The San Antonio Silver Stars' 2004 season all but ended when All-Star Marie Ferdinand was lost with an injury, but she has already scaled back her rehabilitation and increased her basketball activities by playing basketball overseas this offseason. With a return to the Silver Stars on her mind, she talks about the role of fitness and staying in shape as vital to her health and the durability of her career.

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

Q. Do you have a favorite exercise for lower body?

Leg extensions because they help keep the quad muscles strong. Calf raisers also help me with my vertical leap.

Ferdinand is ready and rearing to go once again.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Q. What's your favorite exercise for upper body and why?

Tricep pushdowns help develop strong tricep muscles and help with my shooting range.

Q. What's your favorite cardio exercise?

Boxing, because it helps me elevate my play and my endurance in the second half of games.

Q. How do you work out on your off days during the season?

A light cardio workout on a treadmill as well as some light upper and lower body weightlifting activities.

Q. What do you do to stay in shape during the offseason?

I work with my personal trainer on cardio activity and weightlifting. But the most important thing is to just keep playing basketball.

Q. What is your toughest fitness challenge?

Cardio work, because it gets very tiring and then becomes a mental thing.

Q. Is there a particular fitness/exercise goal that you have for yourself?

Yes, strengthening my abdominals muscles.

Q. Is there a fitness accomplishment you're most proud of?

Yes, strenghtening my lef quad muscle because my right was always bigger. I have worked really hard on it and it's nearly as strong.

Q. Is there one exercise that you hate doing and have to force yourself to complete?

Any ab workout is tough and I force myself to do it because having strong abs is really important.

Q. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into better shape for playing basketball?

The best way to get into game shape is to keep playing because no matter how much you run on a treadmill, your conditioning will not be good enough for an actual game.

Q. How would you describe the role/importance of fitness and exercise in your life?

Exercise is very important for me not just because I play a sport on a professional level, but because it is the key to a healthy life.

Q. Is there a song or a particular type of music that you listen to when working out?

Any hip hop song gets me going during a workout.

Q. Is there a fitness product on t.v. that makes you laugh the most?

Yes, I think all of the ab products on television are very funny.

Q. Is there a certain food/meal that you like to eat before games?

Any type of pasta will do before a game. I really love sushi and my favorite healthy snack are Nutri-Grain bars.

Q. When did you start working out and how has your fitness routine changed throughout your life?

I first started working out when I became involved in sports at a serious level. I am usually in the best shape during the basketball season. My fitness routine has changed over the years because I am getting older. As I do get older, I have to be smart about how I work out. Not counting rehab, which is an important part of getting back out onto the floor, I think my workouts are shorter, more frequent and more intense. When I first came into the league, they would be longer workouts.

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