Shelley Harper

Shelley graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 majoring in Integrative Biology and is currently applying to nursing school. She competed on the women’s swim team at Cal and contributed to three NCAA Championship team titles in her four years. Shelley’s interest in exercise physiology was sparked after discovering connections between the materials learned in her anatomy lab and her athletic endeavors. It is her goal to share this knowledge and inspire other athletes to make these connections to help them reach their personal goals. After finishing her swimming career in 2012, Shelley is now a triathlete utilizing her background in exercise physiology to aid this athletic transition.
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Recent Posts

The Physiology of Naps and the Impact on Athletic Performance

Posted by Shelley Harper on May 22, 2017 9:43:00 AM

Whether you incorporate naps into your daily routine or choose to opt for them when you are overly exhausted, naps can have a profound affect on alertness and performance. But when should you nap and for how long? The answers to these questions depend on the individual, and the following will help you determine the perfect nap in terms of time and length that is best for you.

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Topics: Competition, Sleep

Which Sports Drink is Best for Athletes?

Posted by Shelley Harper on May 2, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Lemon-lime, Fruit Punch, Cool Blue, Pomegranate-Berry, Grape--the list goes on. Today, sports drinks come in endless flavors, dozens of brands and various sizes-making it a task choosing which one. The sports drink industry continues to grow, providing many different options for the elite athlete. From the low or zero calorie options to new brands growing in popularity, the market is larger than ever.

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Topics: Nutrition

How to Reach your Athletic Goals in the Heat of Summer

Posted by Shelley Harper on May 1, 2017 3:30:00 PM



For athletes, there are many difficulties that go along with exercising in hot temperatures. Whether you are a football player, track athletic or a year-round swimmer, it is extremely important to consider the environment in which you train.

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Topics: S+C, Sport Science

The Importance of Hip Mobility and Ways to Improve

Posted by Shelley Harper on Apr 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM


Previously, we talked about ankle mobility and it’s importance in injury prevention, weight lifting, and kicking mechanics in swimming. Here, we will move on to the importance of hip mobility in athletics. Hip mobility is very important for all athletes, especially for those individuals spending a significant amount of time sitting when they aren’t training. Whether you are working 8-hour days at a desk, or spending hours in class, sitting impacts hip mobility by shortening the hip-flexors and weakening the glute muscles. This post will review why improving hip mobility is important and how to offset hours of sitting with simple exercises that improve hip flexibility.

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Topics: S+C

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and How It Affects Performance

Posted by Shelley Harper on Apr 4, 2017 11:05:00 AM

I will never forget my first workout in high school, my first jump-rope circuit workout in college, or my first half Ironman triathlon race. I remember these workouts/races not because of how I felt that day, but because how I felt in the days to follow. During that time, I was so sore that even rolling over to turn my alarm clock off was difficult. This pain wasn’t a result of a poor night's sleep, it was DOMS-Delayed onset muscle soreness.

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Topics: S+C, Recovery

Goal Setting for the New Year | BridgeAthletic

Posted by Shelley Harper on Dec 20, 2016 2:00:00 PM

January 1st inspires many athletes to dream big and set goals for the upcoming year. This symbolic “fresh start” gives many the opportunity to reflect on last year’s performance while looking toward the future. In this post, we explore the different types of goals and their effectiveness, as well as provide a few goal-setting tips to help you reach your full potential in the new year.

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Topics: S+C

The Importance of Ankle Flexibility for Athletes

Posted by Shelley Harper on Jul 22, 2014 5:25:00 PM

 

An athlete puts hard work in everyday to train their body to perform at the highest level. Ideally the body works as one connected system, however different strains and muscle imbalances can prevent this network flow. Ankle flexibility, while maybe not on your current priority list in terms of training and rehab, is very important to this connected system and thus important for success in sport. From squats in weight lifting to underwater kicks in swimming, ankle mobility and flexibility can increase your force production and improve performance. This post will review why ankle flexibility is so important and provide you will quick and easy ways to improve your ankle mobility.

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Topics: S+C

Muscle Fiber Types and Their Adaptations Through Training

Posted by Shelley Harper on Jun 30, 2014 8:32:00 AM

Building muscle is essential to all sports. From gymnastics to swimming to basketball, developing muscle will improve strength, stamina and performance. However, compare Nastia Liukin to Michael Phelps to Lebron James and you find that their muscle compositions are very different. Each of these Olympians has found a way to build not just muscle, but also the right muscle on their journey to Gold. When looking to increase muscle mass it is important to make sure you are training the correct type of muscle fiber specific to your sport and event. You wouldn’t see Michael Phelps and Lebron James doing the same strength routine nor will you see a 50 Freestyle specialist do the same routine as a distance swimmer. Specificity is key in strength training and vital for success.

 

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Topics: S+C

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and their Impact on Athlete Performance

Posted by Shelley Harper on Jun 19, 2014 8:14:00 AM

Have you ever heard someone talking about how great omega-3s are for your body? Have you seen fish oil and other supplements boasting omega-3 nutritional benefits? I have and because of these claims I made sure to incorporate these fatty acids in my diet throughout college. Looking back, I realized that I didn’t know exactly why I was so adamant about making sure I got in my omega-3s. Back then, I had not done any research on the topic and relied on others claims to fuel my salmon and flax seed consumption. That was the past, and now I have done the appropriate research and am ready to explain to you why you should consume omega-3s and how these fatty acids can improve your athletic performance.

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Topics: Nutrition