Michael Strahan may have hung up his cleats after his Super Bowl–winning 2007 season with the New York Giants, but he’s still a jock at heart.
The Good Morning America co-host and former star of Live with Kelly and Michael trains twice a day, three days a week, and throws in two more single sessions a week for good measure, usually taking weekends completely off. Despite his busy schedule, Strahan still appears on Fox NFL Sunday each week during football season, giving his insight and analysis into the games.
While Strahan doesn’t need to be in defensive lineman shape to handle his fellow GMA co-hosts, his workouts—and physique—don’t indicate he’s lightened up much since exiting the gridiron. We asked Strahan’s trainer for the details of his program.
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HOW IT WORKS
“Our morning workouts are high-endurance, functional sessions,” says Latreal Mitchell, Strahan’s trainer (latrealmitchell.com). “The second session of the day is heavy lifting—more of a bodybuilding split.” The combination keeps Strahan healthy and lean while maintaining muscle. Included here is a typical morning routine, done as a circuit to keep the heart rate up and build conditioning, and a sample afternoon session, where the back, hamstrings, and abs are targeted.
Perform the morning workout as a circuit. Complete one set for each exercise in turn, resting as little as possible between exercises. Repeat for 3–4 total circuits. (The workout should take 20–30 minutes.) Perform the afternoon workout as straight sets, completing three sets of 10 reps for each exercise in turn.
1. BATTLING ROPE UP/DOWN WAVE
Reps: Repeat for 30–45 sec.
Attach battling ropes to a secure anchor point and grasp an end in each hand. Get into an athletic stance with hips and knees bent and raise both ends in the air. Slam them down into the floor and repeat as quickly as possible—your reps should cause the rope to make waves.
2. SLIDER KNEE TUCK
Get into pushup position, resting your feet on furniture sliders, Valslides (available at valslide.com), or towels or paper plates (if you’re on a waxed wooden floor). Brace your abs and draw your knees up to your chest, sliding your feet along the floor. Don’t let your lower back round.
3. BATTLE ROPE IN/OUT WAVE (PICTURED ABOVE)
Reps: Repeat for 30–45 sec.
Set up as you did for the up/down wave but spread your arms apart and out to your sides. Now bring them in front of you quickly. Repeat to create waves.
4. KETTLEBELL SWING
Hold a kettlebell with both hands (or grasp one of the ends of a dumbbell) and bend your hips back while keeping your lower back in its natural arch. Allow your knees to bend naturally. When you feel a stretch in your glutes, explosively extend your hips and let the momentum swing the weight up to eye level.
5. ALTERNATING REVERSE LUNGE
Reps: Repeat for 30–45 sec. (each side)
Set up as you did for the previous rope waves and begin waving the rope with alternating hands—raise your left arm and then the right; slam the left side and then the right. While you’re waving the rope, step back with one leg into a lunge, lowering your body until your back knee is just above the floor.
6. MEDICINE BALL SLAM
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold an eight- to 10-pound ball in front of your chest. Raise your arms overhead until you feel a stretch in your abs, then throw the ball hard into the floor. Catch it on the rebound.
7. V-UP WITH SWISS BALL
Lie on your back on the floor and place a Swiss ball between your feet. Squeeze the ball and raise it off the floor with your legs straight. At the same time crunch your torso up and reach for the ball with your arms straight. Pass the ball from your feet to your hands and lower your torso and legs to the floor, reaching the ball behind your head. Repeat the V-up and pass the ball back to your feet. Each pass is one rep.
8. JUMP ROPE
Reps: Jump for 60 sec.
The rope’s handles should reach up to chest level when you stand in the middle of it. Perform any style of jump you like for 60 seconds.
1. TEMPO PULLUP
Hang from a pullup bar with hands outside shoulder width and palms facing forward. Take three seconds to pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Take one second to lower yourself to the starting position.
2. STIFF-LEG DEADLIFT/ROW COMBO (PICTURED ABOVE)
Hold a barbell at arm’s length in front of your thighs. Brace your abs and bend your hips back, keeping your lower back in its natural arch. Allow your knees to bend only slightly, and continue until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. From there, squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the bar to your belly. Lower the bar and extend your hips to come straight up again. That’s one rep.
3. ACTIVE PLANK
Get into pushup position with your abs braced. Now arch your back and bring your hips toward the floor. From there, bend your hips and push your hands into the floor. Drive your butt back and up until your torso forms a straight line with your arms and you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and calves.
4. REAR-DELT CABLE CROSSOVER
Attach D-handles to the pulleys of two facing cable stations. Grasp the handles with the opposite hands and cross the cables over. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw your arms back and out to your sides. Hold the contraction for a moment.
5. SINGLE-LEG CLOCK SQUAT
Stand on one leg, holding one end of a dumbbell with both hands. Bend back at the hips and then bend your knee and, keeping your chest up, lower your body while reaching slightly to your left side. Imagine a clock face on the floor and touch the end of the dumbbell at 11 o’clock. Stand back up and squat down again and touch 12 o’clock. Repeat, and reach to the right to touch 1 o’clock. Each touch is one rep. Repeat on the other leg.
6. STRAIGHT-LEG HANGING LEG RAISE
Hang from a pullup bar with hands either facing each other or forward. Contract your abs and raise your legs all the way up to the bar.
7. SUSPENDED ROW
Use a suspension trainer and lengthen the straps as needed. Hold the handles and lean back, away from the anchor point, so your body is between a 45-degree angle and parallel with the floor. Row your body up to the handles.
8. SUSPENDED LEG CURL (PICTURED ABOVE)
Lower the straps to near the floor and lie on your back—place your feet in the foot cradles. Brace your abs and drive your heels downward to raise your hips off the floor. From there, bend your knees and draw your heels back toward your butt.
9. SUSPENDED SIDE PLANK
Place your feet in the foot cradles and rest on your left forearm. Bridge your hips up so your body forms a straight line. Lower your hips to the floor. That’s one rep. Complete your reps and then repeat immediately on the other side.