Steven Jackson: Powerful Running Back, Not a Power Back

July 26, 2012

Measuring 6’2” and 240 pounds, his perfectly kempt dreadlocks flowing effervescently from beneath his Rawlings helmet, Steven Jackson is about as imposing a figure as you’ll find at the running back position in the NFL.

“If you look at my physique, I’m a very powerful person; I have a powerful demeanor,” Jackson says.

Just don’t call him a power back.

“Although my physique may say I’m a powerful back, I never limit myself to that,” he says. “I can do things that a 190-pound running back can do, and I can also do what a 250-pound fullback can do.”

St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson Power Back
St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson wants to become what he calls a "classical player."

Jackson flashes some elements of finesse in his skillset—excellent footwork and soft hands out of the backfield, for example—but what separates him from the typical 190-pound tailback is his superior power to burst through arm tackles and dish out punishing stiff arms to defenders.

Still, Jackson works to refine every single aspect of his game, from pass protection to catching the football—all part of his pursuit of becoming what he calls a “classical player.”

“I like to say ‘classical player,’ because I feel like I could have played in any era, because I believe I do everything well,” says the St. Louis Rams all-time rushing leader. “I could play with the guys in the '60s, who were some of the toughest football players to this day.”

Driving Jackson's throwback style of play are classic, power-building lifts such as the Top Half-Squat and Strongman exercises such as the Prowler Sled Drive and Reverse Sled Pull.

At a recent off-season workout, just a few weeks before he reports to the Rams' training camp, Jackson completed a 405-pound Half Squat on his fifth and final set. The bar was draped with two chains, each weighing 45 pounds, whose purpose was to overload his body during the top portion of the Squat.

“We add the heavy chains because it works the explosiveness coming up from the bottom of the Squat,” Jackson says. “I always like to push my body to the limit.

“My body feels good, especially when I’m able to lift the weight as easily as I was able to on that last set.”

Jackson may not want to be labeled a "power back," but there’s no denying his power generating capability. Ultimately, that is what has made him one of the league’s premier running backs of the last decade.

Photo: Layne Murdoch

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...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,913,485
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 33,259,082
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 5,761,837

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Views: 243,040
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,319
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,097
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

Most Popular Videos

Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,576,211
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,865
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,918
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,269,514
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,560

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

Why Every Athlete Should Do Farmer's Walks

The farmers walk exercise, long embraced by strongmen, is one of the best ways for athletes to enhance their strength, stamina and endurance. Simply...

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

How to Build Arm Strength for Baseball Before Your Season

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

Advanced Anti-Rotation Core Strengthening Exercises

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

How to Perform the Farmer's Walk with Dumbbells

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

Strengthen Your Core With 2 Simple Anti-Rotational Exercises

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Why the Clean Pull is Perfect for Athletes

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

Build Explosive Strength with This Olympic Weightlifting Program

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

German Volume Training: How to Pack on Muscle Mass

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

A Simple 6-Exercise Core Workout

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

Everything You Need to Know About Using Farmer's Walk Handles

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

5 Training Ideas You Should Steal From the NFL's Best

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

3 Barbell-Only, Full-Body Workout Programs for Any Fitness Goal

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

How to Get More Out of the Dumbbell Press

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

Why Your Instagram Box Jump Isn't That Impressive

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Is CrossFit Appropriate for Basketball Players?

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

8 Cures for a Weak Grip

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Austen Lane's Complete NFL Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Duncan Keith's Stanley Cup MVP Training

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Why Everything You Know About Core Training is Wrong

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Wrestlers: Improve Double-Leg Takedowns With Sled Pushes

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Keep Your Workouts Simple for Better Results

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Know Your Row: The Pros and Cons of 8 Different Back Exercises

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Build Strength with Kettlebell Sandbags

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Are You Loading Barbells Wrong?

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

YardBarker