08/01/2012 08:32 am ET Updated Sep 30, 2012

Olympics-Inspired Workouts

How to Develop Conditioning Like an Olympic Basketball Player

Ever wonder how professional athletes keep up their stamina throughout the game? The answer: conditioning, conditioning, conditioning -- especially in basketball. All of the pro basketball players have to be in top-notch condition in order to take their game to the next level since they are constantly running up and down the court. The full-body workout below will help you develop and improve your conditioning, like an Olympic basketball player.

  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Push-ups
  • Run down and back (length of court)
  • Repeat four times

Rest two minutes

Run-Shuffle-Back Pedal-Shuffle:
Run down sideline and defensive shuffle across baseline. Backpedal down the sideline and finish up by shuffling across baseline. Repeat this exercise four times.

Rest two minutes

Backboard Hops:
Try and touch the bottom of the backboard over and over for 20 seconds. As soon as your feet touch the ground jump right back up! This should be very fast -- 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off for a total of eight sets.

Rest two minutes

Basketball Court Suicides:
Start on baseline, run to free throw line and back to baseline. Then run to top of three-point line and back to baseline. Run to half-court and back to baseline, run to top of three-point line and back to baseline. Run to free-throw line and back to baseline. End with a full-court run from baseline to baseline. Rest one minute in between sets and complete four sets!

Rest two minutes

Finish this workout with abdominal crunches -- four sets of 25! By the end of this conditioning session, you will be exhausted but will have had a great cardio workout and gotten a taste of what it is like to condition like a professional basketball player.

Olympics Swimmers: How to Beat Your "Personal Best"

Athletes are always competing. Interesting enough the person that they compete with the most are themselves. Beating your personal best is a great way to make exercise fun and competitive.

The Workout:
Pick a certain length of the pool (25 meters, 50 meters, etc.). Whatever you choose you are going to swim down and back for four laps and do 10 sets. Every set you are trying to beat the time that you performed the very first set. The goal of this workout is to always try to beat your time.

However long it takes to do the first set, triple that time and that is your rest period. Example: If it takes you 30 seconds to swim one lap, then rest 90 seconds in between sets. This will really help challenge yourself and beat your personal best, while getting a great full-body workout like an Olympic swimmer.

What's useful for the layperson about going for a personal best you may ask...

It gives them a goal and a way to compete with themselves. They don't have to guess whether or not they are giving good enough effort because they are actively trying to beat their personal best. Having a strict goal in mind and competing your yourself is a great way to challenge yourself, stay motivated and take your fitness to the next level. Make sure you have a stopwatch and try to stay with the same rest time between each set. Don't cheat -- you will only be hurting yourself! So if you choose to rest two minutes between sets, be sure to keep up with that throughout the entire workout.

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