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Core Performance
The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life

by Mark Verstegen and Pete Williams

One of the biggest mistakes that the average person makes when working out is thinking that he or she should train differently than an elite athlete. Of course, the pros have more time for exercise and fitness (after all, it's their profession), but the bottom line is you need the same abilities they do - strength, good balance, flexibility and power. How else are you going to reach the highest shelf for a can of soup, hike through the hills, leap out of the way of an oncoming car or pick up your six-year-old kid and swing him around? Mark Verstegen, who has trained some of sport's biggest names, has developed a cutting edge program that everyday folks can fit into their hectic lifestyle. That's what Core Performance is all about.

If the title has you guessing that his book has something to do with developing core strength, you're partly right. Most of the moves illustrated emanate from the core in one form or another. In addition, Verstegen devotes a whole chapter to Physioball routines. A strong core is absolutely essential, whether you're a baseball player who's working on improving his game or an executive who's looking towards having an active lifestyle in retirement. But Core Performance covers much, much more - the exercises and drills limber you up and train your body in unexpected ways. Verstegen deviates from conventional thinking in several different areas. A number of his strength training exercises use multiple muscle groups ("This way you'll recruit more muscles and improve their coordination," he points out). He's also a proponent of Active-Isolated Stretching (this, by the way, is an extremely effective style of stretching that everyone should know about). His eating program is balanced, and involves eating 6 small meals a day, including a snack later in the evening (he definitely does not believe in starving the body, ever). And this is perhaps the only book in which you will find a color-coded urine/ hydration chart, so you can finally figure out for sure if you're drinking enough water!

Even if you were to only adopt some of the routines - Movement Prep, the drills in the Elasticity segment or the AIS stretches, for example - you would benefit. But if you're an experienced exerciser who really wants to see positive changes in your body, your attitude and your life, make a commitment to the whole program. You may never be in the World Series or the Superbowl, but you'll feel and look better than you ever have before. And you'll be building a better body for the long haul.

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