Will Bulking Up Make Chris Johnson a Better Running Back? | STACK
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...

Will Bulking Up Make Chris Johnson a Better Running Back?

July 18, 2012

Word out of the Tennessee Titans' camp is that running back Chris Johnson has packed on eight pounds of muscle this off-season to help “make him sturdier in the trenches,” according to Titans beat reporter Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Johnson is coming off a 2011 campaign marred by career-low numbers in several major offensive categories, including touchdowns (4), rushing yards (1,047), yards per attempt (4.0) and yards per game (65.4).

Despite his down year and smaller stature (he was listed last season at 5’11”, 190 pounds), Johnson still ranks among the most durable running backs in the NFL. He has played 63 out of a possible 64 regular season games in his career, most among running back since he entered the league in 2008. Johnson also ranks second in rushing attempts since 2008, with 1,187 carries, just two short of Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner’s 1,189.

Details of Johnson’s off-season workout were not disclosed, but it’s fair to speculate that the 2009 rushing champion packed on much of his new muscle in the upper body.

A larger frame will indeed help protect Johnson and reduce his risk of injury. However, his ability to break tackles and change direction to elude defenders was based on his lower-body strength, which he established through stabilizing exercises in off-season workouts leading up to his record-setting 2009 season.

Two such exercises are the Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive and the Dumbbell Split Squat, each of which incorporates an element of instability by way of an Airex pad. These single-leg exercises develop ankle stability, hip flexibility and overall balance, which, for Johnson, translate into longer, stronger strides.

Longer and stronger strides—not a massive upper-body—are what will return CJ2K to his All-Pro form.

Watch the video above to see Johnson perform the Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive, and check out the Airex Pad Dumbbell Split Squat.

Advertisement
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...

Training Centers

FIND A STACK VELOCITY SPORTS
PERFORMANCE LOCATION NEAR YOU

Connect

Advertisement

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be the fittest you 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