Training Secrets of the World’s Most Influential Female Athletes



Over the last 100 years, women have made waves in the sports world. From changing their fields to inspiring women who want to break into the field, ladies like Wilma Rudolph, Billie Jean King, and Aly Raisman have changed the face of sports forever.

In this post, we’ll cover the careers and accomplishments of a few of these famous female athletes, and the training secrets that have helped them overcome obstacles and reach their dreams.

Let’s dive in. 

Lindsey Vonn

In the entire history of skiing, only two female skiers have won four World Cup overall champions. One of them was Lindsey Vonn

Although she has retired from the sport, Vonn is ranked as one of the greatest skiers of all time and holds three Olympic medals, 82 World Cup victories, 4 World Cup titles, and two World Championship gold medals, among many other accomplishments. 

How she trains: To crush all those accomplishments, Lindsey Vonn stuck to a predictably brutal training routine. Vonn reportedly spent at least six hours a day in the gym, 5-6 days a week. Vonn suffered many knee injuries during her career, and most of her training was dedicated to strengthening the muscles around her knees and focusing on “prehab” - strength and stability work to bolster vulnerable joints. 

Serena Williams

This would not be an article about the top women in sports history without a mention of Serena Williams. Widely regarded as one of the best female tennis players in the sport’s history, Williams holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles. She also holds the most Grand Slam titles in doubles, singles, and mixed doubles combined of all active players. 

How she trains: To crush all those accomplishments, Lindsey Vonn stuck to a predictably brutal training routine. Vonn reportedly spent at least six hours a day in the gym, 5-6 days a week. Vonn suffered many knee injuries during her career, and most of her training was dedicated to strengthening the muscles around her knees and focusing on “prehab” - strength and stability work to bolster vulnerable joints. 

Simone Biles

American gymnast Simone Biles became a four-time World all-around champion at the age of 22. Between 2013-2015, Biles claimed three consecutive victories, before snagging another in 2018. She’s also a five-time U.S. National all-around champion. 

Her career has rendered Biles the most decorated American gymnast in history, with a shocking 25 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles is also known for smashing rigorous body standards in the gymnastics industry and helping to normalize muscular bodies for women.

How she trains: To stay in tennis-pro shape, Williams does a mixture of activities. According to her trainers, she focuses mostly on cardio, agility work, cardio, and strength exercises. In fact, it’s this comprehensive training routine that allowed her to recover (and return to her peak performance) after the complicated delivery of her daughter, Alexis Olympia.  

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is one of the most extraordinary track and field athletes the sport has ever known. She made her name in the heptathlon, an event where athletes compete in seven different track and field events over two days, although she was also formidable in the long jump. 

During her career and appearance at four Olympic Games, she claimed three gold, two bronze medals, and one silver medal across her two primary events. After retiring, Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which provides youth, adults, and families with access to athletics to improve their quality of life.

How she trains: In her younger years, Joyner-Kersee participated in a variety of activities, including dance and volleyball. She and her brother both went into track and field and trained together. She first began training for the heptathlon in 1981 and graduated from UCLA in 1986 as the dominant heptathlete. Her training allowed her to set a world record (7,148 points) at the Goodwill Games in Moscow.

Candace Parker

Candace Parker rose to fame playing for the Los Angeles Sparks after she was drafted in 2008. With the skill of Parker, the Sparks made it to their first WNBA Championship (since 2002) in 2016. Parker has twice been named WNBA MVP and was named the WNBA Finals MVP in 2016. When she’s not playing, Parker provides tournament coverage on “NBA on TNT.”

How she trains: Candace Parker’s training is as rigorous as you would expect from any professional basketball player. After a career-sidelining knee and shoulder surgery, though, her training doubled down. Parker reportedly focused on catch-and-shoots from the foul line, defensive sides, dunks, and more. 

Mia Hamm

An icon in the soccer world, Mia Hamm was a USWNT member from 1987-2004. She won two Olympic gold medals and was a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion. She also played on the U.S. team in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which was the first time women’s soccer was a sport in the games. While she retired in 2004, she remains an inspiration for women in the sport.

How she trains: Mia Hamm started playing at age 5, and keeps her professional edge strong by training twice a day, six days a week. She lifts weight four days a week, followed by an hour on the soccer field practicing ball handling. She also runs springs and does 180 sit-ups each day. During her second daily workout, she’ll spend another hour on the field working on technical movements. She also runs a few times each week.  

All Women Can Learn from These Incredible Athletes

These incredible female athletes changed the world of sports forever and paved the way for those who come after them. Through their intensive training programs and dedication to their sports, they’ve overcome obstacle after obstacle, proving to every female athlete that they can, too. 

Here at Level Up Sports, we pride ourselves on helping the great athletes of the future get the scholarships and placements they need to play at the college level. Learn more or start your free account now. 

Focus KW: women’s sports, female athletes