Martavis Bryant shows off his route running NFL workout drills. To perfect his craft as a Wide Receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Martavis Bryant uses 3 top drills to stay conditioned. The NFL interviewed him along with his trainer Frank Rice of Elite training.
These drills are good to use for any aspiring NFL wide receiver. They include:
Whip Route Drill (Slant/Shake Off Defender)
Four Cone Transition Drill (Quick Footwork)
“M” Drill (Cutting/Breaking Ability)
Whip Route Drill
Slant and return, where you’re trying to hold the linebacker. You run at the linebacker, thinking you’re going to run at him. Then, you switch it up and run toward the sideline. Get better each one. Sell the slant, then run the route the other way.
Four Cone Transition Drill
The Four Cone Transition drill is used to work on keeping the legs and feet close to your body. When you catch the ball, you want to keep your body tight. This helps with ball control, and getting you going straight up the field after the catch.
Imagine you have a drum at each side as you do this drill. Beat the drum with your arms, in order to help move your feet quickly. After catching the pass work on cutting and quickly getting up field.
Martavis Bryant says:
The key to this drill is to keep your foot placement in order. When you’re coming around cones you want to keep your feet under you. You don’t want to be too wide. It’s important to keep your feet close together, so you’re always in control of your movement. You determine where you want to go, nobody else.
The M Drill works on your cuts and breaks. You do a curl route, then come back and catch the football from the quarterback. The key is to focus on foot placement, and explosion toward your next route.
It especially helps a slot receiver who is looking to make a quick break against a linebacker or safety. You want to think about creating separation, then connecting with the quarterback and getting the ball thrown to you. From there, catch the pass and work quickly to cut and get up the field.
Martavis Bryant explains the “M” Drill:
The key to the M drill is getting out of your breaks faster. Especially when you got a DB on your tail. You want to be able to push off. Get back looking toward the quarterback as soon as possible. The importance of breaking up field is for that 3rd and 4 situation where you want to run that spot routine in the middle of the field.
Martavis Bryant Stats
Martavis Bryant’s stats include 57 catches, 1172 yards and 14 Touchdowns.
Martavis was drafted in the 4th round (118th) of the 2014 NFL Draft. That year, Bryant won the Pittsburgh Steelers “Joe Greene Performance Award” for 2014. This honor is given to the team’s “Top Rookie” each year. He was put on the Reserve/Suspended list in September, 2015 but came back in October, 2015.
Odell Beckham’s workout shows there’s a lot of work behind his one-handed catches. As a wide receiver for the New York Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. trains his entire body for the NFL season. He uses a lot of drills to work his lower body, especially the the hips and core.
Odell Beckham also says exercises for his upper body are important. Here, the primary focus is on arms and shoulders. If Odell doesn’t build up enough lower body strength, he’s never going to be in position to make a stellar catch. If he can’t fight off defenders, he’ll never get to where the football is going.
So, Odell Beckham Jr. makes special one-handed catches by using these top 3 drills:
Split Squat Parallel Pass (Hips & Core – Making Breaks)
Single Leg Speed Squat (Quads & Hamstrings – Acceleration)
Curl to Overhead Press (Shoulders – Stay on Routes)
Split Squat Parallel Pass
Odell Beckham Jr.’s first exercise is the Split Squat Parallel Pass. It works the core and hips. Stay low to make sure your hips stay square. When you pass the ball, try not to move your hips in that direction. Keep them parallel to the direction you’re throwing the ball.
Odell Beckham’s trainer, Denis Logan, says this exercise is great for rotational strength, hip power and core strength. It also helps Odell Beckham to trust his lead leg while making cuts. To strengthen your quads with this exercise, make sure to put the weight on your front foot.
Reps: 3 sets x 10 reps (each side, because you want to work each leg)
Odell Beckham Jr. says:
It puts you into a position to make breaks. You want your shoulders over your toes. You use your quads to make breaks. This exercise allows you to use your hands, to improve eye coordination while catching the ball.
Single Leg Speed Squat
Odell Beckham Jr. uses the Single Leg Speed Squat for explosiveness and speed. It’s a single leg exercise in order to balance out any leg that’s stronger than the other. They use the Kaiser machine to help him accelerate through his breaks as fast as possible.
The exercise works Odell Beckham’s quads and hamstrings. It helps him with explosion out of his break. Drive your knees up high, and repeat. Odell Beckham says:
Being a wide receiver any time you make a cut, it’s on one leg. Having the proper quad strength is really crucial for me, getting out of my breaks.
Curl to Overhead Press
The Curl to Overhead Press starts with Odell Beckham in a kneeling position. From there, he works the upper body with a curl and press in this exercise. The focus on core strength is still there, which is why he does the Curl to Overhead Press while kneeling.
Reps: 3-4 sets (8-10 reps per arm)
This exercise helps Odell Beckham with all the hand-fighting a wide receiver experiences, especially at the line of scrimmage. The Curl to Overhead Press exercise also builds his shoulders. NFL football players have to have healthy shoulders to fight off opposing players. When Odell Beckham Jr. made his famous one-handed catch, you can see how he landed:
Odell Beckham Jr. says:
This exercise allows you to fully use your core and maintain strength. If you get pushed or jammed up, and they get a hold of you, it allows you to get back in position. It also gives you the upper body strength to fight off those defenders.
Odell Beckham Workout
Odell Beckham’s workout varies by whether he’s in the NFL season or not. During the season, he works with his Giants teammates, trainers and coaches. His teammates include wide receivers Dwayne Harris, Will Tye, Myles White, Reuben Randle, Hakeem Nicks and Geremy Davis.
In the off-season, Odell Beckham works with Denis Logan at EXOS. This is a pro facility in Arizona, formerly known as “Athletes Performance.” Many pro players work out here, as the collective bargaining agreement prevents them from organized activity in the off-season.
Odell Beckham talks about his workouts, saying:
To get in football shape, you need to do a lot of short sprints. They don’t have to be long. You just have to get a lot of reps in.
