Post image for Home Run Derby Workout – Nick Swisher, Vernon Wells, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz

The Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, set for Monday night at 8PM on ESPN, will feature eight of the game’s premier sluggers.  This year’s AL contestants – Nick Swisher, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, and Vernon Wells will take on their NL counterparts – Matt Holliday, Corey Hart, Hanley Ramirez, and Chris Young at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

All of the hitters have been dedicated to their off-season workout programs to get themselves in the best shape possible for the grind of the 162 game MLB season.  Each of the stars has his own unique way of incorporating strength and conditioning into his workout routine.  First we will take a look at the training tips that helped the American League sluggers earn a spot in this year’s Home Run Derby.

Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher, who won the fan’s voting to be selected to his first All-Star Game and first Home Run Derby, currently has 15 home runs.  He was named one of the Top 5 “Biggest Losers” of the offseason on MLB Hot Stove Live after he started boxing as part of his off-season workout and conditioning and lost 12 pounds.  It was Swisher’s girlfriend, actress Joanna Garcia, that suggested boxing to the Yankee’s outfielder.

“It’s amazing to see the correlation with the hips and the core and everything from baseball to boxing,” Swisher told USA Today. “I enjoyed it a lot.”

Actually enjoying your workout will help you stay motivated and see results quicker.  Swisher hasn’t like every workout he has attempted.  “I’ve tried yoga,” Swisher said in New York Times interview.  “Not for me.”

Swisher has also participated in some more unconventional off-season strength and conditioning programs.  A few years ago he skipped out on the fancy gyms and spent the winter training in an Ohio barn.  “This is not Bally’s or Chelsea Piers,” said Bill Fry, the owner of the center. “We do some different stuff out here, some crude stuff. This is more like Rocky in Russia, running through Siberia and hitting sides of beef.”  “Nick Swisher chopped trees. He leveled walls. He busted concrete. When there were no trees or walls or concrete left, he found a monster-truck tire, and he whaled away on that. And after he was finished, he had gained 20 pounds.”

“I put in so much work,” Swisher said. “I transformed my swing, I transformed my body, and I transformed my mind.”

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Post image for “How Do You Know” Star Reese Witherspoon’s YogaHop Workout

The new romantic comedy “How Do You Know” starring Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson comes out this weekend. Reese Witherspoon always looks stunning on and off the big-screen, so what is her secret? Based on the tabloid pictures, we know running is one of her favorite workouts. But, not everyone knows that she also loves yoga! Reese Witherspoon recently became addicted to YogaHop in Santa Monica, California. At YogaHop, she takes a fast paced yoga class, set to her favorite music, with instructor Matthew Reyes.

Check out what Matthew Reyes shared with iyogalife about Reese Witherspoon’s workout routine and the benefits of yoga!

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Rihanna Stays Healthy And Fit With No-Carb Diets And Fresh Workouts

23-year-old R&B star Rihanna has been lighting up stages across the world this summer on her Loud tour. But Rihanna has been attracting attention offstage as well, most recently with her controversial Tweet about her shoot for Esquire Magazine: “I shot my first cover yesterday with Russell James… not much preparation: just wax and starve!” Fans were shocked or outraged, tweeting back, “That’s a bad message for your fans” and “What kind of role model are you?” While many concede that it most likely was a joke, Rihanna hasn’t publicly addressed the issue. Earlier in the year, however, Rihanna did address the topic of body image – declaring that she has learned to love her curves.

Rihanna has always been known as having one of most envied bodies in Hollywood – fit, but still shapely and not rail thin. Since she isn’t starving herself, here’s how she’s really staying in such great shape: “a lot of hard work.” Diet-wise, the singer says, “Carbs are the enemy!” She usually eats egg whites and pineapple for breakfast, fish and potatoes for lunch, and more fish for dinner. “I hate vegetables, but I make myself eat them,” she says.

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Tim Howard Soccer Workout

Today, we continue our look at the 2010 World Cup and the soccer workout routines of the United States National Team stars with a review of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and his agility workout.  Howard who suffered a rib injury in the United States opening round match with England says he will be ready to play this Friday when the U.S. takes on Slovenia in pool play.

Men’s Health recently revealed the training secrets of four members of the U.S. squad, including those of Howard, with soccer workout plans for endurance, strength, speed and agility.  Our previous post featured the endurance training Clint Dempsey used to prepare for the World Cup.

Howard, who plays for Everton in the English Premier League focuses his training on speed, balance, and range of motion for his soccer workout routine. “Tim has to be able to shift his body weight and throw himself in any direction, without any preparation,” says Steve Tashjian, fitness coach for Everton.

“I’m constantly strengthening my core because that’s what gives me the ability to react faster and the stability to control my body better,” says the 31 year-old keeper.  Tim Howard also does explosive lifting, jumping drills using a Verti-Max and lots of boxing.  “Sparring accelerates my hand speed, improves my footwork, and makes my punching more powerful,” says Howard.

Test Your Agility

Tashijian recommends using the T-test to measure your agility.  Here’s how to do it:

Set up markers in a T configuration, 10 yards for the stem and 5 yards out to each side. Ask a friend to time you. Start at the base of the T, sprint to the top, side-shuffle to the left, side-shuffle all the way (10 yards) to the right, side-shuffle back to the middle, and backpedal to the start.

Average – more than 12 seconds
Great – 10 to 12 seconds
World Class – less than 10 seconds (Howard does it in 9.6)

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What’s New in Celebrity Diets and Celebrity Workouts

Thumbnail image for What’s New in Celebrity Diets and Celebrity Workouts

The week that was in celebrity workouts and diets including info on Kellen Lutz, Daniel Radcliffe, Paris Hilton, Kate Gosselin, LL Cool J, Matthew Morrison, Russell Brand, Ryan Seacrest, and Chris Daughtry

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Ryan Reynolds and His Diet Get Buried at Sundance

Celebrity Ryan Reynold and his diet that got him prepared for movies Blade: Trinity, Deadpool, and Buried, which premiered at Sundance 2010.

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Teri Hatcher – Triathlon Fit at Age 45

Teri Hatcher’s 10 minute workout that got her ready for her first triathlon at age 45.

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Hilary Swank Works Out to Feel Good

Hilary Swank uses the core fusion workout, which combines yoga, ballet, and pilates, to tone her arms.

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