Every player, from relative newbie 20-year old Summer Ross to three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh, stresses the importance of core training. Ross' statement, "I love to do abs every day," pretty much cuts to the chase, while Walsh and Brittany Hochevar both swear by Pilates. "Pilates is my favorite thing. I love all of it — it lengthens me, decompresses me, gives me good body awareness and I get stronger everywhere," Walsh claims.
Hochevar loves Pilates so much she became an instructor. "I'm a certified Pilates instructor. I had a back injury that should have ended my career in 2006, and I came back from it holistically, refusing surgery. I drank the [Pilates] Kool-Aid, so to speak. Every workout should include a flexion, extension, side bend and a twist. You're only as old as your spine!"
Add a few core moves to the end of every workout. Ross' favorite is the medicine ball Russian twist, while Hochevar suggests the Pilates 100s.
No one wants to spend every day in the gym. Walsh's new partner, Whitney Pavlik, stresses the importance of cross-training outside, "I love doing outdoorsy things — wakeboarding, snowboarding, paddleboarding — really anything outside."
Her affinity for outdoor workouts is equaled by new AVP wonder woman Emily Day. "I love running. I go along our strand in front of the beach. I usually recruit a friend to come along."
Keep your workouts fun by taking advantage of the world around you and recognizing that not every workout needs to be the same. Pick one day each week and use it to try a new activity or splurge on a special class, like hot yoga or aerial silks. If you don't have access to specialty classes, add a new exercise to your normal routine, like BOSU paddleboarding. This exercise engages your core while also working your shoulders, back and biceps.
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