About the 4th quarter, he was asked if he does anything to train for it:
The 4th quarter isn’t something I train for it specifically, it’s more mental. By visualizing everything before it happens, I’m ready for it when I see it in-game.
When asked about his keys to success and making those one-handed catches, Odell Beckham Jr. says:
Taking care of my body, plus the intensity I bring to the game. Those are the secret to my success.
Odell Beckham Jr. Stats
Despite playing only 12 games, Odell Beckham Jr. had the greatest stats of any rookie wide receiver in NFL history. Through 2 years, Odell has 169 receptions, 2459 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Lardarius Webb’s workout features footwork and strengthening exercises for his lower body. When not training with the Baltimore Ravens, the defensive back works with trainer Pete Bommarito (of Bommarito Performance).
Together, they work on drills designed to make Webb a better defensive back. Lardarius Webb says:
I’m working to get stronger and to get more explosive.
Lardarius Webb is looking to get strong and fast. To do so, his top exercises include:
Single-Arm Sled March (Conditioning)
Back Low Walk (Backpedaling)
Lateral Pedal Drill (Strength)
In 2012, Lardarius suffered an ACL injury. So, he’s even more concerned with exercises to help improve his body. So, the goal of these drills is to keep Lardarius Webb conditioned and injury free for the upcoming NFL season. During the season, Webb works with his Baltimore Raves teammates including Jimmy Smith, Will Hill, Kendrick Lewis, Kyle Arrington, Brynden Trawick, Terrence Brooks and Shareece Wright.
Single-Arm Sled March
The Single-Arm Sled March exercise helps for strengthening the hip rotators, while also strengthening the shoulders. This is considered a defensive-back-specific exercise, as Lardarius Webb’s trainer says “hip extensions from isometrics help as a sports-specific strengthening exercise for DBs.”
The sled will try to move you left or right. By continuing to move straight ahead, it becomes an isometric drill. Lardarius Webb talks about how the sled marches improve his conditioning:
In the 4th quarter, and overtime, I’m able to use my endurance and my legs. These sled marches really help my endurance a lot.
Back Low Walk
The “Back Low Walk” exercise helps Lardarius Webb with his backpedaling technique. Doing back low walks forces your feet to and ankles to prepare for a long NFL season. A DB’s ability to absorb force, and redirect it to the opponent, is the point of this exercise.
As you do this exercise, jump each step. That makes it more of a “power pedal” than just backpedaling. For the Back Low Walk, complete the drill by backpedaling for 20 yards.
Lardarius Webb says:
Backpedal is so important. I have to get my legs strong. It helps me stay in my backpedal. It helps me when I have to press these big receivers.
Lateral Pedal Drill
Graded as the 78th best cornerback in the league, Lardarius Webb is always looking to improve. The Lateral Pedal Drill focuses on plyometrics (gaining strength). After that, Webb focuses on his backpedaling and weaving.
The Lateral Pedal Drill starts with a low-grade plyometric. Then, it adjusts into a DB angle-pedal-weave drill. As you do this drill, Lardarius Webb’s trainer says: “Think “inside edge” then “move.”
You fatigue me first, and then you work me. And, I’m expected to finish the game strong. So, it’s basically: Start the game strong, and finish the game strong.
Lardarius Webb Workout Motivation
Lardarius Webb says his workout motivation stems from wanting to be one of the greatest. Even though he was never seen as one of the best cornerbacks, he says his goal is always to make it to the Pro Bowl or the Superbowl. Lardarius Webb says:
An 8-8 will make you motivated. Winning the Superbowl will make you motivated. I want to be one of the greatest. That’s why I put the work in.
Webb ends by talking about the confidence it takes to play cornerback in the NFL:
You got to want it more than the next man. You got to have confidence. When you come out on that field against A.J. Green or Calvin Johnson, you’ve got to bring your confidence. If somebody wants to play corner at the high school level, or college, I would say play with confidence, play with swag.
Lardarius Webb Stats
Lardarius Webb’s stats with the Baltimore Ravens include 342 tackles, 12 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries. He’s played 7 seasons for the Ravens in the NFL.
TJ Ward’s workout uses 3 primary drills to improve his NFL game. As a safety with the Denver Broncos, TJ Ward says his most important skill is his footwork. Hand-eye coordination is also important, especially for those key interceptions.
T.J. Ward’s top 3 NFL workout drills to improve his footwork are:
T Drills (Change of Direction)
Backpedal React And Catch (Reaction)
W Drills (Explosiveness)
TJ Ward says the goals of his workout are to provide a solid foundation in footwork. The drills he uses get his hips and legs ready to react to how the receiver is breaking. With the right conditioning, and mental preparation, he’s ready to bring on the game:
It’s reaction. You’re muscles are used to doing it, because you’ve been doing it the whole training process. Being football fit is a different fit than any other type of training. You have to be full body fit. from the head to the toe.
TJ Ward says T Drills are his go-to warm up drill. T Drills are used focus on footwork, lateral movements and staying low to the ground. TJ Ward works on his first few steps and his break, keeping his center of gravity low to the ground.
His trainer says “it’s important to keep his lead foot pivoted as he makes changes of direction.” TJ Ward explains the T Drill:
It’s basically a rhythm drill to get your feet warmed up. Make sure to get a good plant with your left leg, if your moving right. And make a good plant with your right leg, if you’re moving left.
Backpedal React And Catch
TJ Ward uses the Backpedal React And Catch drill to work on reaction time. It’s also extremely useful for defensive backs to use the drill to improve their change of direction/agility.
For this workout, TJ’s trainer says to place 2 cones at a 10-yard distance to each other. Then, place another pair next to each one you’ve placed, with a 3-yard gap. This drill is all about reaction, catching the football and movement speed.
TJ Ward says:
For DB’s, everything is about reaction. You have to react to the ball in the air. React to the receiver running routes, react to his cuts. This is a good drill because you have to focus on catching the ball before you react. A lot of times, you see DB’s running up the field before they catch it.
