Cornerbacks get the most attention when they make acrobatic interceptions. But if you want to be a versatile defensive back—and if you want to be able to shut down your friends playing pickup football—you’re going to have to work on more than just your vertical leap. To be an all-around cornerback, you’ll need to focus on combining upper and lower body strength with agility, flexibility, and speed.
San Diego Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett understands what it takes to be the best—a commitment to fitness and hard work in the training room—and that’s why he was a Pro Bowl player in just his second season in the league.
We spoke with Roy Holmes, C.S.C.S., USAW, a performance specialist at EXOS who has worked with Verrett to help him develop into one of the top cornerbacks in the game. Holmes puts Verrett through an extensive workout that hits all different areas of the body—and it’s something you can try too, even if you aren’t a cornerback. Holmes says that the workout (in the video below featuring Verrett) is designed to hit a range of areas—the hamstrings, glutes, rotator cuffs, shoulders, hips, calves, and legs all will get some attention.
“The workout will give you activation throughout your body,” Holmes says. “You can go to any gym or park and set down some cones and do some of these backpedal and sprint workouts. You can do the five-yard shuffles, the backpedaling, the forward sprints—all these drills are very relatable to anybody.”
Before you get into the workout, be sure to loosen up with stretching techniques. “If you're not taking care of your body in the weight room, you're not going to be able to stay on the field,” Verrett says about the importance of stretching. Holmes agrees: “Be strong for your body type—you want to work hard, but you need to be able to recover from what you put your body through. If your body fails you, your workout won’t be worth anything.”
Click through to the next page for the training routine Verrett uses and try it yourself >>>