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Win An Autographed Ball From Beach Volleyball Pro Kerri Walsh Jennings!

Written on June 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm , by

Pro Walsh Jennings busts her butt for that killer physique. (Photo courtesy of AVP)

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.

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Hot Beach Body Secrets from Volleyball Players (Including the Pregnant Kerri Walsh Jennings!)

Written on December 1, 2012 at 11:22 am , by

April Ross and Xi Zhang play in the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge (Photo courtesy of Lucy Pemoni/AP Images for Hilton HHonors)

FITNESS recently caught up with our July issue cover girl three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, along with fellow USA Volleyball players April Ross and Jennifer Kessy at the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge. You can catch Kessy and Ross, who nabbed silver at the London Olympics against Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, take on Team China, Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, at 3 p.m. today on the NBC Sports Network. Walsh Jennings commentates during the match, which was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu.

Kerri Walsh Jennings Talks About Being Pregnant during the London Olympics

FITNESS: Was it scary playing so hard in the London Olympics knowing you were probably pregnant

Kerri: No, not at all. I was maybe a week and a half late max by the end of the Olympics. At that point, most people don’t even realize they miss a period. I knew we tried and I was just on it. But I would have never put myself in that situation if I thought the potential baby in my body was going to be at risk—and I know that’s not the case. I played volleyball until the time I was 9 months pregnant with Sundance [her second son, now 2] and felt like I was doing right by him and the same thing with this baby. Being physical is what I do and it makes me feel good and it benefits the baby inside me.

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Lisa Haney at the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge (Photo courtesy of Lucy Pemoni/AP Images for Hilton HHonors)

Did it change your mindset at all during the Games?

Kerri: It wasn’t stressful, it was nothing negative—it was just more inspiring. I didn’t take a test until I got home to confirm it, but you know. It was just like, What if? I remember telling Casey [Jennings, her husband] that I’m late and he’s like, That’s so great. That’s how we do it. And I thought, You’re right. We’re here at the final stage of one journey that we’ve been working so hard for and we’ve always really wanted to start this other adventure of adding to our family right away. So it just feels like the timing was so blessed and we’re just really grateful.

You wear a bikini for your job. Do you feel self-conscious about your body when you’re pregnant?

Kerri: I do. The hardest part for me is right now [mid October]—I’m 15 and a half weeks pregnant and you know you can’t really tell that I’m that pregnant but you can. My muscle turned to mush right away with this pregnancy and I actually am very self conscious, and so I wear a lot more leggings and cover up a lot more. And I live in California and it’s hot all the time and it drives me crazy.

I generally don’t have an issue with that. Not that I really love my body or anything, just that I appreciate my body and that kind of helps me overlook what I’m doing. So once I turn the corner and get a little bigger than I am right now I think I’ll appreciate my body again because I know what it’s doing and I’m grateful. But it’s hard—it’s hard to see the cellulite, it’s hard to go from one place where you’re walking around in a bikini top to you can’t even imagine being in a bikini.

I heard you think the baby is a girl.

Kerri: Yeah. The pregnancy is so different so far. My skin is so different—I have way more acne than I’ve ever had­—and I’ve been sick way more. With my two pregnancies with my boys [Joseph, 3, and Sundance, 2] I had maybe two days total where I didn’t feel great and this has been the majority of the days I don’t feel great. Chinese calendar says we’re having a girl. My money’s on a girl. We’re going to open a present on Christmas morning to see what we’re having and then we’ll celebrate either way. I love my boys—I would not trade my boys in for the world. But I would love for my husband to have a daddy’s little girl.

Read on for Jennifer Kessy’s and April Ross’ Beach Body Secrets Read more

Models Who Score Points: A Look at the 2012 MBVT

Written on April 17, 2012 at 8:42 am , by

There are modeling competitions…and then there are models who compete.

We prefer focusing on the latter, and the athletic, crazy-cool Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in South Beach a few short weeks ago is a prime example of model behavior that may motivate you to start getting summer-ready! Pictures worth being jealous of:

There were eight modeling agencies that participated, each with about 12 players. Here, a few MC2 models set the mood for the tournament.

There were eight modeling agencies that participated, each with about 12 players. Here, a few MC2 models set the mood for the tournament. Photo by WorldRedEye.com.

Wilhelmenia and Runway face off!

Wilhelmenia and Runway face off! Photo by WorldRedEye.com.

There were three reality TV shows filming during the tournament! Here, a cast member from the CW's upcoming "The Catalina" gets carried away.

There were three reality TV shows filming during the tournament! Here, a cast member from the CW's upcoming "The Catalina" gets carried away. Photo by WorldRedEye.com.

There were two courts and more than a thousand spectators each day. Photo by WorldRedEye.com.

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THIS WEEKEND: Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in Miami

Written on March 30, 2012 at 10:36 am , by

Just a reminder for FITNESS readers who live close to Miami…swing on by the MBVT on Saturday and Sunday! Click the image for more info.

model beach volleyball info

Exclusive Interview with U.S. Beach Volleyball Pair Jenn Kessy and April Ross!