W Drills are uses to get defensive backs to make explosive changes of direction. With cones spread 5 yards apart, the football player is constantly accelerating from cone to cone. As a defensive back, TJ Ward spends much of this time working on his backpedaling. W drills work the hips and legs a lot.
TJ Ward says:
Keep your shoulders over your toes. You always want to have a low level. A great center of gravity. It’s about controlling yourself. Coming out of your first 3 steps, and then controlling your break to where the receiver is taking you.
TJ Ward Workout Motivation.
TJ Ward’s workout motivation comes from something his father once told him. His dad said that working out is like putting money in the bank. TJ says he learned:
Make big deposits into the bank. That way, when you go the bank to cash out, there’s a lot of money there for you.
TJ Ward says footwork and technique are the most important thing. If you have your technique down, speed will come later. But it doesn’t work the other way around. TJ explains what is most important:
As a DB, footwork is the most important thing. Being able to transition out of your breaks, being able to accelerate, being able to react. Secondly, hand-eye coordination because you want to get those interceptions.
Fighting for those interceptions, are all of TJ Ward’s Denver Broncos teammates. These include defensive backs Darian Stewart, Aquib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., Bradley Roby, Kayvon Webster, Lorenzo Doss and Omar Bolden. Although they do some these drills together with TJ Ward during the season, Ward does them all in the off-season. He works out with many NFL players at EXOS in Arizona.
TJ Ward says his workouts help him with being able to react quickly. The reaction speed he gains helps with:
Anticipation. It lets you be one step ahead. It’s like knowing what’s coming before it’s coming. You’re not guessing, but you have a good idea of what’s about to happen.
All of this training helps TJ Ward remain a versatile athlete. At safety, that’s a big deal. Ward can be asked to cover, blitz off the edge or drop into deep coverage. Whatever he’s doing on the football field, the footwork skills he works on are his primary advantage.
TJ Ward Career Stats
TJ Ward’s career stats include 6 seasons with 7 interceptions, 7 forced fumbles, 473 total tackles (354 solo) and 7 1/2 sacks.
Patrick Chung’s workout was shared with NFL media. He spoke about the top 3 drills he uses to be a shutdown safety for the New England Patriots. Chung says primary goal is to be able to cover opposing receivers, thereby making sure the quarterback has no place to throw.
As a DB, Patrick Chung needs to have exceptional footwork and reactive ability. The Patriots safety develops the skills and speed he needs by these drills. The Patrick Chung workout uses:
Box Weave Drill (Explosiveness)
Modified W Drill (Movement Speed)
Reactive Cone Recall Drill (Reaction Time)
Here’s the Patrick Chung Workout Video:
Box Weave Drill
For the Box Weave drill, you react quickly to commands barked out at you. This drill develops directional reaction speed and explosiveness. Brett Bartholomew, one of Chung’s off-season trainers, says the Box Weave drill “works on multi-directional mechanics, deceleration, and overall reactive ability.
Using a set of cones to create a 10×10 box, you follow the movements from the commands given. During the drill, Patrick Chung’s trainer yells: “shuffle-shuffle-backpedal-sprint-shuffle-shuffle-sprint through.”
Time: 10 seconds of work followed by 1 min of rest (rest depends on level of fitness)
This exercise works on Patrick Chung’s ability to change movement, accelerate and decelerate when needed. It requires proper footwork and quick movement from the hips and shoulders. Patrick Chung explains why he uses the Box Weave drill by saying:
As a defensive back, you have to very agile, quick, able to react. So this drill right here correlates to the combine, game time, football specifics. It correlates to being an athlete, to being a dog out there!
Modified W Drill
The Modified W drill helps defensive backs make quick, explosive moves and continues to develop their reaction speed. For this drill, start at a cone and backpedal at a 45 degree angle. Cut, and sprint to the cones in order.
Patrick Chung says:
This is a good drill because every play we’re backpedaling. We’re backpedaling, reacting, bursting, planting the foot, finding the receiver, reacting to the ball. Every single cut of this drill is something we do every play.
Reactive Cone Recall Drill
The Reactive Cone Recall drill helps Patrick Chung develop reaction time and speed. As the ball is in the air, Patrick Chung has to know where is help is. Further, he has to know where the receiver is coming from and where the ball is being thrown.
Reps: 1-4 reps of this drill. Do 2-3 sets (depending on how many exercises you’re doing and fitness level).
For this drill, spread four cones spread out in random order. Give the defensive back 2 seconds to remember the order. Then, they have to sprint toward the correct cone as it is being called. This helps NFL safeties with reaction speed and memorizing how to react to where the ball is going to be.
Patrick Chung says:
Looking back you have to know whee your help is. Know where you are on the field. Sometimes, you want to check and see how many yards you can go. So, you know what plays are coming and where you have to be in that series.
Patrick Chung Off-Season Workout
Patrick Chung works out with Brett Bartholomew during the off-season. During the season, he works with coaches and trainers on the New England Patriots staff. His primary coach is safeties coach Brian Flores. In the off-season, Patrick Chung works out at EXOS in Arizona.
His main trainer there is Brett Bartholomew. EXOS is used by many NFL players, especially because of the new collective bargaining agreement. It only gives them only 5 weeks to work with their team coaches. So, places like EXOS are popular among players who want to stay in shape.
Patrick Chung’s workout is also used by his New England teammates. They include defensive backs Devin McCourty, Malcom Butler, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Jordan Richards, Justin Coleman and Rashann Melvin.
Patrick Chung Height & Weight
At the NFL Combine, Patrick Chung’s height was recorded at 5’11” and his weight of 212 lbs. His 40-yard dash is 4.49s.
Patrick Chung Stats
Patrick Chung’s stats include 7 interceptions, 202 tackles and 3 sacks through the 2013 NFL season:
If you’re wondering, Chung gets his name from his father, who is of both Chinese and African-Jamaican decent. His mother is African-Jamaican. Chung was born in Jamestown, Jamaica, and grew up in Rancho Cucomonga, California.
