The true Cinderella Story of the past few years was Michael Vick. With him landing on complete rock bottom with his criminal charges and being out the game for 20+ months and then in one season climb to the top and shine like no other athlete ever has. If you ask him though he’ll tell you it took a lot of hard work and the Michael Vick workout.
Coming out of college Mike was probably the most elusive, exciting player to watch. He trained very closely with strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw out of Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Vick followed some key movements to get as explosive and fast as he was on the field. Let’s check them out from Mike Vicks actual plyo/speed workout routine…
Start with just the barbell and add weight as you progress. Now proceed as if you were completing a regular squat. Place your feet at shoulder-hip width, and perform a squat. When you reach the quarter squat position, explode and jump as high as you can. Place an emphasis on jumping straight up with as much power as possible. Display triple extension at the hips, knees and ankles. Do not waste movement. Perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.
Hold a light dumbbell, no more than 20 pounds, in each hand. Now with your feet in the same position as the squat jump, again, lower yourself to a quarter squat position. When you reach the position, explode and jump as high as you can. Remember to achieve triple extension. Perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps of dumbbell jumps. After each set, drop the dumbbells and perform 3-5 body weight jumps, which are just dumbbell jumps without the dumbbells.
Step off a 20 to 24-inch box or stair. As soon as your feet touch the ground, jump up as high and as quickly as possible. The key to this exercise is reacting as quickly as you can and exploding into a jump the second your feet touch the ground.
“You are thinking like a superball or racquet ball. Once a superball or racquet ball hits the ground, it recoils real quick and is coming off the ground quickly,” explains Coach Shaw. Perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 jumps.
Dumbbell depth jump:
Perform the depth jump, but hold a light dumbbell, no more than 20 pounds, in each hand while performing the exercise. Perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 dumbbell depth jumps. After each set, drop the dumbbells and perform 3-5 regular bodyweight depth jumps.
Depth jump and sprint:
Perform a depth jump as described above. Following the depth jump, the second your feet touch the ground, sprint straight ahead for 10 to 20 yards. Perform 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps.
Ankle flexor hops:
Stand erect with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Now, only use your feet and ankle flexors to jump as a high as possible. Spend as little time as possible on the ground. The key is to jump as quickly and as high as you can by only using your calf muscles. Complete as many ankle flexor hops as you can in 10 to 20 seconds. Perform 2-3 sets.
Skips for height:
Skip as high as you can, raising your knee as high and as quick as possible, while forcefully extending your drive leg. Land and alternate legs. The key is to get as much height as possible. Explode off the ground into each skip as fast as possible. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 to 20 yards.
Skips for distance:
Just like the skips for height, but the goal is not to jump as high as possible, but as far as possible. Again, skip raising your knee as high and as quickly as you can. Remember to fully extend your drive leg and alternate legs. The key is to cover as much ground as possible with each skip. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 to 20 yards.
Alternating leg bounds:
In a running-like movement, jump from one leg to the other consecutively. Fully extend the jumping leg behind you and raise the front leg into a high-knee position. Get some hang time while gaining distance. Try to cover as much ground as possible with each bound. The key is exploding quickly off the ground and jumping as far as possible with each bound. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 to 20 yards.”
Since he’s been out of prison he was right back at it. This time with his old track coach, Tom Anderson, and this is what he had him doing…
“A long, dynamic warm-up started off each session. Then he’d stretch and do hurdle drills. After that, he’d train his abs, with a series of exercises like Russian twists and V-ups. Foot agility and speed ladder work came next, followed by speed drills, strength training, and plyometrics.”
Regardless Mike continues to impress with his agile explosive speed.