Special Report

Innovative Methods Legendary Athletes Have Used to Remain the Best

Source: Tom Pidgeon / Allsport / Getty Images

Ballet
> Used by: Lynn Swann, Herschel Walker

Ballet and the NFL may not seem to have that much in common, but several notable players have used the techniques and training used in dance to boost performance on the gridiron. Pros like Lynn Swann and Herschel Walker used ballet to increase flexibility and pliability, as ballet strengthens and tones muscles in a way that working out with weights cannot achieve.

Source: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Vibrating muscle rollers
> Used by: Tom Brady

Tom Brady is known for his strict diet and innovative workout methods. And since he is still performing at an MVP level at age 44, he must be doing something right — at least for him. Brady uses vibrating muscle rollers to soften and elongate muscles before and after workouts. According to his TB12 method, these vibrating muscle rollers “prepare the muscles and nervous system for an optimal workout.”

Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Stem cell therapy
> Used by: Tiger Woods, Max Scherzer, Rafael Nadal

Stem cell therapy may be the most controversial, but still legal method that athletes use to recover from injury. Superstars like Max Scherzer, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Peyton Manning, and many others have received stem cell injections — a process in which a clinic draws fat or bone marrow cells from the body and injects those cells into the affected area. Doctors say this treatment is unproven and may only work via placebo effect.

Source: Harry How / Getty Images

Catching tennis balls
> Used by: Steph Curry

Steph Curry is renowned for his ball-handling abilities. Though he uses plenty of high-tech methods to train, like the aforementioned strobe light glasses, he has also used something a bit simpler — a tennis ball. Curry hones his focus and concentration by tossing a tennis ball to himself or catching it from a trainer while dribbling with his other hand.

Source: JC Olivera / Stringer / Getty Images North America

Hypnosis
> Used by: Mike Tyson

While athletes work very hard on their bodies, sometimes they can also benefit from sharpening their mental state as well. Boxer Mike Tyson was notoriously aggressive and unpredictable, so he turned to hypnosis to focus before fights. Tyson said his trainer had him hypnotized multiple times a day since the age of 12 to help him gain focus before fights or training sessions.

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