The Richard Sherman workout transforms him into the best defensive back he can be. The cornerback says there are three drills central to Legion of Boom training. The Seattle Seahawks workouts focus on amplifying the DB’s footwork, acceleration, conditioning and explosiveness. These abilities help the 6’3″ 195-pound cornerback to be in the right place at the right time.
Richard Sherman’s top workout drills include:
Cone Break & Drive(Acceleration)
Hill Sprints (Conditioning)
Explosive Jump Drill (Explosiveness)
Richard Sherman says his motivation, to become the best, stems from wanting to improve each day. He explains his work ethic:
The more you want to improve, The more you have a drive, the will to make it to this level, the more you’ll push yourself.
Cone Break & Drive
Richard Sherman says he starts his workouts with the Cone Break & Drive. In this drill, the focus is on your footwork. This drill especially helps you with your backpedaling and gaining acceleration. Backpedaling and driving on the football are the 2 skills a young cornerback has to be able to master.
As a cornerback in the NFL, you to be able to see everything around you. Richard Sherman says this drill helps with that anticipation. Plus, you need to be ready and able to break at any time. Being able to break and drive on the football is what helps Richard Sherman get interceptions and break up plays. He says the drill allows him to:
Work on anticipation and awareness. You see the cone out of your peripheral, break and drive. It’s good, because as a corner, you have to be able to anticipate everything around you. You have to be ready to break at any time.
Richard Sherman says Hill Sprints help him with conditioning, especially during the off-season. They help simulate what he’ll be doing as a defensive back in a game. He says to do 10 hills with 15 pound weight vest. Take a rest after the first five. Then, do five more.
Sherman’s trainer says get the athlete to focus on “driving their arms and knees aggressively” while running hill sprints. There are many other ways to build speed. For example, using bands, treadmills, etc. But, hills make it real simple. Richard Sherman talks about the workout, saying:
Not fancy. Anybody can find a hill, so just do it. Make sure you run with good form. You don’t want to over stride and pull your hamstring. So, you want to keep your toes and shins at a nice angle, and just push through.
Explosive Jump Drill
Richard Sherman’s Explosive Jump Drill helps him get back into the right position. With proper footwork, a DB can blanket a wide receiver. But, even the best DB is going to get stuck out of position from time to time. So, Sherman works on explosiveness, and quick reaction times, to get back where he needs to be.
You can be put in a lot of positions on the field, and you’ve got to get out of it. So, this will help with that.
Sherman says the Explosive Jump Drill is similar to running stadiums, and doing quick steps with a weighted vest. So, you can substitute stadium workouts if you don’t have access to this exercise. Richard Sherman says:
It’s about explosion. I’m exploding out and it’s pulling me back in. it’s about how quick you can get back off the ground, after you’ve landed. It’s not about how high you can jump, but working on your explosion, your quickness and your foot reaction speed.
Here’s a look at Richard Sherman helping a prospective defensive back:
Richard Sherman does these drills with his fellow Seattle Seahawks teammates. They include defensive backs Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, DeShawn Shead, Jeremy Lane, Marcus Burley, Cary Williams and Steven Terrell. Linebackers including Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Bruce Irvin also take part in the action during these drills to protect against the pass.
Talking about his goals, Richard Sherman says:
Dedication comes from self motivation. You always have to have a goal in mind. My goals are to win, and will always be to win.
The Richard Sherman workout is all about doing what it takes to put himself in a position to win.
Antonio Cromartie’s workout uses 3 football drills to make himself better. As a defensive back in the NFL, he has to work out hard to stay on top. Antonio Cromartie has the double challenge of having to react to the football, and opposing players. Cromartie was invited to participate in NFL Up!, where he shared his workout. Antonio says his top 3 drills are:
A member of the New York Jets, Antonio Cromartie’s workouts focus on reaction time, explosion and speed. Antonio Cromartie uses the Jump Ball Drill to react to the football. He then uses the 5-Cone Reaction Drill to work on explosion. Finally, his trainers use Tire Pull Drills to improve Antonio Cromartie’s speed.
Here’s a description of 3 drills Antonio Cromartie uses in his workout:
Reaction Jump Ball Drill
The Reaction Jump Ball Drill focuses on Antonio Cromartie’s reaction speed. His trainers use medicine balls, but any object will do. The medicine ball is used to concentrate on hand-eye coordination and strength. To do this drill:
Moving laterally down a vertical line, try to mimic another player.
That player will move back and forth, trying to juke you as you mirror his movements.
When the ball is tossed towards you, jump up and catch it in the air.
Throw the ball toward the ground, as hard as you can, aiming for the other player.
Then, focus on dropping your hips quickly as you contact the ground.
Switch roles, so the other player goes from offense to defense. (3-5 sets)
Antonio Cromartie’s trainer explains the exercise:
We toss the ball quickly into the air, slam it down with a lot of force, drop his hips down quickly, and be ready for the next move.
In the NFL, the DB is challenged by having to react both up and down, as well as, left and right. To do so, reaction drills focus on jump balls followed by breaking either left or right. Antonio Cromartie says:
With all the reaction stuff that we do, it’s all about how fast can how fast can we get off the ground for a jump ball. how fast can we move when a receiver makes a break, can we react to it and get back to his inside hip or his outside hip.
Although Cromartie is known to use his hands once in a while, he says his workout’s focus is always on his feet. He told the NFL Media:
A lot of stuff we do as a defensive back is using our hips and our feet. This method teaches us to move our feet a lot more, so we’re not using our hands as much. When a receiver reacts one way, we can try to recover quicker, we can get back in front of him.
5-Cone Reaction Drill
The 5-Cone Reaction Drill focuses on reaction time.
Set up 5 cones, each one 10 yards apart.
Assign a number to each cone, then have a partner call out a random number
Run to that cone, focusing on defensive form and posture.
At each cone, jump over the cone side-to-side 3 times.
After 5 cones, take a breather, then repeat the drill as necessary.
Cromartie’s coach talks about using this drill: As a defensive player, he’s always reacting, we want to see how fast we can make him in that aspect.
