Increase Tackling Power With Patrick Willis' Homegrown Training Secrets | STACK
X

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

Increase Tackling Power With Patrick Willis' Homegrown Training Secrets

June 30, 2011

Patrick Willis’ "homegrown workout" featured the unconventional training methods he employed as a youngster seeking an extra edge on the gridiron. Back then, Willis pressed bricks and concrete blocks, and pushed and pulled his body through Push-Ups, Sit-Ups and Leg Raises. He says, "I would take two concrete blocks and put them on the end of the bar and press that. Sometimes the blocks would slide off the bar. But that’s what I had, so I used that and made the best of it."

Many of the exercises Willis devised as a youngster are still part of the current version of his "homegrown workout," only now he uses modern training equipment. For example, what separate Willis’ Dumbbell Bench Press and Shoulder Shrugs from those of other athletes are the minor variations he incorporates—some to meet certain training goals (like generating more force into the barbell), and others to sharpen specific skills for the upcoming season.

Skill development is the motivation for Willis’ shoulder-strengthening work, particularly his adapted Dumbbell Front Raise, where his modification replicates the movement of driving toward, wrapping up and tackling a ball carrier.

Instead of the standard Front Raise up-and-down arm movement, Willis starts with the dumbbells at his sides, then drives his arms up and together in front. He says, “It’s more work to come out the sides and bring them up than it is just to go straight up and down—[that's one of] the little secrets I have."

Patrick Willis explains how his variation of the Dumbbell Front Raise helps him generate more power to wrap up and tackle ball carriers.

Willis' “little secrets” have helped him produce monster numbers in the tackles department. The NFL’s premier linebacker is averaging a hair under 150 tackles a season—148.75 to be exact—leading the league twice in four seasons.

More tackles and fewer shoulder stingers: that’s what you’ll get by performing Willis’ Dumbbell Front Raise/Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug superset.

Read more about Patrick Willis' "Homegrown" Inspired Workout.

Photo:  German Alegria

Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

What's got three heads and spends its whole life overshadowed by its two-headed neighbor on the other side of town? Your triceps, and I'm not joking...

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

Roy Hibbert: Pacer Power

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Roy Hibbert

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training