These movesfrom Dara Torres's New York Times best-selling book, Gold Medal Fitnessare just a few of the many core-intensive exercises and stretches that Dara incorporates into her everyday training to help her become stronger, swim faster, and recover more easily. But you don't have to be an Olympic-caliber athlete to make them work for you.
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Stand with feet hip-width, knees bent slightly, hands crossed over chest. Squat down, pressing weight into feet. Make sure feet are pointing straight ahead and knees are over your toes; keep bum tucked. Return to standing.
Put both hands on the edge of a bench. Get into push-up position, with feet a little wider than shoulder-width. Tuck pelvis under and engage abs by pulling belly button in toward your spine. Lower and push yourself up as fast as you can.
Do 5 sets of 5 reps.
4 of 5Jason Lee
Start on hands and knees with feet toward stability ball or wall. Lift right leg, point right toes toward ceiling; move your knee 4 inches away from ball. Rest top of foot against ball. Slowly bring left leg into lunge position with left foot flat on the floor, knee over ankle; lift torso. Kick top of right foot into ball to contract quads; as you kick, use left leg to push body back and torso upright, stretching quads.
Do 5 to 10 reps. Repeat on other side.
5 of 5Jason Lee
Start in push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping elbows tight in at sides, slowly lower chest toward ground; push back up. Do this very slowly, to feel stretch across chest. And keep body flat, like a plank, pulling belly button in toward spine (don't let belly sag).