Los Angeles Sparks guard Tamecka Dixon shares the secrets of her fitness routine. Did you know that Dixon loves the elliptical trainer and running sprints but struggles with running distance? Get the inside scoop on the All-Star's exercise habits.
I actually love the elliptical trainer in all gyms now. It's very low impact, takes a lot of pressure off the knees, and you get a great workout.
What do you do to stay in shape during the offseason?
In the offseason, I usually go overseas and play in Europe somewhere. Last year I was in Italy, and it's a great way to stay in shape. Over there, we practice twice a day, so I was able to work on my game a lot and I came back in great shape.
Do you find it tiring to go from one season right into another?
A little bit, but I think my coach over there kind of knew what situation I was coming into. When I came into Italy, we just came off the World Championships, so I was a little tired from that, so he kind of laid off of me for a bit, allowed me to get some rest. I was practicing one time a day for about a month and that gave me a chance to get my legs back and then once I came here, Coach Cooper did the same thing for me. He allowed me to not go as hard in the beginning so that it would allow me to get my legs back under me.
What is your toughest fitness challenge?
Well, I love sprints and I hate distance. So if I have to run a couple of miles at a decent time, I usually struggle with that. I think it's a mental thing with me. But I could sprint all day. If you ask me to do suicides all day, I could do them. Sprint laps, no problem. So I think my toughest fitness challenge would probably be running distance.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into better shape for playing basketball?
I would say there's no need to really strain yourself. Go 30 to 60 minutes a day, get some kind of cardio exercises in, whether that be with the elliptical trainer or biking, but make it fun. Do something that you enjoy doing and at the same time you're conquering burning calories and getting in shape, so you're doing two things at once, killing two birds with one stone.
(Photos: Andrew D. Bernstein and Jennifer Pottheiser/WNBAE/Getty Images)