NBA Star Karl Malone: Fit At 40

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At the top of his game, Karl Malone's workout tips could challenge even the most well-honed athlete.

More machine than man, Karl Malone powers through workouts regardless of injury or illness. During his 15 years as the leading force behind the Utah Jazz he kept his training secrets to himself, quietly hoarding the techniques that propelled him to eventually become a member of what is now known as the Dream Team with LA Laker teammates Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Gary Payton. However, the day Malone did finally reveal his training techniques, he held nothing back. In his four part video series, Karl Malone's Body Shop, he not only tells fans how to perform his training, he shows them.

Malone prefers to workout where it's hot. He wants to sweat and the heat, no doubt, helps to avoid injury and keep his muscles warm. He trains year-round to keep himself in shape and his bodyfat percentage often hovers around four percent. “My training in the summertime helps me stay healthy during the season, no doubt about it," Malone says.

Check out some of his more challenging training secrets and see if you can keep up with his intensity.

Malone's Fitness Tips
Warm-up well. Using a light weight, warm-up sets help to get the blood pumping. Occasionally Malone will incorporate half reps and pauses at the top of the movement in his warm-up set.

Parachute runs. By using parachutes attached to a belt, Malone sprints across the field. The wind resistance builds strength, speed and explosive power.

Bungee cords. Similar to the parachute, two bungee cords are attached to his weightlifting belt while he performs sprints forward, backward and side to side. A training partner holds the end of the bungees to provide resistance.

Alternating dumbbell chest press. Malone performs his repetitions without resting in between sets. He uses the flat bench and keeps both legs off the ground. This forces him to focus on balance and isolates the chest and arm muscles.

Alternating dumbbell curls standing on a balance board. Again, focus on isolating the muscles while keeping the body balanced. Focus on form, not poundage.

Medicine ball abdominal reach-through crunches. Flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, you hold the ball out and crunch upward while directing the ball through your bent knees. The movement is done in increments, without rest. First you go as far as a 45 degree angle forward, then immediately begin a set of 90 degrees with the ball held over your head. When finished you then hold the ball to your chest and perform as many reps as you can moving side to side.

Use the stability ball for leg work. Use the stability ball to perform squats and hamstring movements to work on the quad and hamstring muscles as well as strengthen the tendons that support them. Stability ball squats are done by placing the ball between your lower back and the wall. Hold onto a dumbbell and perform squats while the ball rolls up and down the wall behind you. The hamstrings can be worked by lying on your back and placing your feet on the top of the ball. With your hands out at a 45 degree angle to help balance you, lift your glutes. Try one leg at a time.

Cross training for the additional edge. Malone enjoys activities such as hiking, hunting, snowmobiling and fishing. It only seems natural he would incorporate these into his training. He uses power hiking three to four times a week. Starting with a five minute warm-up, Malone will then move into lifting his knees high for 10 to 20 steps, then walk briskly for up to five minutes. He then moves to lunge-walking for 10 to 20 steps, a high-knee skip for 10 to 20 steps and then on to three side steps, a pivot and repeating the side steps again for approximately 20 steps. The entire workout can be anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

Yoga stretching for strength and flexibility. The yoga exercises called the supine butterfly and the cobra are particularly effective to stretch the muscles and help flexibility. On days when leg work is intense, additional stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves are in order.

While Malone is still on the fence as to if he will participate in what will be his third Olympic Team, Malone is no doubt at the top of his game and honored to have the opportunity.

“I'll be 41 playing for the gold medal. I'm excited about it. If somebody had told me I had the opportunity to play on one Olympic Team, let alone three, I would have told them years ago they were lying,“ he told the Associated Press.

Sports Illustrated quoted Malone as saying that he might not play because his knee injury (which had him sidelined for three months) was still bothering him and that he did not like the schedule that was set up. There is also the little matter of his hand. Recently an x-ray revealed an old break. Being well accustomed to playing through the pain, Malone had not realized he had been seriously injured several years before. “You have injuries that bother you when you're not playing. When that horn blows, you don't feel it,” Malone says.

Malone, however, is not concerned. "I know myself pretty well. I'm not worried about it a lot right now. With my knee, I was. With my hand, I'm not,” he told newspaper reporters. He was back the next day in practice, not letting it slow him down in the least.

Name: Karl Anthony Malone.
Nickname: The Mailman, given to him by a Louisiana sports writer because he “always delivered.”
Married: He has six children (daughters Daryl, Cheryl, Kadee, Kylee and Karlee, and a son, Karl Jr.) with his wife Kay, a former Miss Idaho. In 2003 daughter Cheryl played for the WNBA Champion Detroit Shock and became the first WNBA rookie to average a double-double (10.8 ppg. and 10.4 rpg.). She earned 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year honors.
Height: 6'9
Weight: 256 lbs.
Born: July 24, 1963 in Bernice, Louisiana
College: Louisiana Tech 1985. They retired his jersey, number 32.
NBA Team: Los Angeles Lakers (signed on July 16, 2003)
Position: Forward

• Offers his support to the Utah Special Olympics.
•  Founded the Karl Malone Foundation for Kids.
•  In 1999 he donated $200,000 worth of supplies to Navajo Indians and paid off the mortgage for a family with four sick children.

• Malone walked away from a salary of $19.3 million playing for the Utah Jazz to take his current spot on the LA Lakers' Dream Team for $1.5 million, signifying that his love of the game and playing with a champion team, was greater than the draw of fortune.
• He owns Karl Malone Toyota in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
• He opened his own restaurant with sports agent Dwight Manley and entrepreneur Chris Caves in Southern California in May 2004. Entitled Kill Devils Frozen Custard and Beach Fries, the restaurant specializes in North Carolina barbecue.

• NBA All-star Game co-MVP in 1993
• NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team: 1996
• NBA All-star Game MVP in 1998
• IBM Award (all-around contributions to team's success): 1998
• NBA Most Valuable Player: 1999, 1997
• All-NBA First Team: 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989
• NBA All-Defensive First Team: 1999, 1998, 1997
• NBA All-Rookie Team: 1986
• NBA All-Star: 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988
•Veteran of three USA Basketball teams and a 2-time Olympic gold medalists.
•Member of the 1992 USA Olympic Team  known as the "Dream Team." Helped the United States earn an 8-0 record and the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics. He averaged 13.0 ppg., rebounded an average of 5.3 rpg., while shooting a team second best 64.5 percent from the field overall.
• Holds NBA record for most consecutive seasons (11) with 2,000 or more points (1988-1998) and most seasons seasons (12) with 2,000 or more points.
• Moved past Robert Parish to become the NBA's all-time leader in defensive rebounds (10,117) at Milwaukee on Nov. 17, 2001.
• Surpassed Wilt Chamberlain to become the NBA's all-time leader in free throws attempted versus Dallas on Dec. 10, 2001.


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