Tennis superstar Venus Williams has to be agile on the court—and also when scheduling workout sessions. “My weekly workouts are always changing due to my travel and tournament schedule,” she says.
But Williams manages to fit them in amid competitions, working on her fitness fashion line EleVen by Venus, and motivating others to get fit via EleVen’s blog—in posts on topics like confidence and interviews with healthy living experts.
And despite her celeb status, her workout philosophy is down-to-earth. “I try to do something active every day. Besides training to stay in shape for my sport, I use fitness as a vehicle to stay healthy and strong for my health and well-being. Fitness is just the beginning.”
That’s probably why she keeps a foam roller close at all times and regularly drinks green juice. We caught up with her during an at-home week to find out exactly what her average week looks like. Here’s Williams’s week-long fitness diary. —Lisa Elaine Held
Sunday: I like to use Sundays to recuperate from all the physical stuff I do all week long—especially if I’ve been in competition. I know I can perform at a higher level when I let my mind and body decompress from all demands I place on it. I usually like to take my dogs for walks and listen to music. It’s like a moving meditation.
Monday: Back to the grind! I have a green drink and a vegan superfood protein shake, then work on my tennis game for a few hours. Then I head to the gym for some sports-specific exercises that strengthen my body for tennis. I work with a fantastic team of physiologists and trainers who keep me running solid. Today we did basic glute, core, and shoulder activations. These consist of isometric and concentric exercises that promote proper muscle firing that’s functional to tennis.
Tuesday: It was a wet and rainy day here in Florida, so my team and I hit the gym for a day of high-intensity training. I really love these days. Today was “plyo” day. I did a series of plyometrics and had enough in me to repeat the sequence twice. I was feeling really good so I went for it. Then my trainer and I spent about 30 minutes on the foam roller and then another 20 stretching.
Wednesday: I woke up feeling great and a little surprised that I wasn’t crazy sore from yesterday’s workout. I think all the foam rolling really helped. Today I started off with some yoga—a nice vinyasa flow with an instructor friend of mine who was visiting. We practiced outside by the pool. It was gorgeous out, and I loved it. I felt really limber and mindful when I got to the court. I practiced with my hitting partner for a few hours and then I went to work on my clothing line EleVen. Creative energy was flowing! I notice that I’m more inspired after I move my body.
Thursday: I like to do different types of workouts to keep me motivated and crisp, and today we worked on agility, stability, and speed on the field. We did a track-inspired workout full of sprints and drills. Then we went to the courts for some additional footwork drills using an agility ladder that are designed to keep you light on your feet. Next I went through a serious shoulder strengthening circuit using resistance bands. I usually do 8-10 different exercises, and about 30 reps each. Later this afternoon, I have a routinely scheduled sports massage. I am really looking forward to it.
Friday: More functional training exercises that are functional to my needs as a tennis athlete and that improve my stamina and strength on the court. We did a lot of compound moves to work my upper and lower body at the same time. Today we layered in agility and stability on the Bosu to take my heart-rate up between sets. It’s really important that I have the endurance to power through matches that can last for hours. Today might have been my hardest workout all week. My team really pushed me. I really pushed myself.
Saturday: Pure strength day. Since I know I’m taking tomorrow off, we planned for a serious gym workout today. After a 10-minute warm-up on the bike, we did some dynamic movement, and endurance and power exercises. I have to be careful with my knees and wrists, so sometimes it’s nice to use the machines to help with my form for heavier strength training. Later this afternoon I swam some laps. I wanted to feel my body stretch out from a long week of training. I feel really happy that I had a successful week working out and was in one place long enough to stay on a routine.
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