Anna Kournikova tells you how it's done on 'Biggest Loser'
The crew of "The Biggest Loser" (8 p.m. Tuesdays) includes, from left, Dolvett Quince, Alison Sweeney, Bob Harper and Anna Kournikova. (Chris Haston/NBC, courtesy / June 7, 2011)
Injuries cut short her professional tennis career in 2003 but she remains active. These days, she exercises several days a week to remain healthy, burn stress, gain energy and work on her curves.
A longtime trainer with The Boys & Girls Clubs, Kournikova says "The Biggest Loser" enables her to share her knowledge and experience with a wider audience. She considers it a "dream job."
Q: Why do you keep fit?
A: I crave exercise, crave sweating, crave stretching. Like a little baby stretches and yawns after waking up, it feels good. All your joints are lubricated.
For me, exercise is definitely about health. But it's also a great stress-reliever. I get on the treadmill and read a magazine, or listen to music, and feel like I'm releasing that energy, that stress.
Exercise gives me great energy. It's about being healthy, having energy, [parents] spending quality time with children. Looking good is literally a bonus. It's not about a certain size. Everybody is different. As long as you're healthy, that's most important.
I'm a typical slender Russian. I'm not a big girl, not a strong girl, so for me to have curves or maintain muscle mass I have to do weight training. Cardio just burns the calories.
Q: What's your workout schedule?
A: I try to do two, three days in a row, then a day off, then two or three again. I believe in the days off because the body will work better after a break. Sometimes, I have to force myself to take a day off.
In hotels, I squeeze in a workout. And I walk in the airport instead of taking the mover.
Q: What exercises do you do?
A: I mix it up. I play tennis three or four times a week, go to the gym, do StairMaster, swimming, planks, yoga, which didn't go so well last year because I injured my knee.
Yesterday I did treadmill and weight training. Today I did elliptical and weight training. I change up the weight training. Low reps (repetitions) and high weight yesterday, today high reps and low weight. I mainly do lower body and core. Core is crucial because I have a back problem. At least three times a week, I do core.
I do lower body mainly, but upper body a little. My arms tend to bulk up pretty fast. I focus on the girl parts, like the butt and legs.
If I don't want to think at the gym, I'll go through every machine. I'll space out. When I have energy and want to be creative, I'll create a routine.
Q: Where do you work out?
A: I bounce around to three gyms in South Beach, depending on where my appointments are and where I am in the city today. All the gyms have different machines.
A lot of times, I work out at my home. I have a treadmill. I have a stability ball, dumbbells for lunges. I run up the stairs. I do a lot of mat stuff.