Feeling inspired by this year’s Wimbledon action? Then supercharge your fitness regime like an athlete, as five-time Grand-slam winner Maria Sharapova’s personal trainer of over ten years, Yutaka Nakamura, shares the tennis pro’s workout secrets and winning wellness tips.
1 Be Dynamic
“The warm-up and cool-down are non-negotiable for Maria and should be for anyone who works out regularly. Maria mixes active and dynamic stretching (movement and jumps), which increases her heart up her muscles without overworking them. Try spreading legs wider than the shoulders and reach each arm forward and upwards, holding for two seconds and repeating ten times. To cool down, stand on one leg and reach forward with both arms, forming a T position; hold for ten seconds on each leg and repeat five times”.
2. Add Variety
“To keep Maria motivated daily, I switch up her routine to keep her mind and body alert. I get her to focus on her core with planks, and add cardio with running intervals to help match endurance and overall health. For strength, good posture and overall athleticism, I make her squat. By taking Maria out of her comfort zone and keeping the workout fun and fresh, it keeps her focused”.
3. Take Stretching Seriously
“Stretching is just as important as regular exercise, and crucial to keep the body in optimal health. Not only does it help increase blood flow and circulation, both of which create longer, leaner muscles, it also improves posture. I put Maria in a lunge position, lowering the hip towards the ground and holding for 15 seconds, repeating three times on each leg”.
4. Fuel The Right Away
“Don’t underestimate the power of the right nutrition pre- and post-workout. Maria eats healthy fats, such as a handful of nuts, to give her a slow release of energy, and fruit, which is a good source of carbs and energy, with the extra vitamin value. Immediately post-workout, digestion is inefficient, as blood and energy are directed elsewhere in the body, so Maria always has a protein shake to help speed up muscle recovery”.
5 Rest To Recover
“Rest days are key to getting the best results, and are crucial for the body and mind to recover. Maria’s mantra is Work + Rest = Success, and as a pro athlete, she has one or two rest days a week. However, for an average regime, work towards the ratio of allowing one rest day to every two workouts”.