When she went undrafted after graduating in 1998, guard Anna DeForge did not give up. Instead, she worked hard, trained and stayed in shape. She got her first crack at the WNBA in 2000 as a member of the Detroit Shock, but settled in as a starter with the Phoenix Mercury in 2003. Over the past two seasons, DeForge has established herself as one of the top shooters in the league and makes up one of the most potent scoring backcourts. It was her hard work and dedication that brought her back from obscurity and made her an All-Star in 2004.

Find out what other WNBA players had to say about their fitness routines.

DeForge averaged 13.1 ppg in her two seasons as a starter in Phoenix.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images

Q. What's your favorite exercise for lower body and what results does this exercise help you achieve?
"My favorite lower body exercise is squatting. It actually helps with a number of things. It helps with jumping ability, lower body strength, staying low on defense and jumping on rebounds."

Q. What's your favorite exercise for upper body?
"Bench press. I'm a shooter, so I need strength in my upper body. It also helps for passing. You never want to float anything. You want to get it in there with a little velocity."

Q. What's your favorite cardio exercise?
"Probably just playing pick-up basketball. Running up and down the court."

Q. How do you work out on your off days during the season?
"Usually if it's an off day, I try and keep it an off day. You don't want to do too much, but if I have some time, I'll go in, grab a coach and do some shooting or work on some light things to get a nice little sweat."

Q. What's your toughest fitness challenge?
"Aside from WNBA training camp, it would be the 300-yard shuttle. Working out on a football field, you start at the goalline and run back and forth to the 30-yard line six times. You have to do it in 60 seconds. Then you rest for five minutes and go again, completing it in under 60 seconds. It's tough."

Q. Is there a fitness goal that you've set for yourself that you're working towards now?
"Not really. Just to be ready at all times. In the offseason, I want to be ready for training camp. It's a grueling process."

Q. Is there a fitness accomplishment you're most proud of?
"Successfully making the shuttle run in 60 seconds. As a guard, I ran a :57 and a :62 and it averaged out to a :59. That is my proudest accomplishment."

Q. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into better shape for playing basketball?
"I would say that you have to take it day-by-day. You can't just miraculously get into shape in one week. IT takes time. Also work on what you need. If that is strength, lift a little bit more. If you need cardio, run a little bit more. Whatever you think you need to do, do that first before you get out onto the court."

Q. Is there a type of music that you listen to while you're working out?
"Usually some up-tempo dance music if I'm working out alone. I'll put something like that onto my iPod."

E-mail this story

More »

Video

Elena Delle Donne and Tamika Catchings Support Lauren Hill

Last week, Lauren Hill of Mount St. Joseph University courageously took the floor for her first college game, refusing to let an inoperable brain tumor keep her from achieving her dream – and WNBA stars Elena Delle Donne and Tamika Catchings were on hand to lend their support.

All-Access: NBA All-Star Relay

To promote healthy living, the NBA teamed up with New York Road Runners for the first-ever marathon relay.

Hammon Makes Coaching Debut

Becky Hammon makes history as the first woman to be a full time NBA coach.

USA Basketball Women’s National Team: Capturing the Gold

An all access look at the team’s journey through the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women culminating in their gold medal win

Nneka Ogwumike and Breanna Stewart: Off Day in Istanbul

During a break in their busy game schedule, Nneka Ogwumike and Breanna Stewart took a tour through Istanbul’s world famous spice market