Houston Comets guard Ukari Figgs shares the secrets of her fitness routine. So, bring on the elliptical walker and leave those lemon squeezes at home.

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

Figgs goes for more reps, instead of a lot of weight.
Bill Baptist/WNBAE/Getty Images
What is your favorite exercise for the lower body?
"I think I like doing leg extensions. It helps in building your quads and being able to jump better, as well as giving you a better base."

What is your favorite exercise for the upper body?
“My favorite one is probably doing dumbbell curls. I think it keeps your arms looking toned and helps in making my passes stronger.”

What is your favorite cardio exercise?
“The elliptical walker. I like that because you get in a good exercise. It’s like running, but it’s not as hard on your knees.”

How do you work out on your off days during the season?
“Sometimes I just shoot or do some type of shooting drills. Or some days I just go in and lift with our trainer. It all depends on when the off day falls around our games.”

What do you do to stay in shape during the offseason?
“I try to play a couple times a week and then lift two times a week.”

What is your toughest fitness challenge?
“In college we used to have to make this five-mile run … that was a pretty good fitness challenge right there.”

Figgs says that fitness is a "huge part" of her life.
Bill Baptist/WNBAE/Getty Images
Is there a fitness goal that you have set for yourself that you’re working towards?
“Not really. Getting through the season is a goal in itself.”

Is there one exercise that you hate doing and have to force yourself to complete?
“I think our trainer calls them ‘lemon squeezes’ or something like that. Those are tough. They’re an ab workout … they’re pretty tough, but we get through them.”

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into better shape for playing basketball?
“I would say to do a lot of cardio work and when you lift weights, lift not necessarily for strength or to get real buff, but to get tone and work on your stamina. Do more reps instead of doing a lot of weight.”

How would you describe the role of fitness and exercise in your life?
“I think it is really important. Obviously, being an athlete, this is definitely a huge part of my life and it has been ever since I started playing basketball. You play better when you are in better shape. Obviously you perform better and feel better about yourself. Off the court, it makes you feel better about what you are doing. I always feel like I have more energy after a workout than on days that I don’t workout. You may feel tired, but when you get that workout in, you always feel better.”

Is there a certain type of music that you listen to while you’re working out?
“Nothing in particular. I think anything upbeat to keep your spirits up and keep you moving.”

"Being from the south, it’s kind of hard not to eat fried food. It’s pretty tough."
Bill Baptist/WNBAE/Getty Images
Is there a fitness product on TV that makes you laugh the most?
“Whatever that electric stem unit for your abs is … I don’t know the name. It’s pretty funny when they stick all those electrodes on your body and you get a ‘six pack’ abs in two weeks. That, and I guess they've got some type of cream that is supposed to remove fat too, so I may have to try that.”

Is there a certain food that you like to eat before games?
“Nothing in particular. I just try to not eat anything too greasy or too spicy.”

What foods do you have a weakness for?
“Fried foods. Being from the south, it’s kind of hard not to eat fried food. It’s pretty tough.”

What is your favorite healthy snack?
“I like celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes … I eat all that stuff.”

When did you start working out?
“I started playing basketball when I was like six. I think every little kid works out even though they don’t know it … they’re running around chasing people or each other and don’t even know they are getting exercise. So, I guess I started off pretty young.”

When were you in the best shape of your life?
“I think my junior or senior year in college I was in the best shape of my life. I used to work out all the time, in the weight room and on the track. When you do that for eight or nine months out of the year, you have to be in pretty good shape.”

How has your fitness routine changed over the years?
“I think it has changed a little bit since our season is so intense and it’s for a shorter period of time. Say in college or in high school your routine shifts, you just have different workout periods.”

E-mail this story
More »


#LeanInTogether: NBA & WNBA Stars Are In–Are You?

See why LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Skylar Diggins, and Elena Delle Donne are leaning in for equality—and visit LeanInTogether.org to learn more. When men lean in for equality, everyone wins.

Douglas on Hosting All-Star

5-time WNBA All-Star Katie Douglas says it's an honor to host the 2015 All-Star and WNBA Draft at Mohegan Sun.

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.