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Soccer pro Lauren Sesselmann shares her fitness knowledge

Written by: Cary Castagna, QMI Agency
Jul. 4, 2014

Lauren Sesselmann plays for the Canadian women's national soccer team and now has her own fitness DVDs. David Bloom/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency


Hobbled with a serious knee injury, pro soccer player Lauren Sesselmann has a lot more time on her hands this season.

Normally, the defender with the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League is on the road an average of 15 nights a month from mid-April to mid-August.

It’s a schedule that doesn’t allow for nearly as much time in the gym as she’d like.

But Sesselmann, a fit 145 pounds at five-foot-eight, makes do.

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“I’ll do a quick workout in the hotel room. Or if I’m walking through the airport, I make sure that I’m getting a fast walk in,” she explains in a phone interview.

“I try to get a workout in wherever I am, even if it has to be running outside in the parking lot, doing sprints or something like that.”


Lauren Sesselmann 'Fit as a Pro' fitness DVD.

During her hotel-room workouts — often only about 10 minutes in duration — Sesselmann relies on her own body weight for resistance.

She creatively opts for whatever makeshift exercise tools are available, such as a chair for a barre-inspired session, a pillow for some core work, or towels for some challenging gliding moves on a bare floor.

While helping to keep her functionally fit, these brief, but effective workouts form the basis of the two ‘Fit as a Pro’ fitness DVDs she has just released.

“The idea behind the ‘Fit as a Pro’ brand is to get a good quality, hardcore workout in a short amount of time,” notes Sesselmann, whose Canadian national team earned bronze at the 2012 Olympics.

“I’ve always been into fitness. I’ve been surrounded by sports and fitness my whole life. With all of the different trainers I’ve met along the way, everyone has a different way of training, so I’ve learned a bunch of different techniques. I thought this was a great way to showcase all the exercises that I love and all the things that I do to stay in shape for soccer.”

Sesselmann, 30, collaborated on the DVDs with Guillermo Gomez, a fitness expert and fourth-degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido.

“Anybody can do the workouts. They’re for any fitness level,” she adds.

“I feel like everybody is an athlete in their own way. So this is a cool way for people to train like an Olympic athlete. It was a cool concept and I love it.”

Sesselmann’s training has evolved significantly over the years. In her college days, Sesselmann trained like a powerlifter. Back then, she relished heaving heavy weights. For instance, she squatted around 300 pounds.

As a pro soccer player, however, Sesselmann has focused more on her speed, agility and jumping ability.

But she hasn’t exactly neglected her strength.

“My forte as a player is my strength,” says the Wisconsin product who managed to get dual citizenship because her father was born in Newfoundland.

“I’ve always been such a strong player that just tackles people all over the place. I try to keep that up so I don’t lose that because that’s what the team relies on me for.”

Right now, her team is just hoping she makes a speedy recovery.

Sesselmann tore her left ACL in late February during a training session in Cyprus with the Canadian women’s national team.

She underwent surgery in mid-March.

In addition to thrice weekly rehab sessions, she’s currently doing cardio, upper body training and core work three times a week.

“I’m not doing too much lower body yet, not unless it’s in the pool. I’m just getting to the stage of doing squats and stuff like that,” says Sesselmann, who has her mind set on playing in next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup on Canadian soil.

“It’s not a fun injury. It’s definitely one that takes time. It’s my first serious injury. I’m taking all measures possible to get back (to the soccer field). I miss it so much. I’m going crazy not playing right now.”

 

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