A Solid Workout Program for Next-Level Defensive Backs

February 4, 2013 | Jamal Baptiste

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Defensive backs have to be sharp and versatile on the field. To enable them to move effectively in any direction, their training needs to address several components—strength, power, speed, speed endurance, reactive ability, flexibility and coordination. Addressing the specific demands of the position and training them in a logical manner will help any athlete willing to put in the necessary work. If your goal is to compete at the next level, your training program must be solid. (See Top 5 Attributes College Coaches Look For In a Defensive Back.)

Below are two sample workout for D-backs. Try them out or add them to your routine to enhance your training. They both emphasize strength, so pick weights that challenge you beyond 5 reps. Complete the workout by performing each of the grouped exercises in circuit fashion (B1, B2, B3) before moving onto the next grouping (C1, C2, C3).

DB Workout One

A1. Power Clean: 3x5

B1. Back Squat: 4x5

  • Take the barbell from the rack and place it on the back of your shoulders
  • Make sure your feet are even
  • Slowly lower hips while keeping toes pointed forward
  • Push straight into the floor and stand back up nice and tall
  • Repeat for specified reps

B2. Bench Press: 4x6

  • Take barbell from the rack and lower it midway directly over your chest
  • Place your feet on the ground at the base of the bench so you can use your feet to anchor yourself as you push the weight up

B3. Bent Over Row: 4x6

  • With the barbell on the ground, bend over with back straight
  • Pull bar to waist, extend arms out and repeat

C1. Reverse Lunges: 4x6 each side

  • Hold dumbbells in each hand
  • Reach one leg back as far as your body allows
  • Lower into Lunge until both legs are bent at 90 degrees
  • Return leg to original position
  • Repeat for specified reps

C2. Dumbbell Alternating Chest Press: 4x5

  • On a bench or on a physioball, perform alternate chest presses by pushing one dumbbell up in front of the chest and holding
  • Press the other dumbbell up and lower the other
  • Repeat for specified reps

C3. Renegade Row: 4x6 each side

  • Assume push-up position with hands gripping dumbbells and feet spread wider than shoulder width
  • Row one dumbbell at a time up past your body

D1. Prowler Push 10 yards, then sprint 10 yards: 3x20 yards

  • Push a prowler or a sled 10 yards
  • Sprint another 10 yards

D2. Resisted Sprint with Sled: 3x20 yards

  • Attach yourself to a weighted sled
  • Sprint 20 yards

D3. Sled Pulls: 3x10yds

  • Attach a rope to a sled 10 yards away
  • Pull the rope until the sled is right in front of you

DB Workout Two

A1. Snatch: 3x5

B1. Deadlift: 4x6

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Slowly lower your hips with your chest up and pick up the bar
  • Extend your hips forward and stand back up with barbell

B2. Weighted Pull-Ups: 4x6

  • Perform a Pull-Up with a weight belt and weight plate
  • Choose a weight plate that won't allow you to perform more than 6 reps

B3. Push Press: 4x5

  • Load barbell onto front of shoulders
  • Using legs, dip into quarter squat, drive up and press bar overhead
  • Repeat for specified reps.

C1. Step-Ups: 4x8 each side

  • Holding dumbbell in each hand, step onto a box or bench
  • Slowly step down
  • Explode back up
  • Repeat for specified reps

C2. Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4x5

  • Press dumbbells overhead
  • Lower until arms are bent at 90 degrees

C3. Upright Row: 4x6

  • Grab a barbell or EZ bar with arms close together
  • Drive elbows up to raise bar to shoulder level

C4. Front and Lateral Raise: 4x6

  • Raise one dumbbell in front and one dumbbell to side
  • Repeat in opposite fashion and continue for specified reps

D1. Rope Slams: 3x50 

  • Hold a weighted rope with arms straight
  • Slam rope toward floor for specified reps

D2. Resisted Backpedal into Sprint: 3x20yards

  • Using a resistance strap, backpedal for 10 yards
  • Turn and sprint another 10 yards

D3. Backpedal into Diagonal Sprint: 3x20yards

  • Backpedal for 10 yards
  • Turn and sprint diagonally for 10 yards in each direction
  • To add more intensity and reaction, chase a partner attempting to catch a football

Want more? Check out 3 Drills Every Defensive Back Needs to Train With.

Jamal Baptiste
- Jamal Baptiste is a strength and conditioning coach and licensed massage therapist. Baptiste has trained a wide variety of clientele, including actors, high school, collegiate...
Jamal Baptiste
- Jamal Baptiste is a strength and conditioning coach and licensed massage therapist. Baptiste has trained a wide variety of clientele, including actors, high school, collegiate...
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