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Mark our words: Mallory, aka Mal, Pugh is about to become a household name. By the age of 18, she had already played in three world championship games, one being the 2016 Rio Olympics. With a few years of experience playing for the US women’s national team under her belt, Mal and the rest of the women’s national team are getting ready for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

During a press trip with Secret Deodorant, official sponsors of the USWNT, POPSUGAR spoke to Mal about how she prepares for games. “I’m honestly not superstitious,” Mal told POPSUGAR. Instead, she has a pregame routine she likes to stick to in order to feel and perform her best. The first is eating oatmeal with peanut butter or almond butter and half a banana. “I always have to have that,” she said.

“I also hate having chapped lips so before we go out to warm up, I always put Vaseline on. And before the game, too.” The last part of her pregame ritual is abs. “Every night before a game, I always do core.” Her reasoning, “It gets me feeling good.”

Mal starts with a six-minute plank circuit followed by a four-minute round of more ab-strengthening exercises. Her one rule for the 10-minute workout is: “You can’t break.” If you’re feeling up for the challenge, try her 10-minute ab routine ahead.

Mal Pugh’s 10-Minute Ab Routine

  • Front plank: hold for one minute
  • Left side plank: hold for 30 seconds
  • Right side plank: hold for 30 seconds

Repeat for a total of three rounds.

  • Double leg raise: repeat for one minute
  • Boat pose: hold for one minute
  • Crunch: repeat for one minute
  • Seated knee tuck (or an ab exercise of your choice): repeat for one minute

Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Secret for the purpose of writing this story.

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