Snowboarder Hannah Teter has literally done it all: she’s won Olympic medals in halfpipe—gold in 2006 and silver in 2010—modeled for SI’s swimsuit issue and even had an ice cream named after her (Ben & Jerry’s “Maple Blondie”). But there’s one thing that still bugs her about her career: she didn’t make the podium at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, finishing fourth.
“That didn’t turn out in my favor,” she said. “I wouldn’t call it ‘out for revenge,’ but I definitely want to end everything with a podium finish.”
So before Teter, 29, pulls the curtain on her competitive career to ride powder into the sunset, she wants to make her fourth Olympic team and end it on the top three steps. To get there, her training includes perfecting her “corks”—inverted, spinning aerials considered the sport’s most difficult tricks—to the trampoline to training that will protect her body from injury. And to do the latter, Teter uses a combination of gym work and cross training like mountain biking and standup paddling.
When she does go to the gym, she uses circuit training to keep things fresh, moving from station to station at a high-octane pace. “I’ve been circuit training since I was 13 years old,” she said. “It’s is so good for athletes. It’s really fast paced for the body and mind and you have to give it all you have at each station so training doesn’t’ become monotonous.”
Teter hits the gym twice a week and does six stations. Following a 10-minute warm-up on the bike, she’ll usually do each station four times, sometimes three, depending on her energy level on that particular day. She’ll change up her stations to keep things interesting, but here’s a look at one of Teter’s favorite circuit workouts:
1. Burpee or burpee variation
I’ll use a bosu ball when I go down to do the pushup to create a more difficult pushup, then as I come up, I raise the bosu ball overhead to get extension, then go back down. I usually do around 10 of those before moving to the next station.
2. Weighted sled pull
Seated or standing, put as much weight as you can handle and then pull it across the room towards you. Depending on how heavy it is, I’ll do that a couple of times. It usually takes about 20 seconds each time.
3. One-legged split squat
In the third station, three, I set up a one-legged split squat. Using a 20-pound dumbbell, with my back foot on a bench or box, I squat down with one leg, knee parallel or behind ankle line. You don’t want the knee to go over the ankle line because it could strain that joint. I feel that this exercise really tones the leg. I do both sides, about 10-15 reps on each leg.
4. TRX pike push-up
For the fourth exercise I integrate the TRX strap—a strap that hangs with stirrups on each side—and do tight pushups. I set the TRX low to ground, both feet in it, then do the push up and go straight into pike—arching the body into an a-frame position to extend the pushup. I do at least 20 of these. Using the TRX strap and going into pike really helps stabilize and strengthen every part of your upper body.
5. TRX assisted jump
For the fifth part of the circuit I stick with the TRX strap for a TRX-assisted jump. I lengthen the strap to shoulder line. Holding on to it, squat down so your rear is touching the ground. Then jump up—you really want to send it—and then squat as you land, as low as you can go. I do around 15-20 reps of these.
6. Medicine ball work
For the last station, I love doing weighted squats or throws or side throws. Using a 10-pound medicine ball, get in squat position. Squat down low and on the way up, toss the ball against the wall, catch it then squat back down. I do 10-15 of those. As you come up from your squat, you want to throw it straight in front of you. I don’t throw it too hard, just enough to intensify the squat.
After completing her rotations through her circuit, Teter likes to finish up her workout by attacking her core with a vengeance.
“All these exercises target the core but I usually give it full, undivided attention with crunches, reaches, cherry pickers or wall climbers," she says. "When you’re finished, you should really be worked.”