Train Like a Pro Athlete

It is easy to distinguish a pro athlete at work – their movements are graceful and precise. Their coordination is excellent. And their reflexes are lightning-quick. They also have powerful, sculpted bodies.

It’s possible to have a professional athlete’s grace and strength. Chris Freytag, a contributing editor of Prevention and the lead of "Prevention Fitness Systems" DVDs, and the creator of this sports-inspired routine, says "There’s an athlete in all of us. If you use athletic training techniques, you’ll start to look and move like one."

Practicing athletic drills enhances agility, balance, posture, and reflexes. It also improves your body.

A 12-month study involving 80 women found that those who participated in a high-impact training program had increased hip bone density by as much as 12 percent, while those who did not exercise had decreased bone density.

Plus, exercising pro athlete-style strengthens your core, lower body, rear, thighs, abs, and back.

Basics

  • Do the routine 3 times a week, on nonconsecutive days.
  • Start with one set of each exercise per workout, performing the recommended number of reps.
  • Progress to 3 sets of each, with a 1-minute break in between sets.
  • You’ll need a soccer or volleyball. If you don’t have one, use a step bench, the bottom set of a staircase, or a stack of books.

Hoop shots

Obviously, this move is inspired by basketball. It requires jumping, coordination, and balance. Hoop shots work your butt, core, and thighs.

Stand up straight with your legs hip-width apart. Keep you elbows bent and your arms and forearms parallel as though you’re holding a basketball in front of your face. Bend your knees and hips to do a half squat.

From your half squat position, jump as high as you can while raising your arms over your head as though shooting a ball into a hoop. Bend  your knees as you land. Pause for a second before doing your next jump. Do 10-15 reps.

Ball taps

This soccer-inspired move improves your agility and coordination. It targets you butt, thighs and core.

Start by placing your soccer ball a foot in front of you. Stand with your knees slightly bent, keeping your elbows bent at a 90 degree- angle.

Lightly tap the top of the ball with your right toe, moving it as little as possible. As you return you right foot to starting position, hop and switch feet, touching the ball with your left toe this time. Continue switching legs, "establishing a quick and steady hopping rhythm." Swing your arms forward and backward as you tap. Do 30-50 reps.

Stealing bases

Stealing bases is inspired by baseball. It requires coordination and muscle stamina. It targets your butt, inner and outer thigh, and core.

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hips to do a squat.

Do not bend your knees beyond your toes. Bend elbows so that your forearms are parallel to the ground.

Remain low as you shuffle your feet three times to the right, and then to three time to the left. Do 8-10 reps in each direction.

Diagonal lunge

This speed skating-inspired move enhances your balance and coordination, and works your butt, inner and outer thighs, and core.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot out 2-3 feet to the side. Cross your left foot into a curtsy behind your right foot. Swing your arms to the right with your left arm crossing your body.

Repeat on other side. Move slowly, as though you are skating on ice. Alternate continuously until you’ve performed 8-12 reps on each side.

Jab/Dip

Inspired by boxing, the jab/dip tests your balance, power, and coordination. It also works your butt, thighs, back, chest, shoulders, arms, and core.

Stand with your feet a stride’s length apart, right leg in front. Hold your arms up like a boxer. Bend your knees until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this position as you do 12 quick jabs with your left arm and shoulder.

From here, spring upwards and switch to your other side. Do 12 quick jabs with your right arm.

Keep switching until you’ve done 5-8 reps on each side.

Quick feet

Quick feet is inspired by football and it requires agility, coordination, and speed. It puts your calves, core, and inner and outer thigh muscles to work.

Stand straight with your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows so that your forearms are parallel to the ground. Stay on your toes then quickly step your right foot out to your right side, and your left foot to your left side. Then step your right foot back in, followed by your left. Pump your arms forward and backward as your continue to do this out-out, in-in pattern. Do this move for 10-15 minutes.

Source: MSN Health