To be a game-breaking wide receiver like Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, or Andre Johnson, you need to have a combination of near-superhuman agility, raw footspeed, and explosive power.
Wideouts must be able to master wide range of skills—catching passes under duress, reading defenses, creating separation from cornerbacks—and that preparation starts in the gym.
“As a wide receiver, you need to do a little bit of everything well,” says Roy Holmes, C.S.C.S., performance specialist at EXOS. “In the gym, the top five areas of focus for pass-catchers should be leg strength, coordination, endurance, speed, and power.”
Improving power in your lower body is key to increasing speed and agility: “To improve speed you have to be strong—and no, I don’t mean just being able to squat 600 pounds,” says Holmes, who has previously trained NFL players like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and San Diego Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett. Holmes previously shared a routine with Men's Fitness that he developed closely with Verrett to help the cornerback increase his lower-body strength, flexibility, and single-leg strength, and many of those techniques can be helpful to wide receivers too.
“It’s not just brute strength,” Holmes says. “The stronger an athlete is, the better they should be able to apply force. Without strength, force cannot be produced at a high rate of speed.”
Holmes put together an exclusive workout routine for Men’s Fitness that all football players—but especially wide receivers—can use to boost speed and power in your lower body: