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Body makeover: Tips to get a beach volleyball body

You don’t have to bump, set and spike your way to a beach volleyball body! Get the toned abs, sculpted shoulders and enviable legs of a beach volleyball player by following the tips of the pros themselves.

Woman playing beach volleyball

Let’s be honest: Not many sports can hold a candle to beach volleyball when it comes to sheer sexiness. And who wouldn’t want to look as good in a bikini (all year-round) as the pro volleyball players themselves? Well, you’re in luck! On a recent trip to the AVP Atlantic City DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball Invitational, I had the chance to ask the pros, “How do you stay in beach volleyball shape when you’re not actually playing beach volleyball?” Here’s what they had to say.

Try a CrossFit-like workout

Fast-paced, full-body exercises performed to exhaustion are a big favorite of volleyball pros. Both Christal Engle and Tealle Hunkus opt for circuit training exercises focused primarily around bodyweight training; sprints, push-ups, pull-ups and core moves are a few of their go-to favorites. “My training is almost CrossFit-like. I do a lot of reps for time. I’m constantly moving to get my heart rate up,” Hunkus says.

Likewise, 2012 Olympic silver medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross prefer full-body power exercises like the power burpee. “Our trainer has us do a move we both hate — a burpee. But this is a burpee with a jump onto a box. It’s really tough.”

Try it

Harness the power of the pro volleyball players by performing a high-intensity interval:

  • 60 seconds: burpees
  • 20 seconds: rest
  • 20 second: combat-rope waves
  • 10 seconds: rest
  • 20 seconds: combat rope waves
  • 10 seconds: rest
  • 60 seconds: walking lunges
  • 20 seconds: rest
  • 60 seconds: plank up-downs
  • 20 seconds: rest

Rest for two minutes and repeat the circuit two more times.



  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Place both palms on the ground in front of your feet and jump your legs behind you, so that you’re in a push-up position.
  3. Perform a full push-up.
  4. Jump your feet back to starting position.
  5. Return to standing. To make the exercise more difficult, explode up into the air in a jump, or jump up onto a sturdy platform.

Combat-rope waves

Combat Rope waves:

  1. After securing the center of a combat rope to a sturdy object, hold both ends of the rope, one in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and engage your core to protect your back.
  3. Swing your left arm up over your head as swing your right arm down. Reverse the movement, swinging your right arm up over your head as you swing your left arm down. The rope should begin forming a large, undulating wave.
  4. Swing your arms continuously as fast as you can for the full 20-second period.

Walking lunges

Walking Lunges

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on your hips for balance, or if you’d like, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Step forward with your right foot as far as you comfortably can, planting your foot before bending both knees, lowering your back knee toward the ground.
  3. When both knees form 90-degree angles, reverse the movement and as you rise to standing, step forward with your left foot.
  4. Continue walking and lunging.

Plank up-downs

Plank up-downs

  1. Start in a plank position, balanced on your toes and forearms, with your body forming a straight line.
  2. Shift your weight slightly to the left and place your right palm on the floor beneath your right shoulder.
  3. Shift your weight slightly left and press up through your right palm as you place your left palm on the floor beneath your left shoulder, pressing yourself into a full push-up position.
  4. Return your left forearm, then your right forearm, back to the ground so that you’re back in the starting position.
  5. Continue pressing yourself up and down from plank to push-up throughout the length of the exercise.

Up next: Training your core >>

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