About the 5-cone reaction drill, Antonio Cromartie says it helps with his technique:
Technique is what you have to depend on. Staying low, bending your knees, having the right posture…You got out of high school because of your athleticism. Once you get into college, worry about your mechanics. When you go into a game, you’re not worried about your athleticism, because you got your technique. That’s when the athleticism takes it’s part.
Tire Pull Drill
The Tire Pull is where Antonio Cromartie and the NY Jets focus on speed. Speed starts with explosion. But, he has to be able to go forward, backwards and to the side. His trainer says the tire pull drill is easier to put together then you might think. To do the drill:
Attach a sled together by going to a tire yard, and get a belt to pull it along with.
Use cones, or mark distances in 3, 10 yard increments.
Run 10 yards forward to the (1st cone), then shuffle sideways back to the start.
Then, run 20 yards (2nd cone), again shuffle laterally back to the start.
Now, run 30 yards forward, then backpedal back to the start. Go for 2 sets of this drill total.
Antonio Cromartie’s workout uses the Tire Pull drill to make sure his body is ready to go to work. His trainer says:
We do backpedal, forward, lateral shuffles. We work a lot of different movements. This is about trying to raise his work capacity. And doing so in a football specific manner.
About the sprinting and shuffling aspect of this exercise, Antonio Cromartie talks about how it helps him, especially when he’s in press/man coverage:
This is going to teach you how to always finish on a play. I can do this all day. When I’m in press, it’s always about turning my feet. Once I get ready to turn around, it’s about explosion which is why I’m doing my shuffling.
Cromartie says Tire Pull Drills aren’t just about footwork and explosion, but also about endurance:
Once I’m turning around, I focus on my shuffling. The backpedal part is more about endurance for my legs. But also, it’s making sure I’m staying low in my backpedal.
The biggest thing for a cornerback, coming up, is to understand the game. Antonio Cromartie says the important thing is to work each day. Don’t go out on the field just wanting to get it all over with. The most important tip Cromartie gives is to always know where to keep your feet and eyes. Focus on getting better with each movement. Antonio Cromartie says you have to:
Know how each drill is going to make you better. Remember to always be thinking: How I’m going to Get Better today!
Cromartie says after that, it’s all about becoming a great leader. With defensive teammates like Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams and Dion Bailey, Cromartie is always trying to stay on top. Leading by example, and knowing how each drill is going to help him get better is crucial to his success. These drills are what keep Antonio Cromartie on top in the NFL.
Patrick Peterson’s workout centers on developing his footwork. Playing for the Arizona Cardinals, Patrick Peterson’s playing style is all about wanting to dominate on the football field. As a defensive back, Peterson says the key to winning each battle is to keep the wide receiver in front of him. To do so, he focuses on swinging his hips, and moving his and feet in the right direction.
Ultimately, with the right footwork and hand action, Peterson says the goal is to get the receiver to go where Peterson wants him to go. But, this is no easy feat. Patrick Peterson’s hands and feet have to be perfect. So, he constantly works toward this perfection.
His workout is full of drills that empower him to attack the wide receiver. Besides these drills, Patrick Peterson talks about his technique, while playing as a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals. He explains how to dominate a wide receiver, by getting him to go where you want him to go.
I focus on staying low, making sure my eyes are low, pointed at the midpoint of the receiver’s body I make sure my hand placement is always perfect because I don’t want to hit a receiver on the outside of the shoulder. Because, he could lock my hand down. I want to make sure I get in at the pecs, so I can control the receiver where I want to go.
All the work Patrick Peterson does helps keep him in position. He says this is crucial, in order to keep the wide receiver of him at all times. He won’t be beat. Patrick Peterson talks about his workout, explaining that:
Receivers are coming at us full speed. We’re backpedaling. We have to have the ability to have nice, flowing hips. DB’s need to be able to open up their hips quickly. We need the ability to utilize change of direction, in order to keep the receiver in front of us.
Lateral Hops (Mini-Hurdles)
Patrick Peterson’s workout typically starts with lateral hops to get his feet moving. Peterson uses a “mini-hurdle” to do this drill. But, any small, flexible object should do. The key is to avoid injury. Also, Patrick Peterson uses a workout vest to make the drill more of a challenge. This makes things easier when he’s on the field in pads.
To do this drill, his coach says:
Using a small object, hop side to side for 15-20 seconds.
Chop with both feet, maintaining “high knees,” then hopping to the other side.
Concentrate on exploding off the ground (leaving it as quickly as you get there) quickly.
After a few rounds, turn your hips and break in one direction (or the other).
Focus on changing direction laterally, then making a break vertically. At the end, Imagine yourself following a route the receiver would go.
The Cone Drill helps Peterson stabilize the receiver at the line of scrimmage. By punching the receiver in his pecs, Peterson is able to control where the wide receiver goes. They use the cone drill to simulate this technique.
After setting up 7-8 cones in a row,
Start low, preferably in a 2 point stance.
Move laterally to the space between each cone.
Imagine a wide receiver is occupying the zone at each space.
Punch, with both hands, at each cone, to jam the receiver.
Then, move laterally to the next space and repeat.
Peterson’s coach explains the mentality of the drill is to initially jam the receiver. The defensive back wants to get the wide receiver off course. By going where you want them to, you gain the advantage. Then, be ready for any change of movement as the route gets deeper. During the cone drill, finish by turning and running at the last cone.
Punch, then release at the end.
Sit Down Squat
Patrick Peterson and his teammates on the Arizona Cardinals use the Sit Down Squat. This drill helps cornerbacks with their backpedaling technique. The difficulty is to stay under control, and maintain posture as you move backwards. Balance is a key skill gained from this exercise. You also learn to avoid injury by maintaining proper form.
Sit on a wheel-chair between 2 sets of cones.
Get down in a squat position, with your feet square under your shoulders.
Backpedal in chair, keeping your feet as close to your body as possible.
Stay in control as you streak down the field, staying within the 2 sets of cones.
