Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Olympic beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings is no stranger to pressure, but this time the mom-of-three is putting the heat on herself: “My post-pregnancy body needs a lot of work right now. I’m just starting to rebuild my foundation.” Walsh Jennings, who is gearing up for the seven-city AVP (Association of Volleyball Professional) Tour, stopped by the FITNESS office to chat with our uber-excited editors about pregnancy, Pilates and the secrets to her fit physique (spoiler: a ton of hard work). Bonus: YOU could win an autographed ball from the superstar herself!
You welcomed your third child, Scout Margery, to the world just two months ago. Other than a lack of time, how has motherhood changed your exercise routine?
It’s made me more focused, for sure. I used to have plenty of time during the day to take care of myself and get my workouts in, but now it’s get in, get done, get out. When I was pregnant, I stayed really fit so that I could hit the ground running, especially with the AVP Tour coming back this summer. It’s a big objective of mine to come back and kick everyone’s butt, so I needed to start pretty fit. I’m building a strength foundation, trying to stay really flexible, and then working to get my agility back. It’s very humbling every day—but really fun, too!
So what were your workouts like during pregnancy? How’d you stay in such great shape?
I played volleyball, lifted three times a week, did Pilates twice a week, and then did other random workouts. I’m really lucky in that I can mix up my workouts a lot, and I have really nice trainers who help me think outside the box. I keep my body guessing—I think that’s huge.
That’s definitely a lot! Anything in particular you love to boost your flexibility?
I do Pilates twice a week. I’m a firm believer in it—I think everyone in the world should be doing Pilates, especially people who are pregnant or post-partum. It’s a beautiful way to get your core back and your body awareness back. Flexibility is a function of strength, and I need to be flexible on the court, so that’s a huge priority. You need to tackle every base.
Which moves do you swear by for toning your tummy, especially post-pregnancy?
Everything Pilates! It’s all about the deeper ab muscles. I work on the big Plyo Ball a lot. I’m also really into windshield wipers. I think that anything with twists is really good, not only for your spine and your obliques, but for your entire abdominal structure.
How do you stay motivated on days you’d rather just flop on the couch with your fam?
I usually do a little turn in the mirror and say, "OK—I need to get out there." I literally have my bikini hanging up. Summer’s coming, AVP is coming, and I have that yelling at me every single day. But it’s my job to be fit; you have a bad day and you still have to come into the office. That’s how I look at it. Generally, I just try to get dressed. I’m like, just put your shoes on and you’ll be fine. Once I’m dressed, it’s like, alright, now I can go do something. So if you’re having a bad day, put something on that’s a bit sassier; make sure you have your music and your beats. It’s those little tricks that keep you motivated.
Speaking of beats, what’s getting the most play on your iPod?
Lately, Lady Antebellum. They have a song called “Golden” that makes me want to cry every time because it reminds me of my daughter. I generally like to listen to more mellow music when I work out, unless I’m lifting—then I listen to more hip-hop. I feel like I can get into the zone more if I’m, like, mellow and weird. It’s odd!
You once told us that you don’t know anyone who hates to lose as much as you do. To date, what’s been your most difficult defeat, and how did you come back from it?
They’re all really terrible! But I think when we lost in the World Championships in 2011. We had two game points, so we had it in our grasp and we lost. It pissed us off so much and made us so sick to our stomachs that we were like, we’re not going to let that happen again! It did happen again, probably the next week and the week after, but those were all stepping stones. When you go through failures and losses, it’s all about how you perceive them and what your mindset is. Instead of letting it get us down, it was just fuel for the fire. They were just getting us to where we wanted to go, and we had to learn those lessons for a reason.
Now it’s time to fill in the blanks!
- My secret guilty pleasures are: Chocolate and hazelnuts. And lattes!
- If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be: Eggs.
- If I weren’t a volleyball player, I’d be: An athlete, still. I feel like I was born to compete, physically. All of life is a competition, or at least it feels that way to me.
Before the gold-medalist momma left our office to feed baby Scout, she autographed an AVP volleyball for one lucky FITNESS reader. You can enter for your chance to win now through 12pm on Wednesday, June 19. We'll select and announce the winner shortly thereafter.
Enter to win here, and good luck!