It's official, NYC has tennis fever! The courtside champs have been spotted around the Big Apple as they're in town for this week's US Open Tennis Championship. Self.com caught up with Maria Sharapova at HEAD's Head-To-Head event (say that 10 times fast) to help kick off her new campaign.
Sharapova, a self-proclaimed bag lover, recently designed a few stellar tennis bags (pictured, below) for the premium sports equipment company HEAD. Her favorite part is that they don't automatically scream "I'm a tennis bag," she says, and they'd also work as a cute weekend bag.
The 24-year-old took time out to share some of what keeps her going during tournament season. Take a look ...
What's your go-to snack?
"I'm an afternoon tea type of girl. I come from a Russian background where we love our teas. So between lunch and dinner after training I come home and I love a nice cup of tea with jam in it, as we drink it there. Black English Breakfast with raspberry jam is my favorite."
What's your favorite splurge?
"I have a very big sweet tooth and I love treating myself to something that I wouldn't necessarily eat during the tournament such as a nice-sized cake."
How would you encourage people to get into the sport
"It's an amazing workout. You're working your core, your cardio, toning all your muscles and it's also really fun. It can be competitive or it can be a social thing as well."
What's the one thing most people don't know about tennis players?
"We travel so much and are in such great cities but we don't get to see as much as people think. A lot of it is hotel rooms and practice court. We do splurge on really nice dinners, we like our food, and energy is really important, so nice dinners are probably as good as it gets on the road. I don't get to do as much sightseeing as I would like to.
If you want to work out like Sharapova (she has some seriously sculpted arms!), try this tennis-inspired exercise from Michelle Williams, instructor of Crunch gym's sport-specific Ripped Rotation workout. The classes use a Smart Bell -- a round weighted plate to simulate a racket to improve strength and overall tennis skills -- but you can just as easily use any kind of weight, including a dumbbell or even water jug!
The Power Shot
1. Bend at the knees and squat low as if waiting for a serve.
2. Twist to the right and pull your right arm back. Swing powerfully to the left back across the body.
3. Return to starting position in a low center squat.
4. Repeat 10-12 times and then repeat with the left hand
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