Patrick Peterson says the Sit Down Squat:
Is a nice little drill to help a cornerback maintain his posture while he’s back making sure hes staying low with good knee and ankle bend to stay in front of the receiver. Everything works together as a family, the core, the quad, the feet. You have to make sure everything is up to par, so you can be an elite athlete and cornerback.
Patrick Peterson Technique
Patrick Peterson’s technique is about controlling the receiver by being more physical. He talks about his technique as a defensive back, and what he has to do to stay in control. To be a reliable shutdown corner in the NFL, Patrick Peterson says:
It’s important to be physical at the line of scrimmage because it can throw off the timing between the receiver and the quarterback. The more physical you are at the point of attack, the better off you’ll be deeper into the route.
Patrick Peterson does these workout drills and training techniques with his fellow teammates. They include Tyrann Mathieu (see the Tyrann Mathieu Workout), Justin Bethel, Deone Bucannon, Rashad Johnson, Robert Nelson, Jerrad Powers and Tony Jefferson. The more they can practice knocking a receiver off his route, the more of an elite NFL defense they become.
The Tyrann Mathieu workout shows what it takes to be known as the Honey Badger. Mathieu will show you some of the DB training techniques he uses with his teammates. Tyrann Mathieu, aka Honey Badger, uses these drills to perfect his form during a football game. As a defensive back with the Arizona Cardinals, Tyrann Mathieu is always looking to up his game.
Tyrann Mathieu explains that the offenses he’s up against in the NFL are always on a “timed” count. If he can time things just right, there’s a reward to be had. But, Mathieu knows he has to perfect his footwork just right, in order to counter a seven-step-drop. He says:
You don’t want to take too many steps, because those receivers…It’s a timing offense…If they have 7 steps, I don’t want to take 8. I want to be able to break when those guys break.
Therefore, Mathieu counts his steps, as well. His NFL workouts are all about footwork. If he can perfect his footwork, then he optimizes his chances against the opposing receiver. When done right, this allows the Honey Badger to make a clean break on the ball as it arrives.
Tyrann Mathieu explains why footwork is the foundation to any defensive back’s success:
My position is a reaction to another position. But, my foundation…if I have a good base…I’m able to switch and change directions pretty easily. I won’t have any false steps, or any false movements. That’s the biggest thing a DB wants to eliminate.
If he takes too many steps, he’s likely to fall out of position. This would give the wide receiver the advantage. If he doesn’t turn his hips just right, he gets beat. Mathieu wouldn’t have the ability to use the Honey Badger he’s known for, if he’s out of position. That’s why a DB’s footwork is so crucial. If Mathieu’s footwork is better than the reciever, he has a chance to break on the ball faster and get that interception!
Tyrann Mathieu works out with “Fischer Sports” to get ready for the NFL season. Here are 3 drills central to the Tyrann Mathieu workout routine. His core exercises consist include:
DB Lateral Run Drill
Medicine Ball Deceleration
Rotational Dumbbell Lunge (all described below)
DB Lateral Run Drill
In the DB Lateral Run Drill, Mathieu’s trainer says:
Line up 5 five cones, putting the 1st 2 cones in a straight line. Put the next 3 cones in a “V” pattern.
Get into a defensive back position facing the first cone.
Keep your knees slightly bent and back straight; Stay low and backpedal to the second cone.
Once there, turn your hips as quick as you can, and sprint to the next cone.
Continue working on your footwork, with quick hips and cuts through remaining cones.
After the last cone, sprint forward and (preferably) catch a ball thrown at you for an intereption.
Tyrann Mathieu’s trainer talks about the DB Lateral Run Drill, saying:
Plant, Break, Sprint Through and Catch the Football. Backpedal, Turn the Hips, Ball Comes.
Medicine Ball Deceleration
In the next drill, Tyrann Mathieu works on balance, footwork and change of direction. The Medicine Ball Deceleration is performed by:
Balancing your body on one leg, with the opposite leg bent parallel to your body.
Next, jump onto the opposite leg, and bring your lead leg into an upright position.
While doing this, make sure to keep arms straight.
Hold, then repeat this drill 6-8 reps per leg, 2-4 sets with 30 seconds rest.
(If you don’t have access to a medicine ball, a milk jug or something of similar weight will do).
If we’re gonna create all this force and power, we have to stop it at the same time. Keep your chest over the knees, eyes up.
The Honey Badger says the workout helps with change of direction and confidence after a knee injury:
Coming off an ACL injury, my left knee is not as confident as my right knee. So, this probably the ideal drill for me. And, over time, I’ll gain that confidence again.
Rotational Dumbbell Lunge
In this third drill, Tyrann Mathieu works on gaining strength to explode out of his stance. The lunge exercise is a great way to add power. The Rotational Dumbbell Lunge starts by:
Stand straight, with dumbbells in each arm.
Open your hips to the right, and drop that leg into a lunge position.
Drop your bodyweight over the other leg, by bending your knee.
Switch by returning to starting position, then opening your hips to the left.
Repeat the lunge exercise 8-12 reps per leg.
Finally, Tyrann Mathieu explains how this training helps his become a better defensive back in the NFL:
When your dealing with a db you have to have great hips. it wouldn’t hurt to add some weight to this exercise. Any exercise that has you changing directions or using your hips is great. because once a receiver makes his break, I have to move just as fast. I have to make My break just as he’s breaking.
DeMarcus Ware is the ultimate NFL Pass Rusher. His workout focuses on building a strong core. Doing so allows him to get by offensive players more quickly. His focus is on strength building during the off-season. This allows him to focus on cardio and agility workouts during the NFL season.
The DeMarcus Ware Workout uses the following 5 activities:
DeMarcus Ware discusses his workout with Stack, NFL Up! and Sports Illustrated. Here’s a breakdown of the DeMarcus Ware NFL Workout. DeMarcus Ware’s NFL Pass Rusher workout focuses on building core strength and using quick feet to sack quarterbacks.
