likes to spend time with her family and dogs Lucy, Leo, and Bear. She also started the Lindsey Vonn Foundation in February 2015 to empower young girls by giving them opportunities and experiences that build self-esteem. No matter what she’s doing and where she travels, Vonn shines with confidence, determination, and beauty, inspiring everyone.
“What kept me going [during recovery from my second knee injury] was skiing--getting back to the things I love to do,” she says. “When I’m healthy and on the slopes, I’m very, very happy.”Read More
The iconic athlete uses her star power to help girls fearlessly go after their dreams.Read More
The highly decorated skier shows that staying positive and working hard leads to the results you want.Read More
Anytime she's suffered a setback, she's returned to the slopes to keep on winning, again and again.Read More
A seven-minute workout sounds too good to be true. Can you really get an effective exercise session in such a short period of time?
Answer: It depends.
“If you look at basic physiology, there is an inverse relationship between exercise duration and exercise intensity,” says Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. “If you work out harder, you can work out for less time and get similar health and fitness returns.”
And that's the catch: You need to work out hard and make every second of your workout count if you're going to do a seven-minute session.
In a 2013 study co-authored by Jordan, they recommend high-intensity circuit training. That means that on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being your absolute hardest, you should be working at an 8 or 9. “If you are doing high intensity, it's going to be more draining and you're going to be fatiguing a lot quicker,” says Jackie Church, an exercise physiologist and ACE certified trainer.
If you want even more of a challenge, do the workout with bands like the TheraBand CLX. “This will maximize your heart rate, burn out your muscles, and make it more effective,” Church says. “You will start to feel it after just a few reps if you add resistance.”
You want to perform exercises that work multiple large muscles, such as burpees, squats, and pushups. Doing these types of exercises with little rest in between sets is the key to getting both aerobic and strength benefits.
“A typical cardio workout might be riding on a stationary bike at a constant, moderate intensity for 45 to 60 minutes, watching TV or checking Facebook,” Jordan says. “All you can expect from that are moderate fitness improvements.”
With high-intensity circuit training, however, you get both cardiovascular benefits since it's fast-paced as well as strength benefits since you're doing resistance work. And in addition to burning calories during the workout, you'll keep burning calories and fat afterward. Research shows that high-intensity workouts increase the amount of growth hormone and catecholamines (another type of hormone) in the blood. Both of these facilitate muscle mass gain and fat metabolism.
Although there are all these benefits, Church cautions that the seven-minute workout isn't the end-all, be-all. “It's great if you're traveling, but it's not the thing to do all the time,” she says, adding that you want to also incorporate strength training with added resistance such as dumbbells or resistance bands.
She also recommends that if you choose to do high-intensity training, do so for at least 20 minutes, which is what the American College of Sports Medicine recommends. For example, do three rounds of your seven-minute workout or mix and match a couple of these workout videos with Church.Read More
It’s well established that we all need to perform muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week whether you’re young or old1. Elastic bands and tubing have been used for over 100 years for muscle strengthening exercises in fitness, sports and rehabilitation. Still, many think weight machines and free weights are more effective at building muscle. So which is best? In short, the answer is, “Both weights and bands can build muscle!”
What does the science say? There are several research articles from around the world that have compared weights and elastic resistance. Researchers in the United States2 compared the strength curves of TheraBand elastic tubing to free weight dumbbells during a shoulder abduction exercise. They found that both the elastic and isotonic resistances produced a “bell-shaped” strength curve, similar to muscular strength curves, where muscle works it’s hardest at the middle part of the range of motion. The strength curve of both exercises showed that the resistance stimulus to the muscle was similar throughout the motion. Italian researchers3 confirmed that TheraBand resistance provides a similar strength curve to weight machines, further noting the versatility of elastic resistance compared to weight machines.
Danish researchers4 compared TheraBand resistance bands and free weight dumbbells during 3 upper body exercises commonly used in rehabilitation. They compared the electromyographic (EMG) muscle activation at the same intensity levels (measured by perceived exertion) during the 3 exercises. The researchers found no significant difference in muscle activation between the elastic resistance and isotonic resistance exercises, noting that both were equally effective.
In addition to providing similar levels of muscle activation, elastic resistance can provide equally effective strength gains as weights5. Researchers in Spain randomly assigned middle-aged women into 3 groups: TheraBand resistance, weight-stack machines, or a non-exercising control group. The 2 exercise groups performed the same exercises at similar intensity levels using either bands or weights. Both exercise groups significantly improved their strength and body composition, and there was no significant difference in the improvements between groups.
Based on the research, it’s clear that elastic and isotonic resistances are equally effective for strengthening exercises for fitness or rehabilitation. In fact, Malaysian researchers6 concluded that elastic resistance “can be suggested as an affordable and non-gym based exercise device which has the capacity to provide an appropriate high resistance stimulus to meet the training requirement of athletes.”
So what can you do to incorporate elastic resistance in your fitness routine? Simply put, any muscle can be exercised with elastic resistance. There’s no limitation to a fixed motion like a machine, or movements restricted to gravity. Bands and tubing can be used virtually anywhere from the gym to the house, to the hotel room and even the park. It’s recommended to strengthen large muscle groups for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at least 2 times per week. Use a resistance that allows you to complete the repetitions to an exertion level somewhere between 6 and 8 on a scale of 10. As you get stronger, you can increase the resistance of the band by moving to the next color in the TheraBand color progression.
There you have it. Exercise Everywhere! In addition to its effectiveness and versatility, the lower cost and more efficient use of space make elastic resistance an excellent choice for resistance exercises.
1. Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, et al. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(8):1423-1434.
4. Andersen LL, Andersen CH, Mortensen OS, Poulsen OM, Bjornlund IB, Zebis MK. Muscle activation and perceived loading during rehabilitation exercises: comparison of dumbbells and elastic resistance. Phys Ther. 2010;90(4):538-549.
6. Aboodara SJ, Shariff MAH, Muhamed AMC, Ibrahim F, Yusof A. Electromyographic activity and applied load during high intensity elastic resistacne and nautilus machine exercises. J Human Kinetics. 2011;30.Read More