With the Track and Field World Championships currently taking place in Beijing, the QALO team caught up with Russ and Kara Winger, the newlywed throwers. Russ throws discus, and Kara is a two times Olympian javelin thrower.
– Written for and in collaboration with www.muscleandfitness.com
Kara tore her ACL in 2012, but has since bounced back to her status as an elite javelin thrower. Here’s what she has to say about a few of the unique exercises that have aided in her recovery and her throwing.
Hazle Squats: It’s named after my old training partner, Mike Hazle, who created them. It’s a split squat, except that the bar starts on the ground between your legs and you lift it from there, keeping your posture strong. This helps the legs and your core get used to becoming stronger in a slightly tweaked position than a typical split squat.
Skin the Cats: A gymnastics workout on the rings. With rings directly overhead, fully extend your arms and pull yourself up through the rings — legs going overhead first into a ball-up, then down into a pike position, close to 360 degrees rotated. Rewind back through.
Russ’s training is set up with two things in mind: throwing well and staying healthy, with the focus shifting depending on the portion of the season. He gave us an overview of his through-the-year schedule. Here’s what he told us:
Core: Do core work 5-15 minutes every training day. I don’t do many sit-ups or crunches (I think they are pointless from a stability standpoint). Instead, we tend to do a lot of bodyweight exercises that target the spinal erectors, obliques, and transverse abdominal muscles because they’re the foundation for trunk stability.
- Snatch from the floor – 4 sets, 2 reps
- Dumbbell bench pres – 6 sets, 3 reps
- Rows or similar upper body posterior chain exercise – 3 sets, 8 reps
- Romanian deadlift or similar lower body posterior chain exercise – 3 sets, 10 reps
- Box jumps or broad jumps – 3-5 sets
- Squats with 2 second pause at the bottom – 6 sets, 2 reps
- 1/4 box squats, quick – 2 sets, 4 reps
- Good mornings – 3 sets, 10 reps
Peak Season Training: More emphasis on throwing and recovery than the weightroom. Lift two to three sessions per week, less than 30 minutes each, with low volume and moderate intensity. I do more plyometric work, medicine ball throws, and sprint work.
Off Season: Complete absence from the gym. Allow your body to heal for two to three months with rest and exercise outside.
Take a fuller look into Russ and Kara’s life as newlyweds and throwers at their beautiful Colorado home.