Volleyball champ Gabrielle Reece, a mom of 3, has fitness ideas for Michigan women

She’s 6-feet-3-inches tall with abs as flat as a table. She splits her time between Malibu and Maui with pro-surfer husband, Laird Hamilton.

Gabrielle Reece has been a volleyball champ, modeled for Playboy and produced a flurry of workout DVDs. She writes for Yahoo Health and hosts “The HoneyLine,” a show covering style, fitness and relationships; segments air on the “Rachael Ray” show.

And yet, she says she can relate to women and moms in Michigan.

“On a lot of levels,” says Reece, 39, who parents two daughters and a stepdaughter, “I’m an everyday person, too.

“I cook dinner probably six nights a week. This morning, I had to clean a big mess. One daughter wants me to rub her back and my 1-year-old is asking me to pick her up,” she says. “Do my husband and I have unusual realities? Yes, but in so many more ways, we’re trying to get through it the best we can.”

Reece, known as Gabby, will spend three hours at the Michigan International Women’s Show on Saturday to sign books, plug a line of vitamins called Simply Nutrilite and give a talk titled “Easy Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy.”

The Free Press talked with her by phone earlier this week in Kauai, where she and Hamilton are building a house.

QUESTION: You and your husband are often considered sports gods, so how do you relate to people who just want to keep fit?

ANSWER: I had the good fortune of being in professional sports, and my husband is still surfing. Being around great minds and nutritionists, the idea is to take that sort of high-dosage platform and figure out ways to break it down and make it actionable for the everyday person.
Q: How does someone start a fitness routine?
A: You don’t have to spend hours and hours. It’s consistency. If someone does 15 to 30 minutes a day, that’s a start. I don’t think walking around the block is going to get it done. You’ve got to try to start to add things. Resistance training or whatever it is. Changing it up is critical. You can’t do just one thing. People need to find a few things they like to do.

Q: What exercises do you do?
A: The main things are my circuits. For example, one exercise I’ll use 10-pound dumbbells, and I’ll do a step-back lunge or a dumbbell squat to a jump or jump up on boxes. Everything I do is generally multijoint. In real life, we don’t move on a plane with one set of muscles, so why not train yourself to move your body better, period?

I’ve been taking a barre class, like a ballet barre. I have long, heavy legs, and I do it because it’s new and humbling. I go stand-up paddling. I go run on the beach in very deep sand. I spin, and I have a Pilates table. And I started playing volleyball again with a group of guys here.


Contact ERIN CHAN DING: 313-222-6696 or email: echan@freepress.com.