Warming Up With Julius Peppers

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As a high schooler, Julius Peppers stood 6'5" and weighed 225 pounds. No wonder he dominated on the gridiron and hardwood. But perhaps even more surprising than his freakish physique was the fact that he didn't weight train, stretch or warm up before games. "I just went out and played," the monster Chicago Bears D-end said of his high school career. These days, he knows better.

Before engaging in explosive training in the off-season, Peppers first performs the following vigorous warm-up routine to loosen up his hips, shoulders and core muscles. "Those are the muscles I play with, so I try to hone in on that part of the body," he says.

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As a high schooler, Julius Peppers stood 6'5" and weighed 225 pounds. No wonder he dominated on the gridiron and hardwood. But perhaps even more surprising than his freakish physique was the fact that he didn't weight train, stretch or warm up before games. "I just went out and played," the monster Chicago Bears D-end said of his high school career. These days, he knows better.

Before engaging in explosive training in the off-season, Peppers first performs the following vigorous warm-up routine to loosen up his hips, shoulders and core muscles. "Those are the muscles I play with, so I try to hone in on that part of the body," he says.

It doesn't matter if you're a D-end working on first-step quickness or a wideout improving linear speed, prep like Peppers by tackling this warm-up series before rushing into the bulk of your workout.

Physioball Vertical Raise
• Lie on stomach on ball with legs extended and feet pointed down
• Holding dumbbell in each hand, extend arms forward
• Draw in belly button, squeeze glutes and lift chest off ball while extending arms out
• Hold; lower chest to ball and return arms to ground in front of body

Sets/Reps: 3x15
Coaching Points: Focus on balancing core on ball // Control arms going up and down // Use light weight

Physioball Press
• Lie on stomach on ball with legs extended and feet pointed down
• Hold dumbbells in Push Press position
• Press dumbbells straight out while keeping them at head height
• Bring dumbbells to start position and repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x15
Coaching Points: Use light weight // Focus on balancing core on ball // Keep weight at head height // Fully extend arms out

Band Pull Apart
• Start holding band with arms extended forward, shoulder-width apart
• Apply tension on band
• Extend arms out at chest level, then bring back to start position
• Raise arms above head, then extend arms sideways
• Bring arms back to shoulder-width, then down to start position
• Repeat alternating motions

Sets/Reps: 3x15
Coaching Points: Keep tension on band at all times // Arm motions should be performed slowly and under control

Single-Arm Dumbbell External Rotation
• Start by lying on side with dumbbell in hand and elbow bent 90-degrees
• Rotate shoulder to raise arm up while keeping elbow bent
• Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each arm
Coaching Points: Use light weight // Keep elbow bent at 90 degrees // Use shoulder to rotate

Single-Arm Side Dumbbell Raise
• Lie on side; grip dumbbell with thumb down and extend arm out at chest
• Raise arm at chest level, then lower
• Repeat

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each arm
Coaching Points: Use light weight // Keep arm at chest level // Use shoulder to rotate arm // Perform slowly and under control

Opposite Hand Toe Touch
• Balance on one leg with opposite hand holding a light med ball above head
• Keeping arm extended and leg straight, rotate hips to bring arm down to ground
• Raise up to start position
• Repeat, then switch feet and hands

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each arm
Coaching Points: Keep leg and arm straight // Focus on staying balanced // Rotate at hip

Single-Arm Shoulder Balance
• Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands on bench
• Bring right hand off bench and place on ground
• Raise left hand off bench and balance on right hand
• Hold for one second; bring left hand back on bench followed by right hand
• Alternate same movement to the left for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each arm
Coaching Points: Keep back flat // Focus on controlling body balance // Keep head facing floor

Basketball Wall Dribble
• Balance on right leg
• Raise right arm above head with basketball in hand
• Dribble ball alongside wall for set duration, then switch arm and leg

Sets/Reps: 2x15 seconds each arm
Coaching Points: Focus on balance // Reach as high as possible // Use fingertips to dribble ball


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | BASKETBALL TRAINING | STRENGTH TRAINING | PHYSIOBALL | CHEST | TRAIN | BENCH | PRESS | DUMBBELLS | STOMACH | PEPPERS