The Total-Body Exercise That Keeps Gabrielle Reece in Killer Shape
Looking at Gabrielle “Gabby” Reece, 46, you might find it hard to believe that the six-foot-three phenom is no longer a pro volleyball player. The way her body moves is still strikingly strong. In fact the only hint of physical aging is the knee replacement surgery she mentioned she had four months earlier.
That clearly hasn’t stopped her though. And we are pretty sure part of the reason is her commitment to staying fit. “I do a lot of squatting and lunging—those basic, functional movements we as human beings do that help us live our everyday lives, play sports, and get from point A to point B,” says Reece, who created the HIGHX training program. The aesthetics come when your body is moving right, she says, and you're fueling up with the good stuff.
“It’s also about understanding that whatever I am doing, I am working in the right movement patterns,” Reece adds. In other words, make sure you form is on point!
Another secret to Reece’s fountain-of-youth frame: the clean and jerk. “It is a dynamic, ballistic movement that is fundamental. And if done correctly, it is beautiful,” says Reece of this classic Olympic lift that helps develop total-body power, as well as boost sports performance.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with a barbell on the ground in front of you. With weight in heels, squat down and grip the bar so that your hands are just outside of the legs. In one explosive movement, driving through your hips and legs, bring the bar up to your chin. Rotate hands underneath the bar, bend knees, and then catch the bar on the top of your shoulders. Jump legs out into a lunge position and then press the bar overhead, locking out elbows. Step feet back together to come to standing. This is one rep.
Watch Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, winner of the 2014 CrossFit Games, execute the clean and jerk in this video. (Needless to say, she's using a lot more weight than the average person would!)
Gabby’s tip: Use dumbbells to start. “This way, both sides are working independently and you don’t develop imbalances,” she says.