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Play Better

Run faster, jump higher, and raise your game in any sport with the tips and strategies in this blog.

Play Better

How to Train for Backcountry Skiing

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Hiking up and skiing down is incredibly taxing on your body, requiring more strength, endurance, and power than skiing at a resort.

In the backcountry, you won't have the luxury of taking a break and grabbing food in a lodge so plan your nutrition and hydration ahead of time.

Also, in terms of your gym training, think about incorporating conditioning work into strength and power circuits.

Here are a few tips to help you get started in the gym:

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Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Skiing, Snowboarding

Play Better

Strengthen Your Core for Hoops

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No doubt, the game of basketball has evolved over the last 20 years. Players are bigger, stronger, faster, and more powerful. Play is much more physical. And longer seasons mean more games.

As the game has become more physically demanding, the number of injuries has increased. Some athletes can jump out of the gym, but can't land without their knees caving in. Even many elite-level players lack decent core stability.

Proper conditioning can significantly reduce the risk of injury and improve performance, but the most critical areas to develop are often the ones nobody wants to train. What follows is a primer on how to improve one of the most essential elements to basketball performance—your core strength.

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Tags: Prehab, Basketball, Pillar strength, Shoulder, Abs, Torso, Injury Prevention, Sports Performance

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What to Eat and Drink During a Half Marathon

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Just like you train your body, you need to prepare your stomach for a race. In the weeks leading up to a half marathon, for instance, experiment with energy gels and chewable energy products that you can keep in your pockets. Check with the race organizers ahead of time to see what they’ll be offering at the fueling stations on race day, such as CLIF, PowerBar, and Hammer gels. Then try a few different products during your practice runs to see what works best for you.

Avoid trying something new on race day since it might upset your stomach or cause cramps. By knowing ahead of time what you’ll consume during the race, you can relax and have fun. Use the simple plan below to help you fuel up on race day, and keep running strong for the full 13.1 miles.

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Tags: Energy System Development, Protein, Carbohydrate, Outdoor Recreation, Running, Race, Energy

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Essential Q&As for New Cyclists

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As the owner and operator of Cycling Camp San Diego, Robert Panzera coaches performance cyclists who want to make the leap to racing. In his new book Cycling Fast: Winning Essentials for Cycling Competition, Panzera explains how many of the same elite cycling training techniques also translate for beginning cyclists entering their first group ride—even triathletes. He recently spoke with CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Race, Energy System Development, Triathlon, Training, Outdoor Recreation, Cardio, Cycling

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How to Harness Cody Ross' Championship Mindset

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Pat Burrell and Cody Ross are two of the most unlikely players to be appearing in this year’s World Series, a pair of key cogs in the San Francisco Giants’ run deep into the baseball postseason.

Both players train at Athletes’ Performance during the off-season and both faced uncertain futures just a few months ago. Burrell, 34, struggled in the designated hitter role in parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and was released in May.

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Tags: Attitude, Motivation, Baseball

Play Better

A New Angle on the Water: Stand-Up Paddling

Pete Williams

It’s a warm fall afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the water in Tampa Bay, as usual, is flat. That mean’s surf’s up for the dozen or so people standing on boards and using long paddles to navigate between North Shore Beach and the St. Petersburg Pier. Depending on your vantage point, stand-up paddling (or “SUP” for short) is a popular new sport, a challenging core fitness routine, or a recreational alternative to kayaking and boating.

“It’s all three,” says Brody Welte, who owns and operates Stand Up Fitness Inc. in St. Petersburg. “You’re not going to find waves everywhere and this is an awesome workout you can do year-round. Plus it’s a lot of fun.” Stand-up paddling dates back centuries in Hawaii, but has taken off in the last few years. From big-wave surfers such as Laird Hamilton to people who have never been on a surfboard, large numbers of Americans are standing on boards and paddling.

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Tags: Balance, Outdoor Recreation, Cardio, Health, Build Muscle, Leisure Time, Pillar strength, Stability

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Jumpstart Your Triathlon Training

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When 1,800 athletes enter Kailua Bay in Hawaii for the 33rd annual Ironman World Championship on Oct. 9, they will embark on what for many is the ultimate endurance sports accomplishment. The race is considered the end of the triathlon season for most of the country, though Florida hosts a number of events later this year, including Ironman’s 70.3 (half Ironman) championship in Clearwater on Nov. 13 and the inaugural Key West Triathlon on Dec. 5.

But just because the season is drawing to a close doesn’t mean your training should wind down as well.

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Tags: Swimming, Race, Goals, Energy System Development, Triathlon, Training, Outdoor Recreation, Cycling, Running

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Reaction Time Drill for Goalies

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Q: What exercises will help improve my reaction time as a lacrosse goalie?

A: Whether your sport is lacrosse, soccer, or hockey, you have a lot to react to as a goalie. To train for it, let's start with simple off-the-field drills and then progress to more complex drills. Here's a sample progression:

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Tags: Agility, Sports Performance, Outdoor Recreation, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Field Hockey, Reaction, Q&A, Focus

Play Better

How to Get in Shape for Beach Volleyball

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Q: I want to get in shape for beach volleyball. Any advice?

A: Prepare for the sand. You may think you have a good foundation of fitness already, but sand changes everything.

Because sand is so unstable, it saps more of your body's energy when you move. So you can't afford to waste additional energy with inefficient movement patterns. It's critical that you move efficiently, especially through your hips, torso, and shoulders, also known as your “pillar.” This will allow you to conserve energy throughout the match.

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Tags: Pillar strength, Q&A, Volleyball, Sports Performance, Outdoor Recreation

Play Better

Best Stretches for Surfers

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Try this trio of dynamic stretches before you surf, afterwards, or anytime you work out. These moves will help you get in the athletic positions you need on the board by releasing tightness in your hips and shoulders, which tend to stiffen up from paddling and surfing.

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Tags: Movement Preparation, Q&A, Stretching, Flexibility, Outdoor Recreation

Blogs

Movement

5 Stretches to Refresh Your Warmup

Try these dynamic stretches to prepare for a better workout.

Live Better

Feeling Uninspired? Take a Walk

When you feel your creativity lacking, taking a walk can help you find inspiration, according to a small study from Stanford University researchers.

Nutrition

Q&A: Supplements for Vegetarian Bodybuilders

Three things to know if you train hard and don't eat meat.

Well at Work

Survey: American Employees Skipping Vacation Days for Work

A new survey found that only 25 percent of employees with paid time off took advantage of it in 2013.

The Performance Life

5 Tips to Build Teamwork and Fun Through Obstacle Racing

Here's what you need to know about using obstacle races to build teamwork at work.