Revealing answers to body questions

Go behind the scenes for the making of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue with Candace Parker.


In our Pro's Questionnaire, we asked athletes including NFL receiver Devin Hester, MLB All-Stars Mark Trumbo and Clayton Kershaw, tennis player Christina McHale and Olympians Jessica Hardy, Lee Kiefer and Merrill Moses five probing questions about their bodies, and about others'. What they love, what they wish was different, what brings pain or pride: We unveil the revealing answers.

1. Which part of your body do you like the most and why?

Jessica Hardy, Olympic swimmer: My arms. Swimming builds lean muscle -- you can't have bulky muscle or you'll be too heavy in the water. Swimming lots of laps over the years has toned my arms beautifully while still keeping them feminine.

The part of my body I like the most are my legs because they are strong and fast around the court.
Christina McHale

Devin Hester, Chicago Bears wide receiver: (Laughs.) I don't even know how to answer that question. I like my legs, but they're skinny. Because I'm fast, I'd say my legs are the best part of my body.

Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels outfielder: I gotta go with my eyes because they're fairly important in what I do.

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher: Oh my gosh, that's pretty awkward. I have a lot to work on. I can't say at this time. Maybe my love handles, definitely something I'm self-conscious about. Just kidding.

Christina McHale, pro tennis player: The part of my body I like the most are my legs because they are strong and fast around the court.

Lee Kiefer, Olympic fencer: My abs because they were jacked before I went to Cancun for the Pan Ams! (Ha, ha, ha ... )

Merrill Moses, Olympic water polo player: The body part that I like the most is my back. I think it is the most defined part of my body.

2. Is there a part of your body you wish were bigger or smaller?

Hardy: My butt. Swimming is a quad-dominated activity, so I don't get to engage my glutes as much as I would like. It's the part of my body that I have the hardest time keeping in shape, and the first place all my junk food goes to!

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Skinny legs. Small calves. How did Bears wide receiver Devin Hester get so fast, anyway?

Hester: I'd say my calves. I wish my calves were bigger. I don't know, it just makes you look fast to have big calves.

Trumbo: Probably arms. Everyone would say they could be bigger.

Kershaw: Probably my gut. Wish my gut was a little bit smaller.

McHale: The part of my body I would want smaller is my butt.

Kiefer: Nope.

Moses: I wish that my leg muscles were even bigger than they already are. Since I am a goalkeeper, I rely on my legs to keep me high out of the water ready to block balls coming at me at 55 mph.

3. What one exercise or drill do you dread the most?

Hardy: Biceps curls. For some reason, I hate doing them! Despite having very toned arms, I always feel like such a weakling when I have to do biceps curls. It's helpful in order to perform the breaststroke more accurately, but this is the one exercise that hurts the absolute most.

Hester: Probably leg exercises. That's probably why they're skinny. Nothing's wrong with them, though. So if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Trumbo: Band-walks and step-ups are probably neck and neck.

Kershaw: Probably running gassers, down-and-backs, stopping and starting. For me, stopping and starting takes the most out of me for sure.

McHale: The fitness exercise I dread the most is my long-distance track workouts.

Kiefer: Sprints.

Moses: I dread doing squats. I have never been a weight room kid. I do all of my heavy leg work in the water, treading while holding heavy weights over my head.

4. Athletes in what sport, other than your own, have the best bodies?

Hardy: Track athletes. They are all extremely lean, and like in swimming, they can't have bulky muscles, which would slow them down. They have the fine balance of being in amazing shape without looking overly muscular.

Hester: C'mon, bro, I can't answer these questions, man. Oh, wait a minute: women's volleyball. No, scratch that, women's track. They've got the best bodies.

Trumbo: I think soccer players are the top for me.

Kershaw: I feel like baseball is down on that list as far as best bodies are concerned. I guess football is the most jacked, then basketball is the most pure athlete.

McHale: I think runners have the best bodies because they are so lean and often have a six-pack.

Kiefer: Lacrosse.

Moses: Swimming.

5. Fill in the blank: I feel strongest when I'm ...

Hardy: I feel strongest when I'm standing on the starting blocks, the instant before a race.

Hester: I feel strongest when I'm fresh, when my body's fresh and feeling good.

Trumbo: I feel strongest when I'm in the batter's box.

Kershaw: I feel strongest when I'm in the offseason.

McHale: I feel strongest when I've just completed a preseason of intense training on and off court.

Kiefer: I feel strongest when I'm working out.

Moses: I feel strongest when I'm with my team. I play a team sport and we rely heavily on each other. When we are in the water together and all on the same page, we are capable of anything.

Check back on Thursday for more answers from athletes like Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty, Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Olympian Rachel Dawson.

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