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Blogs

The Performance Life

Mark Verstegen and a team of experts and writers provide useful strategies to perform great, while talking about their own goals and challenges as they practice the Core Performance tenets in their daily lives.

The Performance Life

Core Training on the Water

Brody Welte often is asked if stand-up paddleboarding is a workout routine or just a fun way to spend a day on the water. Welte, who has introduced thousands of people to the sport, believes it’s both. His new book Paddle Fit, written with Core Performance co-author Pete Williams, is both a how-to “SUP” manual and also a workout program featuring two routines, one of which is done on the board in the water and the other on land.

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Tags: Stability, Balance, Outdoor Recreation

The Performance Life

Improve Your Posture for a Better Workout

Dave Cruz

Q: What's the most common technique flaw you see in the gym?

A: Most people struggle to hold the appropriate posture, or what we refer to as pillar strength. Pillar strength is the complete integration of the shoulders, torso, and hips, which when held with great stability—that is, when you focus on sitting and standing tall from your hips through the top of your head—allows you to create better mobility and recruitment of every muscle in your body. It’s the one thing that makes everything else better and more efficient. Learn more about pillar strength. 

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Tags: Pillar strength, Mobility, Stability, Posture

The Performance Life

The Best Exercises and Technique Tips for Stand-Up Paddling

Dave Kalama showing off his paddle techinque.

The fast-growing sport of stand-up paddle boarding is a phenomenal core workout that’s also a fun way to spend time on the water. The hip and shoulder rotation required to plant the paddle vertically and uncoil the hips, and thus move the board forward, is no different than the movement used to swing a golf club, tennis racket, or baseball bat. The difference, of course, is that the paddler is operating on an unstable surface—the water—in effect making the board a giant BOSU ball.

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Tags: Balance, Outdoor Recreation, Leisure Time, Pillar strength

The Performance Life

3 Life Lessons Learned from Running

Thinkstock

Martin Dugard is best known for immersing himself into cultures to produce best-selling books such as Into Africa and The Last Voyage of Columbus, collaborating with Mark Burnett on Survivor-related books, and chronicling his adventures in top magazines. His endurance sports ventures have included books on Lance Armstrong (Chasing Lance) and numerous magazine articles that have appeared in Runner’s World, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire. Somehow he finds the time to coach high school cross country in Southern California. In his new book To Be a Runner, Dugard, who turns 50 this month, weaves a lifetime of running experiences into interesting life lessons. Here, a few life lessons he’s learned as a runner.

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Tags: Race, Attitude, Energy System Development, Motivation, Outdoor Recreation, Cardio, Energy, Running, Conditioning

The Performance Life

Mark Verstegen's Fenway Park Workout

Mark Verstegen and the team at Athletes’ Performance have trained many Red Sox stars over the years, such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, and Carl Crawford. Last week Verstegen visited Fenway Park, not to work with the pros this time, but to lead a group of wellness clients and business executives through a Core Performance workout on the Fenway Park warning track. He also delivered a wellness kickoff talk at the Red Sox Town Hall meeting, distributing a “Game Day Survival Kit” to help employees prepare, fuel, train, and rest for the season. (Read The Boston Globe’s coverage of the event here.) Click on the slideshow above to check out photos from the day.

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Tags: Health, Baseball, Work

The Performance Life

The Record-Setting Resistance Band Workout

Keep your training fresh and set your own fitness records with nothing but a resistance band. Bands are versatile and packable—and since they’re underutilized, you can usually find them lying around the gym or at home.

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Tags: Total Body, Resistance Training, Build Muscle, Travel

The Performance Life

The New Rules of Lifting for Abs: An Interview with Co-Author Lou Schuler

Lou Schuler will be the first to stress that nobody lifts for abs. They lift for core strength. Schuler, who edited the first Core Performance book while working for Rodale Books in 2003, is now co-author with Alwyn Cosgrove of his own successful book franchise, The New Rules of Lifting series. Their new book is The New Rules of Lifting for Abs (Avery), which shares some of the core (pun intended) philosophies of Mark Verstegen’s. Schuler recently discussed the new book.

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Tags: Posture, Pillar strength, Weight Loss, Abs, Torso

The Performance Life

Jimmie Johnson’s Keys to Success

Getty Images

Jimmie Johnson’s fifth consecutive Sprint Cup championship is a remarkable accomplishment in an era in which sports dynasties are increasingly rare. Johnson, 35, trails only Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt, who each won NASCAR’s premier championship seven times. As part of a Hendrick Motorsports superteam that includes more than 500 employees and teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnson has learned a few things about performance, evolving to meet changing conditions, and staying motivated. After coming from behind to win his fifth title on Nov. 21, Johnson and Chad Knaus, the crew chief of Johnson’s No.48 Lowe’s Chevrolet shared a few keys to their success.

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Tags: Pressure, Focus, Goals, Attitude

The Performance Life

Jump Rope Secrets from Buddy Lee

Dkal Inc. / Getty Images

Most kids learn to jump rope in grade school and as adults give it little thought as a training technique unless watching a boxing movie.

That’s a mistake says Buddy Lee, a former Olympic wrestler and the author of the new book Jump Rope Training: The Complete System for Fitness and Performance. The low-impact, low-cost training tool doesn’t just improve quickness for boxers. It improves speed, agility, and mobility and is one of the most efficient cardio workouts.

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Tags: Training, Sports Performance, Cardio, Health, Jump Rope, Conditioning, Gear

The Performance Life

The Ultimate Kayaking Challenge

Warren Richey insists anyone can travel 1,200 miles around Florida by kayak, including a 40-mile portage between bodies of water. The challenge, says the author of the new book Without a Paddle, which chronicles the Ultimate Florida Challenge race, is completing the race within the allotted 30 days.

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Tags: Race, Focus, Goals, Outdoor Recreation, Planning, Energy

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.