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Olympic-Worthy Fashion Advice from Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross

Written on September 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm , by

Written by Anna Seils, fashion intern

While beach volleyball is all about the sand, hot bods and bikinis, the fashion trends spread far beyond the surf. Olympic volleyball athletes and teammates Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross sat down from their hectic lives of volleyball training—and winning like crazy in the AVP tournament—to talk about their trend-worthy style.

They wear what works for them. Although they look super similar (per tournament protocols), the winning ladies have different sponsors, so the gear isn’t identical. Jennings works with Asics for all of her equipment needs, whereas Ross teams up with Mizuno. Thankfully, for some tournaments, the uniform requirements are more flexible. “It’s fun, I can wear a green bottom and she can wear a green top,” says Ross. “But on the World Tour, you have to match exactly. So we wear a lot of black then.”  And keep an eye out for gear designed by the pros—Jennings is developing a shoe and apparel line with Asics that is sure to be full of functional style.

Uniform features matter. After all, you don’t want to start a game and realize there’s no way you’re making it through a set with the top you have on. So Jennings and Ross test, test, test—and keep an eye out for key gear components. “For me, having a bikini that ties behind the neck, it crushes my neck, so I can’t have that,” says Ross. “And if you wear a bikini that ties behind the neck every day, it hurts really badly. So we do the criss-cross straps in the back.” One thing they don’t look for? Skimpy suits. “I think our sport is sexy enough,” explains Jennings.

They buy each other gifts. Many athletes are notorious for good luck charms, and Walsh and Jennings are no exception. For an extra mental push on the courts, “I got each of us a Giving Keys [pendant],” says Jennings. “Mine says, ‘breathe’ and April’s says ‘dream.’ I want to invite breath and pause into my life, and this is just a daily reminder.”

Beauty takes a backseat, but it’s not dismissed. Hair and nails take a pounding thanks to sweating in the elements these Olympians train in (tons of sand = not so great for manicures). To make ‘em last and look good throughout the competition, “You have to do gel on the beach,” explains Ross. “If you get a normal manicure, it’s gone in a day.” As for the hair, both whip it into a cute pony or braid so it stays out of the way while still looking stylish.

Their styles off-court vary. When they’re not kicking a** and taking names, the pair likes to relax (and, well, cover up) in comfy, casual outfits. While Jennings is a fan of the classic jeans and tank combo, Ross opts for feminine, flowy outfits (Free People is a fave brand)—but with an edge. “I like being more girly off court, but I can’t be too girly or I’ll feel weird,” she says. “So I’ll wear sundresses with sneakers or pile on harder jewelry to offset it. I try to find the balance, and my main concern is to feel comfortable.”

To get more of Jennings and Ross, watch them in the championship game of the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour this weekend.

More from FITNESS: 

Why You Should Try to Be More Like Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross

Hot Beach Body Secrets from Volleyball Players

Kerri Walsh’s Top 3 Toning Moves to Get the Gold


London 2012 Olympics: Chatting With Beach Volleyball Babe Kerri Walsh

Written on August 7, 2012 at 10:05 am , by

Among all the amazing wins going on in London, the USA still has a handful of exciting events to go! And even though we’re trailing China by one medal to be the “winner of winners”, the games and races coming up may change all that. The US ladies soccer team scored the final goal to beat Canada (congratulations Alex Morgan!) and are on their way to redemption in the finals against Japan. Serena Williams won her first singles gold medal (we loved that happy dance!)—while she and Venus took home the gold in doubles too! Teen swimming sensation and newcomer to the pool, Missy Franklin, nabbed four medals, three of them gold; perhaps on the heels of becoming the female version of Phelps? And who can forget the Fab Five winning the team gold— and Gabby Douglas being named the top honor of all-around champion?

Kerri Walsh spending quality time with her son at the Oakley Safehouse (Photo credit: Russ Hennings/Oakley)

But gold medals aren’t just what we’re after; simply making an Olympic team is the biggest honor of all. McKayla Maroney on the vault is walking away with a silver medal, as is the speedy Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 100 meter. The list goes on and on, but coming up is the must anticipated Lolo Jones in 100 meter hurdles (semi and finals airs tonight!) and our favorite beach babes, Kerri Walsh and Misty May Treanor going up against China in the semi-finals today.

We got to chat with one of our favorite cover girls, Kerri Walsh, when she stopped by the Oakley Safehouse in London. The Safehouse is just that, a safe haven for Oakley athletes at the Olympics to rest, relax and find some private space away from any distractions the games are sure to throw at them.

What’s it like playing such late games? It looks cold out there!

My favorite Olympian of all-time, Natalie Cook, our coach has done a great job of preparing us. We train every night at 10:00pm and get home at 12 in the morning. We’re trying to figure out our process. We’re in a really good rhythm with it now.

Read on to find out how the Olympian balances mom time and game time! Read more

Kerri Walsh’s Top 3 Toning Moves to Get the Gold

Written on July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by

Those abs are definitely ready to bump, set and spike. (Photo courtesy of Antoine Verglas)

There’s no denying it–Kerri Walsh hates to lose. And though she has been pretty successful on the sand in the past, she’s not taking any chances at the Olympics in London later this week.

Below, Walsh teamed up with 24 Hour Fitness to share her favorite exercises that work everyone, whether you’re an athlete or a busy mom. And she would know–she’s both!  Try these moves this week in your routine to get a gold medal body of your very own.

In this workout you’ll find:

  • Dead Leg Lifts: For lower body stabilization and endurance.
  • Side Planks: For core and shoulder stability.
  • Trunk Rotations: For abs and obliques.

More from FITNESS: Your Complete Guide to the Olympics