Russell Westbrook's Killer Workout Shows Why You Should Give Sand Training a Try

If you have the time and energy, quarantine should be no excuse to fall off your training plan. Whether you’re lifting water jugs, opting for bodyweight workouts, or building strength with resistance bands or kettlebells, the possibilities are endless with at-home workouts.

That goes double for professional athletes and trainers, who have been creative to adjust to the circumstances. Personal trainer Ron “Boss” Everline shared a recent non-gym training session with NBA Houston Rockets player Russell Westbrook (keep your eyes peeled for actor Kevin Hart, who also made an appearance), in which Everline put Westbrook through a grueling training session in the sand on a volleyball court.

Everline, who appears to be holding the camera, puts Westbrook through a series of conditioning drills. The pair begin with straight-on sprints and backpedals, then shift to a lateral change of direction drill, with Hart giving Westbrook the cues to shift.

“The front end of what’s in the video is all about change of direction and reaction: Russell’s backpedaling on command,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. of the clip. “His goal is to stay on the balls of his feet and be able to shift directions quickly. That’s made that much harder by the fact he’s training in the sand.”

Everline also has Westbrook work on a series of jumps, including single-leg jumps and skaters.

“Good shit, Russ,” says Everline.

Everline isn’t just making Westbrook run around doing sand workouts to look cool. The surface has a purpose.

“The sand has a dual effect,” says Samuel. “It’s easier on his joints from an impact standpoint, but it’s also challenging his ankle stability, a quality combination for an NBA player.”

If you’re looking to try some of these drills on your own, Samuel has a few tips to keep in mind.

Remember to Hinge

Eb says: “You need to hinge your butt back and keep your core tight. Don’t let your chest cave in and don’t let your back round. The hinged position is your most athletic position, letting you create explosive hip action and fire from your glutes.”

Control Is Key

Eb says: “On the single-leg jumps glute control is key, and it’s also key to control the landing. These are tough on flat ground, let alone sand (ankle stability challenge). Russ is being careful of shin position too. Aim to land with knee directly above ankle, and squeeze your glute to help you control that landing.”

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