As a pass rusher for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, DeMarcus Ware has imposed his will on opposing quarterbacks. Still, he admits he often finds himself in awkward positions. The key to staying healthy, for Ware, is having a strong core and quick feet. He says doing a bunch of abs exercises helps build his core:
I work on my core. Being a Pass Rusher, you have to have a really strong core. You can be caught in awkward positions all the time.
For years, DeMarcus Ware works out with Impact Fitness. In the video, Ware shows you his favorite Pass Rusher workout. He focuses on building a strong core by using these exercises:
Wood Chop Ups
Wood Chop Downs
For the Floor Planks, DeMarcus Ware’s trainer explains the exercise:
For the floor plank, straighten your leg and hold for 2 seconds. Do 10 reps, move slow and count to two. Holding it there is what’s going to make this exercise done correctly. Doing it right, you’ll feel your back muscles tighten on both sides.
Wood Chop Ups
DeMarcus Ware’s workout helps him win the 1-on-1’s he’ll see in the game. He owes much of his success to a strong core. Saying:
When you’re playing football, you have to squeeze your core, and it has to stay solid. So that’s why I work my core and stay strong.
Wood Chop Downs
Having quick feet is the second step DeMarcus Ware uses to become a better NFL Football player. He uses old school equipment, like the sled, combined with modern equipment. He’s constantly focused on building a strong lower body, accomplishing both lateral and vertical movement.
DeMarcus Ware talks about his workout, saying:
I pull the sled to work on the explosion and power. Secondly, I focus on instability work: Vertimax machines, rubber bands, vertical and horizontal movements.
While strength routines are still done sparingly during the season, DeMarcus Ware says many of his workouts include:
No regular squat or bench. You gotta be really versatile. So, I focus on Less strength and more intangibles. You’ve done all your bulk work, all your strength building in the off-season. You have to maintain your strength, but the main thing is staying in shape.
By bulking up in the off-season, DeMarcus Ware gets to do more cardio and agility workouts during the NFL season. This allows him to focus on preventing injury. More importantly, he can concentrate on getting after the quarterback!
DeMarcus says he’s always asking himself: “What intangibles can you bring to the game?”
Sticking to your diet can be hard. Epic cheat meals are a way to make dieting easier. Motivate yourself so that by sacrificing now, you get a future reward. Convincing the brain that you’re not really on a diet is an effective tool. Sticking to your diet can be fueled by a cheat meal of pancakes, pizza, and chocolate brownies. The trick is to imagine those meals as a ‘reward,’ and focus your energy on what you will eat in the future.
When you’ve reached your goal weight, it’s time to celebrate. Stick to your diet. Don’t eat junk whenever your mind gets weak. The Rock recently photographed his latest cheat meal. Planning “Epic Cheat Meals” is how The Rock maintains his diet. After filming Central Intelligence, The Rock posted on his Instagram:
After 4 months of hard dieting, and eating clean due to filming Central Intelligence. This is going down right in the Johnson household…
He went on to say that his celebration included:
Homemade Epic Cheat Meal
Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies
Epic Cinnamon Rolls
Gallons of Milk To Wash it Down
This isn’t the first time The Rock has used an epic cheat meal to maintain his diet. Dwayne Johnson’s diet for Pain & Gain was capped off with a cheat meal of 12 pancakes, 4 pizzas, 21 brownies, and a gallon of milk. For the movie Pain & Gain, Dwayne Johnson had to work out and eat right. More than ever before, he had to eat a ton of healthy food, while dreaming of his next cheat meal. The Rock workout links below contain his diet specifics:
Hercules used a similar approach to Pain & Gain. The Rock ate clean, 7 times a day, and worked out hard. Then, he celebrated with an epic cheat meal, and a bottle of special tequila.
Sticking To Your Diet
Most people have a hard time sticking to a diet. So, find a strategy that works for you. The Rock motivates himself by knowing if he sacrifices now, he’ll get a later reward. To be like The Rock, maintain your diet by planning your next cheat meal. That’s what The Rock does. He is happy resorting to planning “Epic Cheat Meals” months in advance.
By doing so, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson tricks his mind into thinking he’s not on a diet. The Rock is also a big fan of tequila. So, when he gets cravings, he imagines the expensive bottle he’ll be drinking soon. When promoting a recent film, The Rock was in London and requested something special. The Rock says:
London. Just Landed. Insisted my two dates be waiting in my hotel. Ms. Rare and Ms. Straight Up.
He was referring to a rare steak and a bottle of tequila, drinking it straight up.
Tricking The Brain
When you diet to lose weight, your body should want to let go of fat. This comes not only from exercise and diet, but also being in the right state of mind. If you’re unhappy with what you’re eating, stress hormones will maintain fat on your body. Instead, motivate yourself by thinking about a future meal.
By tricking the brain into thinking about your next cheat meal you can avoid unhappiness. Find ways to be happy with what you’re eating. If you can’t, then get your brain to focus on your next cheat meal, instead. That’s the key when it comes to sticking to your diet.
Of course, even after all this work, The Rock’s biggest fan had a shocking revelation:
In their latest issue, TRAIN Magazine reveals how to get a Joe Manganiello body. The Magic Mike star sat down with them to talk about how he does it. Joe Manganiello discussed his workout routine and diet. Not only did he get in shape for Magic Mike XXL, but he uses this workout routine to stay ripped all year long.
Joe Manganiello has a killer body. His six pack, alone, gets him the roles he wants in Hollywood. Joe Manganiello also landed the beautiful Sofia Vergara. The couple even announced their wedding date. So, it’s safe to say he does well in the lady department as well. But how does he do it? Things weren’t always rosy. Joe Manganiello admits to being fat and un-athletic as a child.
It took the help of a teacher/coach to understand how his body really works. Joe Manganiello soon learned how to eat right. By keeping bags of chicken, rice and vegetables in the fridge, he only ate healthy. Also, he was only taught to eat when he was hungry. These tricks, along with dedication in the weight room, quickly transformed his body.
Joe Manganiello knows that getting an amazing body isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes a 24/7, 365-day approach. He takes some days off, here and there. But, he prefers to have just one cheat meal a week. The 6’5″ movie star is constantly in the gym doing these muscle building workouts. TRAIN magazine, a subsidiary of Bodybuilding, asked his about his exact training routine.
