Sculpt a Body like a Volleyball Athlete
Total-Body Tone Up
Want to slim down and tone up? How about increase speed and power? There's one type of workout that can help you reach all of these goals at the same time: high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This workout style focuses on short, powerful bursts of activity followed by a short rest period. I use HIIT to get into the best possible shape for beach volleyball because every match requires dynamic, powerful movements that last 30 seconds or less.
You don't have to be a beach volleyball player to benefit from HIIT. Anyone can (and should) use this type of training to build lean muscle, boost resting metabolism, improve athletic performance, and tighten up every muscle in your body. I not only rely on HIIT for my sport, but I also use it to look and feel my best for photo shoots, events, and bikini season.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of high intensity interval training, and then put it into practice with this total-body workout.
Do 1 set of the prescribed number of reps for each exercise, moving from one move to the next, resting 30 seconds in between. After you finish the last exercise, rest 2-3 minutes, and then repeat the entire circuit 2 more times. For best results, do this full routine on 3 nonconsecutive days per week.
This exercise primarily works the quads and hamstrings, building strength and power in the legs. It also engages the muscles in your lower back and abdominals to maintain the position during the lift.
How to do it: Hold the bar with an overhand grip just beyond shoulder-width apart. Raise your upper arms until they're parallel with the floor, allowing the bar to roll back so that it's resting on the fronts of your shoulders.
Shift your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body down until your thighs are at least parallel with the floor. Keep your back naturally arched, chest lifted, and knees tracking over your toes. Pause at the bottom of the squat, and then contract your glutes and push your body back to the starting position. Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor during the entire movement.
Skater to Depth Jump
The combination of these two exercises challenges the body in multiple planes, burns a huge amount of calories, and tones up hard-to-target areas (side of the booty, inner thighs). Your core is engaged the entire time to help you flatten and sculpt your stomach.
Reps: 6 per side
How to do it: Stand next to a bench or box. Shift your hips back, bend both knees, and drive off your left foot to leap as far as you can to the right. Land softly on your right leg (keep your hips back and your back naturally arched) and repeat to the other side, driving off your right foot to leap as far as you can to the left.
Land on your left leg, and then immediately face the bench or box, shift your hips and arms back, and jump up (using both feet) onto the bench or box. Jump back down and land softly by bending your knees. That's one rep. Do 6 reps on one leg, and then repeat on the other side.
Kettlebell Clean and Press
This total-body exercise requires a powerful drive out of your legs and glutes, a common movement in many sports. Your upper body and core are also engaged, resulting in major definition from head to toe.
Reps: 6 per side
How to do it: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell with one hand between your legs. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you shift your hips back and lower your torso until the kettlebell is lower than knee height (keep your back naturally arched).
Pull the kettlebell up to shoulder height by driving through your legs and pressing your hips forward. Next, quickly bring your elbow above your shoulder, explosively drive through your legs, and press kettlebell overhead. Keep your wrist straight at the top of the movement.
Slowly lower the kettlebell back down between your legs, while bending knees and keeping chest lifted. That's one rep.
This explosive movement requires your muscles to fire rapidly and react quickly. You'll build power in your lower body, increase lean muscle mass, and burn a lot of calories in a short period of time.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Quickly extend your arms behind you while bending knees even more. Explosively jump forward (as far as you can) while swinging your arms forward. Land softly (by bending your knees) in a solid, athletic position. Try not bounce or wobble at all and use your core to stay solid.
Sprints are one of the best ways to stay lean, while maintaining sleek, sexy muscle. You'll also improve speed and agility and burn more fat during the 24 hours after your workout is over than you would after moderate, steady-state cardio.
How to do it: Start in a lunge position with your back at a 45-degree angle, weight shifted forward. Drive through your big toe to take bounding steps forward. After about 10 yards, rest for 30 seconds before starting your next sprint. Quickly shift your hips forward to repeat the forward movement again.
Side Plank with Leg Raise
This plank variation engages your deepest core muscles and your glutes. It's great for flattening your stomach and sculpting a better booty, while also improving posture and shoulder strength.
Reps: 3 per side
How to do it: Lie on your right side with your knees straight, feet stacked. Prop your upper body up on your right elbow and forearm. Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Extend your top arm straight out from your shoulder.
Once stable, raise your top leg as high as you can and hold it that way for the duration of the exercise. Hold for 30 seconds, keeping your hips lifted and chest open the entire time. That's one rep.
Medicine-Ball Squat and Slam
This exercise challenges your body from head to toe. The squat strengthens and defines your glutes and legs, while the slam targets multiple muscles in your upper body (lats, delts, triceps, shoulders) and your deepest core muscles.
How to do it: Hold an 8-10 lb medicine ball at your chest and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping the medicine ball at chest height. Quickly push back up to standing, bringing the medicine ball directly overhead, keeping your arms straight.
Throw the medicine ball on the ground as hard as possible, keeping a slight bend in your knees and back upright. Catch the ball and repeat entire exercise.