DeMarcus Ware uses resistance for his abdominal exercise to add more core strength and power. The core is one of the most important muscle groups to work on as an athlete.
DeMarcus Ware’s workout training routine has changed considerably since the start of his career. Instead of always doing a conventional football workout routine, Ware has made martial arts and Pilates an integral part of his daily fitness regimen. As one of the NFL’s strongest players, Ware finds this crucial to succeeding on the football field.
“Power is nothing without a rock-solid core. Pilates is the key to activating it,” he said in an interview with Maxim. “Guys, don’t be fooled just ‘cause women do it. It’s no joke. Try it and you’ll find out real quick.“
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Ware said of his workout, “When I was younger I’d do more 400, 500 pounds, put all the weight on the bar. I think that was tearing my body up. Now, it’s more mental stuff, like martial arts, Pilates, a lot more running and stretching because you’ve got the strength. Now, it’s how can you maintain that strength and keep your longevity.”
Ware decided to change his routine up due to the numerous injuries he played through during the 2009 season. Ware suffered a stress fracture in his foot, sprained neck, and a fractured wrist all throughout the season.
Ware does resistance band exercises like this to work on his coordination and stabilizer muscles.
Even as one of the NFL’s best all-around linebackers and strongest players, Ware still thinks he has a weak core.
“With me, I’ve got a weak core. I can go do 50 crunches with all kinds of weight on it, but can you flex your core when your weight is balancing on a ball? I can go out and put 225 on there and do it 20 times easy. But who can do 20 pullups? It’s hard when you’ve got to pick yourself up.”
Ware works on his training routine with his strength and conditioning coach, Joe Juraszek. Juraszek works with Ware on the muscles players use in game situations. For Ware, having proper core strength and ability to balance is crucial for rushing the quarterback. When Ware comes off the edge low to the ground, Ware may find himself being pushed off balance by a tackle or even running back. These workouts help him deal with his body being contorted in various different ways.
“It teaches your body muscle memory,” Ware said. “You get in awkward spots when maybe you’re doing some sort of pass rush move or chasing a guy from behind or breaking down for a tackle. You want your body to know what to do.”
There is a lot to be said about Ware’s training philosophies. It seems that he cares more about bodyweight exercises than heavy compound movements that many athletes do daily. Ware is one of the more durable NFL players so his approach to training may be something to consider. At the end of the day, longevity is what matters and Ware has plenty of it. Not to mention, Ware seems to always focus on his abdominal and core muscles when he trains. So many athletic injuries result from a weak core. The fact that Ware seems almost obsessed with having a strong core speaks volumes about such longevity.
The 6’4, 262 lb. Ware is one of the strongest players in the NFL. Ware was credited with 430 pound bench press, a 570 pound squat and a 360 pound power clean. In addition, Ware ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and had a 38.5” vertical jump.