Sometimes, size doesn’t matter. Even though conventional wisdom—and scouts—say you need to be tall to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson has completely bucked that trend.
The former Men’s Fitness cover star stands just 5’11”, but that hasn’t stopped Wilson from winning Super Bowl XLVIII (the shortest QB to ever win the championship), NFL Rookie of the Year, and going to three Pro Bowls all before the age of 30.
Although he may be small in stature, one thing is certain: Wilson’s muscles are anything but little—this dude is shredded.
Wilson is in the gym constantly and sticks with an intense training routine that includes front squats, bench press work, Romanian deadlifts, triceps extensions, dumbbell stepups, row workouts, and tons of speed training.
“Lunges are really big for me in terms of leg strength and glute strength,” Wilson told Men’s Fitness during the 2016 NFL season. “Squats, agility work, core stability, and jumping are key things as well. I do shoulder exercises constantly and keep focus on my core strength.”
Wilson's work ethic has helped him become one of the most athletic players in the NFL—at any position, not just among QBs. Let’s be honest, how many quarterbacks could haul in a 15-yard touchdown pass like the one Wilson caught in Seattle’s Week 11 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles:
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2016
“I’ve really focused on my leg strength in recent years,” Wilson said. “When you're growing up, you always think that your upper body strength and everybody is testing your best thing, your bench max and all that kind of stuff. As a quarterback, it's really more so leg strength, core strength, shoulder stability, and core stability. The thing that I really pride myself on is mobility—my mobility and flexibility. I'm constantly working out those areas.”
Heading into the 2017 season, Wilson decided to add boxing workouts to his offseason training routine while also focusing on combining heavier lifts with plyometric workouts.
"It wasn’t the first time I boxed, but it was the first time I got to go work out with Freddie Roach," Wilson said to ESPN. "Just working on my balance and quickness and just continuing to build my game. The idea of being able to do anything and everything at any moment; and so you have to be prepared for that. Also, great boxers have great defense too, meaning being able to move and get away and all that. So that was something that was really important to me too. And it’s a great conditioning workout -- one of the hardest workouts you could ever do."
Here are Wilson’s 25 most shredded workout moments on Instagram:
25. Wilson shows off his shredded back in the ring as he gets in a boxing workout:
24. Wilson gets in some Bulgarian split squats:
23. Wilson works out with some barbell curls:
22. Wilson gets in some jump rope work in between his boxing workouts:
21. Wilson shows off a montage of boxing, back squats, box jumps, and kettlebell moves before hitting the field for a workout:
20. Wilson pushes his way through a workout as he strengthens his lower body:
19. Wilson hits the bike for a cardio workout:
18. Wilson shows off his bulging triceps as he works his arms with some pressdowns:
17. Wilson has some of the best footwork in the NFL. Workouts like this are why:
16. This dude has some hops—Wilson gets in some vertical work:
15. Wilson and All-Pro Steelers WR Antonio Brown team up for a workout:
14. Yeah, Wilson got JACKED for training camp in 2016. Look at those arms:
13. Wilson grabs the kettlebells and gets to work with some shrugs:
12. Wilson spends some time at the USC facility and does some high stepping and lateral training:
11. Wilson looks totally shredded as he pulls his way through a workout:
10. Wilson gets some resistance help from teammate Jimmy Graham in the gym:
9. Wilson shows off his massive upper body as he runs in the pool:
8. Wilson gets to work with some kettlebell lunges:
7. Wilson blasts his core with some ab wheel rollouts:
6. Wilson gets his footwork in check with some jump rope training:
5. Wilson shows off his shredded physique on the beach with teammate Richard Sherman:
4. Wilson focuses on his core with an ab workout:
3. Wilson steps into the ring for some boxing training—probably helpful when he's fighting off huge pass rushers:
2. Wilson gets things going with a sled push-pull with some big weight:
1. Wilson uses some heavy weights for dumbbell stepups: