The Winning Secret Behind Ash Barty's Success

The Winning Secret Behind Ash Barty’s Success

No matter where she is in the world, tennis champ Ash Barty starts her day the same way. “My morning always starts with coffee!” she says. “When I am home, I love being up early and taking my dogs for a walk in my local area with a coffee in hand. This makes me happy.” […]

by | Aug 27, 2020

No matter where she is in the world, tennis champ Ash Barty starts her day the same way.

“My morning always starts with coffee!” she says. “When I am home, I love being up early and taking my dogs for a walk in my local area with a coffee in hand. This makes me happy.”

Make no mistake, she’s a determined and disciplined athlete. After her chilled-out cappuccino, Ash heads to the court for a hitting session, followed by a strength and conditioning workout. But building self-care into her routine is how the French Open winner and Rado YoungStar keeps her physical and mental game on point.

“I make sure I have balance,” she explains. “I try and get home to see my family and friends whenever I have an opportunity. The amount of time we spend on the road as tennis players is tough, and for someone who loves home as much as I do, I make trips back to Australia a priority.”

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Similar to Liz, it’s a lesson Ash learnt early in her career. As a rising star in her teens, she famously walked away from the game in 2014 to rest, recharge, and give a cricket a swing, citing the gruelling pro tour circuit for her shock withdrawal. 

The “Barty Break”, as it’s now known, not only saw Ash successfully dodge burnout, but come back to tennis two years later an even more formidable force. “Playing multiple sports has given me perspective and a greater understanding of the challenges different athletes face,” she says. “Being part of the team environment in cricket was something I thoroughly enjoyed and I made some close friends who I still stay in touch with today.” 

These days, Ash’s dream team is a support squad who travel with her on the pro tour. “Having a great team of people around me who I love spending time with on the road helps enormously,” she admits. So, too, does the love she receives from the Aussie sporting community. “We’re all very supportive of one another – I love seeing the cricket girls and other athletes do well,” she says. “I believe we should all support and celebrate one another – it’s fantastic for sport when we do!”

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When she’s not cheering on her mates, Ash will be drinking her coffee, walking her dogs when she can, and quietly focusing on world (tennis) domination.

“For me, it’s the journey, not the destination, I’m enjoying the most.”

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It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?