In this training spotlight XTERRA Coach and four-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) Jiachao Wang demonstrates two of his favorite in-home exercises to strengthen your legs and back.
Wang, who hails from the Yunnan Province in China, home to the XTERRA Kunming off-road sports festival, was just five years old when he lost his left arm at the shoulder in an electrical accident. A year later he was teaching himself how to swim in the river by his house and by the time he was 13, Wang was representing China at the Paralympic Games in Athens.
Two years ago, at the 2017 XTERRA World Championship, Wang refused to race in the Physically Challenged division and instead raced in the open 25-29 category. During the swim, Jiachao ranked 11th out of 46 competitors in his age group, all of whom had two arms. At the time, he was swimming about 10,000 meters a day, in addition to learning mountain biking and trail running skills.
His performance in Maui was not surprising to anyone who knows him. In 2012, he was part of the gold-medal winning team in the men's 4x100 meter relay at the Paralympic Games in London. Currently, the 28-year-old is on the Chinese National Paratriathlon team and is looking forward to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
To be strong like Jiachao, try to do four-sets of 20 jump lunges, “always concentrating on balancing your body,” says Wang. And to help strengthen your core and back, assume the swimming position on a yoga mat and kick your legs just like you were in the pool and do swim strokes for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Do this exercise four times.
Learn more about Jiachao here.