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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

Hydration Tips for Soliders

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Staying hydrated can be a challenge for military personnel who often deal with hot, dry conditions over long periods. Factor in long-sleeved, layered uniforms and heavy rucksacks, and it’s tough to fend off dehydration. But with proper planning, it’s possible not only to avoid dehydration but also to improve performance by staying adequately hydrated, says Bob Calvin, a performance nutritionist at EXOS, who has worked extensively with the military. Here are four key strategies to do just that.

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Tags: Hydration, Beverages, Military

Play Better

3 Drills to Improve Your Reaction Time

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An athlete’s reaction to a stimulus—like a sprinter’s response to the starting gun—is an inherent ability to ignite dynamic action. But that organic movement involves a variety of outside influences, including practice, experience, anticipation, strength, and coordination. Each athlete has a built-in, limited time range to react, but there is plenty of room for improvement. To do just that, try incorporating the agility and speed exercises below into your training regimen.

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Tags: Sports Performance, Reaction

Play Better

The Combine Workout

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For more than a decade, EXOS has trained top NFL hopefuls prior to the scouting Combine in February. Hundreds of players have improved their speed, power, and strength to excel at the Combine and boost their draft stock, landing in the top three rounds of the NFL Draft in April.

Chances are, you’ll never be tested on how many times you can bench press 225 pounds or how fast you can run 40 yards or complete a shuttle run. But you can employ the same techniques NFL prospects learn at EXOS to improve your strength, power, and speed, which will help in any endeavor. Here’s how.

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Tags: Football

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Strategies to Prepare Your Body for a PT Test

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For military personnel, the physical fitness (PT) test measures strength, physical capabilities, and endurance. The most common one is a three-pronged version where personnel must complete a certain number of push-ups and sit-ups in a one-minute period, along with a two-mile run in a prescribed amount of time. The number of push-ups/sit-ups and the two-mile cutoff times are determined by gender and age. Regardless of where you fall on the age/gender spectrum, here are four ways to prepare for your body for a PT test.

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Tags: Mindset, Military, Running, Focus

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5 Habits Holding You Back in the Gym

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Getting yourself to the gym is a great start, but what you do while you're there can help (or hurt) your progress. Avoid these unhealthy gym habits and use the tips below to make the most of your time in the gym and reach your goals faster.

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Injury Prevention Tips for an Extended Season

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In-season training and conditioning can be a challenge for football players. After all, they’ve already endured rigorous offseason programs followed by preseason training camps in the August heat. Now they face the weekly pounding of games that can continue into December, January, or even February, depending on the level of play. The key is to walk the line between preseason conditioning and shutting down completely. 

It’s unrealistic for players to think they can maintain an ambitious program. At the same time, focusing solely on football and ignoring recovery strategies is a recipe for injury.

“As players go further into the season, they can start forgetting about the little things they did at the beginning of the year,” says Nick Winkelman, director of education and performance systems for Athletes’ Performance. “Remember that what got you there will keep you there.” Here are three ways to stay on top of your game, minimize your exposure to injury, and prepare for a long schedule that could end with a run deep into the postseason.

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Tags: Football, Injury Prevention, Injury, Reduce Pain

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6 Tips for Recovering After a Ruck March

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There’s perhaps nothing more grueling than marching long distances with 50 or 60 pounds of gear strapped to your body. Ruck marches are routine in the military, and increasingly common in the endurance sports world, where several one-day events give athletes a small taste of what soldiers encounter throughout their careers.

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Tags: Tightness, Stretching, Soreness, Trigger Points, Mini Band, Military

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Plyometric Drills to Help You Make the Big Play

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Football movements require explosive hips, cutting ability, and transitioning quickly between acceleration and deceleration. Plyometrics are designed to work all of these areas. These dynamic exercises—up and down, side to side, and twisting back and forth—link strength and speed and activate your body’s central nervous system, stimulating the fast-twitch muscle fibers so that you can generate force as quickly and efficiently as needed. Movements include jumps, hops, and bounds in various planes of movement and of various speeds and loads.

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Tags: Plyometrics, Power, Speed, Football, Sports Performance

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3 Tips for Conquering Open Water Swimming

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Open water swimming can be intimidating for many athletes. Unlike pool swimmers, who have the benefit of clear water and black lines at the bottom of the pool for guidance, open water swimmers must brave the elements, boats, and sea critters while navigating on their own. An open water swim is the limiting factor for many would-be triathletes. Many first-timers to that sport feel as much accomplishment for making it out of the water as they do the entire swim-bike-run experience. But open water swimming need not be so intimidating, says Lynne Cox, one of the world’s most accomplished in the field.

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Tags: Swimming, Triathlon, Training, Sports Performance

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Your Pre-Race Checklist

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With cycling events, like other endurance races, it’s important to have a pre-race checklist to get the most of your training and prepare your body for peak performance. At this point, the bike will be properly fitted and is mechanically sound. You’ve selected clothing based on race-day temperatures and possible changes. You’ve arrived at the venue in plenty of time to perform your pre-race ritual. Showing up with little time to spare will add stress, possibly causing you to skip or forget important pre-race items, and derail your performance.

Here are three key components of your pre-race checklist:

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Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Health, Cycling, Race

Blogs

Movement

Mark Verstegen’s Hip-Strengthening Workout for Women

Train an often overlooked area with this mini-workout from Core Performance’s founder.

Live Better

America: A Nation of Couch Potatoes

A new study from the University of Alabama found that the average person is getting less than two minutes of rigorous exercise a day.

Nutrition

Study: Downing Diet Soda May Increase Snacking

A new study from Johns Hopkins University links diet soda with overeating.

Well at Work

Health News: Exercise Can Alleviate Work-Life Balance Stress

Researchers found that working out can help ease stress and increase confidence in dealing with work-life balance issues.

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.