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WNBA Star Sylvia Fowles in Workout Gear Shows "Mental Toughness"

Here are her fitness tips.

WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles may be retired from the WNBA, but her training and fitness routine continues to be intense and inspiring. Fowles, 38, shared pictures of herself wearing shorts and a white crop top, posing on her bike. "Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one. -Bobby Knight," she captioned the post. "Yes yes yes!!!!! 🔥❤️🔥 all that strength and range!" a fan commented. Fowles' reputation as an incredible athlete is well-deserved—here's what she does to stay strong, fit, and ready for the next chapter.


Low-Impact Workouts

Fowles says it took her 14 years to start feeling aches and pains that made her change the way she worked out. "It took me two years to put on 10 pounds…I have a hard time gaining weight," she told "But last year when I got hurt, it was a wake-up call that I was bottom heavy. My legs already carry a lot of weight, and so adding those 10 pounds was not good on my joints. And so from last year to this year, there are things that I do differently. Pilates has helped me a lot. I really don't eat all that healthily, but I do watch what I eat. Biking has helped a lot too — anything that takes weight off my joints is pretty much a success for me."


Happy Exercises

Fowles works out daily not just to stay in shape, but to feel happy. "Just try to work out daily if you can, even if it's just for like 30 minutes," she told "Just get it in. A good workout makes me feel good, and when I sweat, it makes me feel like I did a lot, that I accomplished a lot."


New Talent

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A post shared by Sylvia Fowles (@sylvia_fowles)

Fowles is thrilled about the new generation of female players upping their game quite literally. "I think we're now getting a whiff of what the WNBA can look like a couple years from now, just like what Phee said with the talent level coming out of high school, but also the quickness," she told "They're jumping higher, they're moving faster. It was only me and Candace [Parker] dunking when we were in high school. But within the next five years in the W, we're definitely going to have a lot more girls dunking. It's impressive! Napheesa [Collier] asks me to dunk every game. First of all, it takes too much out of me. I got three people hanging from me, and I don't have the energy to even jump sometimes."


Basketball Shape

Fowles retired from the WNBA in 2022 after listening to warning signs from her body. "Being in shape is one thing, but being in basketball shape is something totally different," she told CBS News. "I got to that point when workouts were just getting harder and harder, and you take into consideration how many times I've been hurt over the last couple of years, too. I just don't think physically I want to do it to my body anymore. That's how I knew."


Bike Riding

Fowles loves to ride her bike as a way to clear her head. "Mentally, it's my way of debriefing," she told Sports Illustrated. "It's another form of therapy. I get to ride and relax. I get to reflect on my day, reflect on the conversations that I've had throughout my day and certain situations I didn't handle well."


Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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