Joe Manganiello Magic Mike Workout
Specifically, they asked Joe Manganiello about his Magic Mike workout. The former True Blood star says his body has to be in good shape year round. This is not only for movie roles, but because it’s a part of who he is. Joe Manganiello’s workout motivation stems from a desire to always be getting better. The Magic Mike XXL star says:
I train so that I’m always at my physical best, and not just to look pretty. Bodybuilding has always been something I’ve loved. It’s inspired me to be in top physical shape all year round.
Still, at the age of 38 years-old, Joe Manganiello knew he had to train especially hard for Magic Mike XXL. He knew his co-stars, Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Kevin Nash, would be working hard, too. Joe Manganiello says he wanted to look like an athlete for the upcoming film. Joe’s advice for getting a better body:
If you want to look and move like a pro athlete then you have to train like one. Take is seriously and set a plan. Then, put in the work to fulfill that plan. Always go into your workouts with two things: a plan and a goal. Write them down!
So, here’s the Joe Manganiello workout. He used it for Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL and year-round as well. Note, that he always starts his workout with an abs circuit. Then, he works on his legs, arms, shoulders, chest and back. Now, Joe says:
I run a three day split. Chest and back, legs and triceps, shoulders and biceps. It’s always about pushing intensity, and it’s based on a concept called metabolic resistance training. Do conventional muscle building. Train at a high pace. Then, the key is try and maintain that high intensity for as long as you can.
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Legs/Triceps
Day 3: Shoulders/Biceps
Day 4: Chest/Back
Day 5: Legs/Triceps
Day 6: Shoulders/Back
Joe Manganiello does circuit workouts. So, you’re constantly moving from one exercise, to the next. When he’s done with a circuit, the Magic Mike XXL star typically rests for 1 minute. Then, he repeats the circuit at a different rep range. Manganiello’s reps vary each circuit. Joe says he’s typically doing 15, 12, 10, 8, 5 and 16. But, intensity (and proper form) are more important than those numbers.
Day 1: Chest & Back Workout
Day 2: Legs & Triceps Workout – Day 4: Chest & Back Workout
Day 5: Legs & Triceps Workout – Day 6: Shoulders & Biceps Workout
Your core is a group of small muscles. Smaller muscles get more defined with a lot of exercise. Since abs are small, focus on your abs before every workout to get a Joe Manganiello body. Larger muscles get bigger from lifting heavier forces later in your workout. For abs, Joe Manganiello does 15 minutes of cardio, followed by 3 circuits of:
Start with 20x Push Press, dipping the hips and knees slightly. Drive the barbell overhead, all the way to full extension. Maintain control of the bar.
Use the legs not the arms and shoulders, once finished rack the bar and set up under the Pull-up bar to do 20x Burpees / Pull Ups combo (Do a Burpee but instead of the normal finish).
After the final Pull-up drop off the bar, grab the barbell and do 10x Push Press, etc. Record the look of surprise on each player’s face when they start the second set of Push Presses
Usually, the actors do 2-3 sets of this circuit. Perform as a circuit, so do one exercise, the next, then rest. When you’ve caught your breath, do it again.
Other exercises are often substituted for the Push Press and Burpee Pull Ups. Exercises are substituted to change up the workout routine, and keep the body guessing. The key is doing exercises that challenge you in quick succession.
Circuit training workouts are where you do 1 set of each exercise. Move onto the next exercise, then rest (if needed). Once you’ve completed one set of each exercise in the circuit, repeat 2-3 more times.
Run by trainer Mark Twight, Gym Jones is famous for making superhero bodies. Transforming the bodies of actors is what he is famous for doing. Try this routine, as part one of the celebrity workouts Mark Twight is known for. This includes the:
The Tailpipe workout is a fat-burning cardio workout. It combines Sprint Rowing with KB Rack Holds. The name comes from the idea you should feel exhausted by the end of the workout. So tired, in fact, you should feel so out-of-breath, you feel “like you just sucked on a tailpipe.” The Tailpipe workout is best used as a 2-person workout. Henry Cavill used this workout while training for Superman: Man of Steel.
At some point, the person rowing finally finishes. Only then, can the other player drop the heavy weight. If you’re doing this solo, just do the 250 meters of rowing. Then, do the KB holds for as long as it took you to finish the rowing.
Gym Jones “Tailpipe” Workout
The Gym Jones “Tailpipe” Workout:
(Because you will feel like you’re sucking on a “Tail Pipe” by the end of these 2 exercises)
250m on a Rowing Machine as fast as you can go, with heavy resistance
If you don’t have a kettlebell, use a dumbbell or some other weight. At Gym Jones, they use a sandbag across the chest or the Slosh Pipe overhead. Mark Twight says:
We use this workout to illustrate the necessity of training to breathe under a load, either being crushed under an opponent. Given enough endurance that these muscles do not become contributors to systemic fatigue the athlete will experience fitness gains outside of normally recognized pathways.
Here’s Gym Jones trainee, Henry Cavill, doing Gym Jones training for Man of Steel:
Instructions at Gym Jones, are to do 12 sets of each exercise, above. This is known as the “Sparrows Dozen.” This fat-burning, cardio workout is a challenge. Work on your form, and remember that breathing properly will help carry you through the routine.
So, you may need to work your way up to this rep range. It all depends on your fitness level. Even the 300 actors needed to work their way up to this rep range. Here’s a look at Gerard Butler during the 300 workout:
Training Like a Spartan
Training like a Spartan was central to training for the cast of 300. The 300 crew used workouts like the Sparrow’s dozen to emphasize the training they used 2000 years ago. The director, Zack Snyder, talks about using primitive tools instead of machines:
To support fight preparation the training emphasized athleticism by combining compound movements, lifting, and throwing. We Used Primitive tools – medicine balls, Kettlebells, rings – instead of machines. Each session was competitive, with a penalty-reward system tied to performance.