When someone mentions Laila Ali, your mind probably jumps to one of two associations—boxing or a certain celeb dance show.
After all, the daughter of famed boxing champ Muhammad Ali first made a name for herself in the ring (Laila "She Bee Stingin'" Ali) at the age of 21, when she knocked out her opponent in 31 seconds. Side note: I can barely take a sip of hot coffee in 31 seconds, let alone knock someone out. When she retired in 2007, Ali was the undefeated Super Middleweight Boxing Champion of the world. Um, yeahhh...so there's that.
Then she cha-cha-cha'd/waltzed/danced her way to the finals on season four of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," rocking plenty of rhinestones, ruffles and fringed get-ups along the way.
But earlier this week, we caught up with the pro athlete in a sports arena that not quite as many people associate her with: the tennis courts at the U.S. Open, where she joined with the United States Tennis Association to kick off National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Ali played the game as a youth and has picked up her racket on a more regular basis with her own kids. Like boxing, tennis also requires that its players be quick on their feet. "I love the footwork that's involved in rallying," she says.
Ali, who works out in her home gym or with trainers Sam Upton and Dion Slider when she's gearing up for an event, tones her upper legs and butt with a move that she calls "the booty builder."
"You need that strong foundation to get around the court," Ali says. "Look how good Serena is!"
The Move: Booty Builder
Stand up straight and extend your arms so that your hands are flat against the wall.
Keeping one foot on the ground, lift the opposite leg behind you, squeezing your glutes as you do so and releasing them as you bring your leg back down. Complete three sets of 20 raises with each leg.
Stay in shape in a fitness class.