Conditioning for the Big Man on the Field | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Conditioning for the Big Man on the Field

December 21, 2010

Must See Conditioning Videos

Being a former 310-lb. All-Big Ten and NFL lineman myself, I know the importance of being a well-conditioned athlete. I also know that between practices, games and lifting, our knees can really take a beating. Although Gassers, Suicides, 100-Yard Sprints and the treadmill are classic conditioning methods, big boys may have to find other ways to keep up their cardio endurance.

Here are a few ways to keep your mammoth body in shape while preventing wear and tear on your knees.

Jump Rope
This is one of my favorite methods of conditioning, because it not only works your conditioning level, but also makes you a better athlete. This old-school method improves coordination and footwork, is generally low-impact, and will leave you with a giant puddle of sweat.

I recommend starting at 10 intervals of 30 seconds with a 30-second recovery. After you master the standard two-legged jump, try the Skier [moving feet side to side], Bell Hop [moving feet front to back] or Scissor Jumps [switching feet from front to back].

Rowing Machine or Versa Climber
The rowing machine and versa climber can be great ways to get a full-body cardio workout. Found in most commercial gyms, they will not only be easy on your joints, but also leave you gasping for air.

Studies show that high-intensity interval training is the best method of improving cardio endurance. Try 10 intervals of one minute to start, with a 45-second recovery. Once you build up your endurance on the rowing machine or climber, try 15-20 intervals of 30 seconds.

Cell Block Challenges
After my football career ended, I realized I needed to stay in shape and not pound on my knees. I came up with a workout that I call “Cell Blocks.” NFL linemen use these during the off-season to stay in shape and keep their knees healthy.

Cell Block #1:
Jump Rope – 100
Burpees – 25
Jump Rope – 100
Squat Jumps – 50
Jump Rope – 100
Jumping Jacks – 100
Jump Rope – 100
Mountain Climbers – 100

You can find the official Cell Block Workout #1 here. My best time is 6:06.

Cell Block #2:
Rowing Machine* – 30 sec.
Jump Rope – 30 sec.

*Mountain climber, treadmill or stairmaster can substitute for rowing machine.

Repeat for 10-15 rounds.

You can find the official Cell Block Workout #2 here.

Matt Ulrich
- Matt Ulrich started Chicago-based Winning Edge Athletics after playing two years in the NFL. He was a three-year starter on the offensive line at Northwestern...
Matt Ulrich
- Matt Ulrich started Chicago-based Winning Edge Athletics after playing two years in the NFL. He was a three-year starter on the offensive line at Northwestern...
Must See
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,304,585
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 18,595,916
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,086,781

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Wisconsin Views: 224,260
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 117,335
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 388,894
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Throughout the realm of social media, we see sled push complexes and its variations from Crossfit, to Strongman athletes, to elite athletes, to regular...

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Full-Body Conditioning Workout: 3 Loaded Carry Variations

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Can You Survive These 4 Crazy Plate Push Finishers?

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

Who Invented the Burpee?

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

Can You Survive the

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

STACK Challenge: 5 Minutes of Treadmill Torture

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

In Defense of Cardio

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout