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Team USA Beach Volleyball Star Sara Hughes Takes Ice Bath In Workout Gear 

She’s ready for Paris 2024.

Beach volleyball champion Sara Hughes has been playing since she was eight years old, and was even mentored by Misty May-Treanor. Now Hughes, 29, is heading for Paris in June, and is doing everything she can to prepare for the big event. The athlete shared a video of herself wearing Nike shorts and a sports bra, lowering herself into an ice bath and then breathing through the initial cold shock. "It's gotta feel so good on that shoulder 💪🏻," a fan commented. Here's how Hughes stays fit, focused, and ready for Olympic gold.


Strength Training

Hughes frequently posts videos of herself doing strength training workouts with a personal trainer. She also uses resistance bands to build muscle, endurance, and burn fat. "My favorite place this pre-season! Couldn't do it without @mykelshannonjenkins & @officialbrycejenkins 💪🏼," she captioned an Instagram post.


Box Jumps

Hughes is a big fan of box jumps, a plyometric exercise. "This exercise trains triple extension and flexion of the key joints – hips, knees, and ankles – and related muscles – quads, hamstrings, quads and calves – used in running," UK Athletics Level 3 performance coach Graeme Woodward tells Runner's World. "And also requires a significant neuromuscular contribution which benefits speed qualities.'


Misty May-Treanor Mentor

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Hughes grew up watching Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor train at the beach. "For a long time, I was terrified to talk to her," Hughes told The Athletic. "Having her so close, it was crazy." May-Treanor noticed the young athlete and became her mentor. "I grew up putting my name on a paper on a pole and playing to stay on the court, and Sara hit the tail end of that," May-Treanor said. "Bill [Lovelace] had those little kids doing drills and playing alongside adults and in four-on-four tournaments. She's one of the last of that breed. We all know each other. As an older athlete, you want to take the sport under your wing. I was in her shoes once."


Paris 2024 Dreams


Hughes has high hopes for Paris 2024. "It would probably be the best feeling in the world," she told "It's my number one goal, and to get to do it with Kelly [Cheng] is even more special. So we just got to keep moving forward and keep doing well in tournaments and hope we'll stay on track to get there."


Ice Baths

Hughes regularly incorporated ice baths into her recovery routine. Studies show ice baths can help with pain and inflammation after training. "Some patients who have swelling and inflammation find great relief from soaking in an ice bath," sports medicine physician Dominic King, DO, tells Cleveland Clinic. "Start low and go slow. Don't go too cold and don't go for more than five minutes, just to make sure you can tolerate it. There is some research that shows that after two to three minutes, additional benefits taper off."

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