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July 14, 2008

5 Olympic Athletes Share Their Workout Secrets

Five Olympians share their secrets to getting fitter, faster.

woman playing tennis

Lindsay Davenport, Tennis

Photo Credit: H. How/Getty Images

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Whether you want to tone up or slim down, we'll show you how with tips from these Beijing-bound athletes.

At 16, Lindsay Davenport went pro. At 20, she took home the gold at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, before going on to win the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open. Now, 14 months after the birth of her son, Jagger, the former number one is eyeing the sweetest comeback of all: a repeat gold in Beijing.

Every week, Davenport, 32, does 10 to 15 hours of hitting and stroke drills at a neighborhood court in her hometown of Laguna Beach, CA, plus three hours of free weights, the occasional Pilates class ("depending on how stiff I am"), and two sessions of footwork and plyometrics (high-impact drills). The real challenge? Working around Jagger's schedule. "I try to always be home for his feedings," she says.

Three-way lunges (stepping forward, laterally, then back) tone the quads and mimic the motion of hitting a low shot. Four days a week, Davenport does 10 to 20 reps on each leg.

During her pregnancy, Davenport cut out soda and lemonade and went cold turkey on caffeine.

"Keeping your head in each point is the toughest thing about tennis," says Davenport, who spends a few moments in silent visualization before every match. "You need a sense of calm and a big sense of belief."

"Being a mom has raised my confidence. The little things—bad line calls—don't bother me as much."

Davenport exercised moderately while pregnant—swimming, cardio workouts on an elliptical machine, and light weight training. "My body bounced back so much faster because of it."

Next Page: Diana Lopez, Tae Kwon Do

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