Written on March 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm , by

april ross and jenn kessy fitness article

Photo by Marc Serota for the National Volleyball League.

One of the most thrilling, coolest, and—yeah, we’ll say it—sexiest Olympic sports is Women’s Beach Volleyball.

That’s why we were pretty psyched to chat with Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, the U.S. women’s pair currently ranked fourth in the world. The duo is just a few months away from a berth to the Olympic Games in London and are preparing to dive into their competitive season. But remember how we told you about that Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in Miami this weekend? Yep, Kessy and Ross will be there.  (Gah! Let’s all go!)

“We train really hard Monday through Friday and try to have a regular life on the weekends,” says Kessy. “So, we’ll be back to work on Monday. But in the meantime, the event gives us the chance to support the NVL (National Volleyball League). Plus, it’s in Miami and we like to enjoy the ride!”

And enjoy the ride they do. But it’s well-deserved: After just missing out on the 2008 Games in Beijing—only two teams per gender per country can go—Kessy and Ross have been preparing for years to represent the U.S., with Olympic veterans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Here, Kessy and Ross reveal a few of their essentials while they’re on-the-go…plus, we find out exactly why those volleyball bikini bottoms are so itty bitty.

FITNESS: What do you have to have when you’re traveling?

Ross: “The number one thing I have to have is a big water bottle. If I go half an hour without water, I tend to freak out.”

Kessy: “I have to have my pillow. My neck can’t take different hotels pillows every week, especially after you spend your days diving for the ball. Sleep is really important to us, being on the road a lot, so I also have a sleeping mask and earplugs.”

FITNESS: Are there any beauty products you can’t live without, other than SPF?

Ross: “I hate the grimy buildup from the sweat and sand, so I bring exfoliating cleansers on the road to get the layers off. I also have some sun damage, so I use Kieh’s Spot Corrector. I usually carry Eucerin hand cream, too.”

Kessy: “I just got the Clarisonic (Skin Cleansing System), and talk about getting grime off your face!” Read more

Models Making a Difference

Written on March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am , by

heide lindgren and georgie badiel

Models 4 Water's co-founders Heide and Georgie

In 10 days, the 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will hit South Beach—and give us a motivational kick in the butt to get ready for bikini season. But the two-day event will also give us a little boost of hope, too, thanks to its charity partnership, Models 4 Water.

Co-founder models Georgie Badiel (runway stunner) and Heide Lindgren (face of Guess by Marciano) started M4W last year, with the goal of raising money to bring sustainable, clean water to the people in Burkina Faso, Georgie’s homeland. The country is one of the poorest in the world and about 85 percent of the population doesn’t have clean drinking water. And as you may suspect, most of the burden of finding usable water falls on the local women.

brukina faso children

Taken at Nakar, Burkina Faso: After M4W's first drill hit water, children celebrate. (Photo courtesy of Models 4 Water on Facebook)

“We want to use our level of exposure to give back and work (as an industry) together to make a difference,” Heide says. “But this isn’t about being a ‘rewarding experience.’ It’s about fulfilling your duty as a human being to use your blessings to help bless others.”

M4W works with The Water Project, which also hosts the donations. (They’ll accept as little as $1, so go for it!) But the Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will also have an area dedicated to M4W, and additional Global Ambassadors will lend their image and connections to the cause in the future.

Until then, Heide says the dream is simple: “Water is one of the few things the body requires to live, and we don’t want access to clean water to be an issue or concern for anyone.”

Stay tuned for more updates about the exciting 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament, an event FITNESS is proud to partner with!

Steal Volleyball Stars’ Get-Fit Tricks

Written on September 21, 2011 at 10:34 am , by

Whitney Pavlik slams a shot past a defender as Jenny Kropp cheers her on. (Photo by Jim Heath/IMG)

You may have retired your bikini for the season, but certain athletes have to stay two piece-ready all year! Beach volleyball pros play hard, lunge and jump—all while donning one of the skimpiest outfits in sports. So how do they keep their confidence up? By training hard! “What gets me to the gym even when I’m not motivated is that fact that our uniform is a bikini,” says Whitney Pavlik, 2008 Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Rookie of the Year.

We caught up with Pavlik and three other top players from the AVP before this weekend’s Hermosa Beach Open to learn more about how they got their start in the sport, how they stay motivated and how they train to top the competition.

  • Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik, partners and winners of the Manhattan Beach Open in August

How did you first get interested in volleyball?
Kropp: “My mom was a P.E. teacher, so she borrowed nets from the school during the summer and we set them up in our backyard.”

How do you get pumped up before big matches?
Kropp: “We listen to ‘Lighters’ by Eminem on Bruno Mars until we get to the beach.”

What is your favorite way to cross train?
Kropp: “I love to work out with TRX Suspension Training. Single leg squats, lunges, abs, even jumping jacks can be integrated into the workout.”

What are your goals for the future?
Pavlik: “We’re taking each year at a time, but the 2016 Olympics is the ultimate end goal.”

Read on for more from two other volleyball stars rocking the beaches!

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