Serena Williams is not just one of the world’s premiere female tennis stars, she is also one of the strongest women in the sport. She’s certainly not a lean, slim player, but her entire physique speaks volumes about strength and fitness. Tennis is, after all, a game of speed, strength and endurance, and Serena has mastered all three.
A knee injury from 2004 and a bad hamstring have long hampered her running, and she freely admits that she does not enjoy cardio work, both factors which probably have contributed to her less-than-lean build. Serena has said, “I hate working out more than anything, but I have to — when I’m running, I think about how much I want to win. That’s the only thing that keeps me going.”
Tennis requires a strong core and Serena has maintained this with weight training. She takes Pilates and is a huge fan of Bikram yoga, giving credit to the fact that you can burn more than 600 calories in one Bikram session. Working with fitness guru Mackie Shilstone, the pair focuses on increasing flexibility, endurance drills and core work, working on both grass and clay to simulate different playing surfaces.
Shilstone is a noted trainer who has worked with numerous Major League Baseball, NFL, NHL and NBA players, plus well-known boxers such as Riddick Bowe and Roy Jones.