In the NFL, there aren’t such things as ‘days off’. A football player is always in season and training like they play professional games all year round. The NFL players aren’t playing on the football fields year round, but ‘playing’ in the gym–training to get better, faster, and stronger for the season to come. Think about when it comes to you and your training. Your training is focused year round, so why wouldn’t the top athletes? Sure you may switch up your workouts to cater to the seasons, or whenever you feel like you need to switch it up, but you are still keeping active all year round. In fact, a lot of the NFL players could be doing the same exercises and workouts that you do on a regular basis! Maybe next time you should peek over your shoulder and see if an NFL is joining you at the gym!
For an NFL football player, it isn’t about packing on the pounds anymore. It is about performing exercises that enhance explosiveness and athleticism. Most importantly, it is critical for a player to show up to each practice and game healthy. The strategy is all about training smarter, not harder. You may be surprised to see what exercises these NFL players love to do in the offseason.
From: Men’s Health
1. Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson might be on the shorter side for quarterbacks in the NFL—among other all-time QB greats under 6-feet—but he’s as shredded as anyone in the league. Wilson added boxing to his workout routine for the 2017 offseason and he’s looking jacked because of it. Wilson uses box jumps, front squats, kettlebell lunges, bench press work, Romanian deadlifts, triceps extensions, dumbbell step-ups, row workouts, and lots of speed training in his routine.
“I’ve really focused on my leg strength in recent years,” Wilson said to Men’s Fitness. “When you’re growing up, you always think that your upper body strength and everybody is testing your best thing, your bench max and all that kind of stuff. As a quarterback, it’s really more so leg strength, core strength, shoulder stability, and core stability. The thing that I really pride myself on is mobility—my mobility and flexibility. I’m constantly working out those areas.”
2. Odell Beckham Jr.
While Beckham gets lots of attention for his antics on the field (and sometimes off the field), the Giants wideout is one of the hardest-working players in football. Beckham is constantly training in the offseason, getting in work with trainer Jamal Liggin and going hard in the gym. Beckham uses Liggin’s famous tennis ball drill, as well as box jumps, dumbbell workouts, back squats, med ball workouts, resistance band drills, footwork drills, and much more in his training routine.
“Odell is ready to work, no matter what the situation is,” Liggin toldMen’s Fitness. “One time, he landed in Los Angeles at midnight and called me up to do a workout. We ended up doing an intense session from 2 a.m to 4 a.m. That’s the kind of guy Odell is and how dedicated he is.”
3. David Johnson
The 6’1″, 225-lb running back has emerged as the best dual-threat player in the NFL, leading the league 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns. Johnson showed off his strength in 2016 with a 500lb squat in the weight room last season along with some massive 51-inch box jumps. For his size, he might have the strongest legs in the league… In the photo, he shows off the box jumps and sled pull workouts that keep him explosive and strong.
4. Khalil Mack
The Oakland Raiders star and 2016 NFL defensive player of the year is only getting better. Mack works as hard as anyone in the weight room during the offseason, using kettlebell workouts, powerlifting, sled training, and plyometric workouts to keep himself strong.
“Over each offseason, my training is mostly the same stuff, but I try and tweak it with a different approach,” Mack said to Men’s Fitness. “My workouts start with a really good stretching session. After that, I fire up some of my smaller muscles to get them ready for the next part of my workout. I love kettlebell workouts and pushing the sled—I’ve been doing a lot of that this offseason—along with heavy sets of pushups and situps.”
5. Rob Gronkowski
Even though he had the Gronk-iest year ever—filled with parties, chugging beer, and all the fun things Gronk likes to do—Rob Gronkowski didn’t skip out on the gym one bit. The New England Patriots tight end is one of the best receivers in the league, and one of the most shredded football players, too. Here he gets in an intense workout filled with battle ropes, chest moves, pull-ups, dumbbell moves, and more. Gronk also is trying out the Tom Brady diet—but of course, he’s not giving up booze.
6. Todd Gurley
The Rams running back came into the league with sky-high expectations and he’s delivered for Los Angeles, giving the team a star to build around. Gurley’s bruising running style is punishing for opposing defenses, and that’s because he works hard in the gym to get strong for the season. This offseason, Gurley used medicine ball workouts, and speed training, resistance drills, and hex bar deadlifts to stay in shape.
“My favorite exercises are squats and my least favorite to do is upper-body stuff,” Gurley told Men’s Fitness. “I’m always squatting when I work out. I try and switch it up every week, but I do a lot of quad exercises, leg extensions, deadlifts, and hamstring curls to help build muscle, my core, and gain stamina. Lower body, always do lower body—never skip a leg day.”
7. J.J. Watt
The 6’5”, 289-pound Houston Texans superstar and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is coming off of a serious injury, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing it in the weight room. Watt uses box jumps, med ball slams, 1,000 lb tire flips, back squats, sprinting drills, explosive jumps, shoulder shrugs, and sled workouts
“To stay versatile and explosive, you have to bounce around,” Watt toldMen’s Fitness. I do long, extensive workouts and we go all over the place—from the field, to the weight room, to different surfaces. It all plays a part.”
8. Von Miller
The Denver Broncos linebacker and fashion-forward NFL star is an absolute beast on the field—and in the gym.
Miller spent his offseason working out with NFL trainer Jamal Liggin—the man who makes football players into shredded speed freaks—doing medicine ball workouts on the beach, pullups at the park, and tennis ball drills at the playground.
“Core and legs are always the priority for me,” Miller said to Men’s Fitness. During the off-season, he works out three to five hours per day (broken up into multiple workouts), and he’s a fan of high-intensity training to help keep his fat burn high and rev up his metabolic engine. “One of my favorites is pulling a tire. I also enjoy the different explosive jumping movements with the acceleration and deceleration drills we do.”