Training Tips from Olympian Kerri Walsh

Kerri Walsh - Favorite Workouts and Training Tips

Kerri Walsh. Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Some of the best training advice comes from people who excel in their sport. One athlete who has proven her skill and consistency year after year is beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. Kerri, along with her volleyball partner Misty May-Treanor, won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and will represent the United States once more, this time in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

I recently asked Kerri to share some of her tips and training secrets. This is what she had to say.

What is your favorite training exercise? Why?
I love my fast twitch training with my trainer Tommy Knox. He puts us through an amazing weight workout and also includes a lot of plyometric exercises, stretching, isokinetic work and that gets our fast twitch muscles going.

If I'm on the road I find a 24 Hour Fitness, get a good stretch in one of their classrooms, use their free weights, and make sure to keep up on my strength maintenance exercises. Thank goodness they are everywhere!

What are the 5 "Must Do" exercises for your sport?

  • Shoulder exercises- Grab a band and go through a lot of resistance exercises to protect your shoulder and keep it strong. I've had three shoulder surgeries in my career so my "band" comes with me everywhere.
  • Cleans- I love cleans because they require good form, and help work on both strength and dynamic movement. Good form is essential, so be sure to get your form down before trying to lift heavy.
  • Lunges- This is a great exercise for the legs and tooshie. I live my life in a Speedo bikini, so this exercise is very important to me (I need to look good in my uniform!)

Share one training secret that average exercisers can use to improve their performance.
Not that this is any big secret, but here it is... Start with a goal and push yourself to your limit; soon enough you will blow through that wall and find yourself without any limits at all.

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Interval training is perfect for this because you can cruise (go easy) for a few minutes, sprint all out for 30-45 secs, cruise again, and repeat. Interval sprints on the bike and treadmill are my favorite. It helps make my workout go faster which is always a wonderful thing.

What is your favorite abdominal or core workout?
Aside from Pilates, which covers the entire core area, I love to simply put a roll/rolled up towel under my low back and do my crunches. Hands behind your head, go all the way down, then shoot straight up keeping your forehead to the ceiling.

Two sets of 15 repetitions is a good start.

How do you heal quickly from injuries?
Drink lots of water, use ice/heat treatments, and body work. I am a big believer in massage to help get circulation to injured areas. It might be a little painful, but no pain no gain, right?!

Do you have any pre-competition rituals or superstitions?
I need to be awake at least two hours before a match. I start warming up an hour prior, jog, stretch, listen to my music, visualize, breathe, etc. I always "hop" into the court when being announced, after timeouts and between games.

What makes you a champion?
My desire to be the very best I can be and my commitment to pushing myself to make sure I reach that goal. I also have an amazing partner who is with me all the way.

Read more about Kerri Walsh.

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