Yulia Efimova, controversial Olympic swimmer, goes viral for painful workout

Yulia Efimova, controversial Olympic swimmer, goes viral for painful workout

As far as home workouts go, this one is an absolute doozy.

People in quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak are searching for ways to stay fit and if you want to build that six-pack, you could do worse than attempt to imitate Olympian Yulia Efimova.

A clip of the Russian swimmer keeping her core strength up outside the pool has been viewed more than 10 million times on social media. But fair warning, it looks mighty painful.

The three-time Olympic medalist uploaded a video to Instagram earlier this month of her mimicking swimming strokes while on a kitchen countertop. Her legs are on the island table while everything from the top of her thighs onwards is suspended in the air as she alternates between freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and even backstroke.

Someone can be seen in the clip holding on to Efimova’s feet so she doesn’t fall off, so perhaps it’s not quite as impressive as it seems at first glance. But it’s still bloody difficult and requires a heck of a lot of strength to stay level as she feels the burn.

Yulia Efimova at the 2019 World Championships
Yulia Efimova at the 2019 World ChampionshipsAFP via Getty Images

Efimova is a controversial figure in swimming, having served a 16-month ban across 2014-15 because of a positive drugs test for a banned steroid. Swimming’s governing body FINA was also heavily criticized in 2016 when it lifted her provisional ban after she also tested positive to meldonium, allowing her to compete in the Rio Olympics.

Her spot in the Tokyo Games, now scheduled for 2021, remains in question. Russia has been banned from the events, but athletes can still compete as neutral if they comply to the anti-doping criteria. According to NBCSports.com, there have not been any reports of the 28-year-old testing positive since Rio.

“I have already hired a lawyer. There is a rule that a person can’t be punished twice for the same offense,” she told RT.com. “If you violate a driving code or instigated a brawl you will not be punished twice for that. I hope it will work, but I cannot be sure of [a positive outcome].

“Right after my race at the Rio Games, I said that this doping controversy was not over, it was just the beginning, and we would have problems in the future. It was quite clear. And with every new year the situation is only getting worse and worse.”

Efimova was the target of attacks from fellow swimmers at the last Olympics, who didn’t believe it was fair to be competing against her.

That explains why Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson wasn’t impressed with what he was seeing online. When Efimova’s clip had a couple of million views he wrote on Twitter: “2 million views for a dope cheat, gtf.”

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