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Pilates Helps D.J. Humphries Look Good, Feel Good

Cardinals' left tackle in tip-top shape as OTAs begin

LT D.J. Humphries (74) gets instruction from OL coach Sean Kugler
LT D.J. Humphries (74) gets instruction from OL coach Sean Kugler

D.J. Humphries puffed out his chest and stood tall on Monday afternoon in the Cardinals' locker room, allowing the media a close-up view of his new physique.

The Cardinals' left tackle is only two pounds lighter than his listed weight of 307, but it's all about the distribution of those pounds.

Less gut, more muscle.

"I look good, huh?" Humphries said with a laugh.

It's a pivotal year for the Cardinals' 2015 first-round pick as he enters the final season of his contract. Humphries has shown flashes of being a quality blindside protector, but injuries have limited him to only 27 of a possible 48 games over the past three seasons.

He's doing everything he can to be primed for 2019. Over the past several months, Humphries has paid close attention to his nutrition, attacked the weight room, and, once a week, pushed himself to the brink in an unlikely setting.

"I picked up Pilates this offseason," Humphries said. "… It's probably the hardest workout I've ever done, Pilates. It's with this little lady in her garage. She just kills me, man. You see her and you think she's going to be so nice and sweet. She's like, 'Come on, what are you doing? Why can't you hold the ball in between your legs? It's not even weighted.' I'm like, 'I'm sorry, Julie. I'm tired. What do you want me to do?'"

Humphries learned of the Pilates class from wide receiver Christian Kirk and said it has helped strengthen his core. He may add 10 pounds before the start of the season, but wants it to be good weight.

"I'm not just going to be a big boy out here lugging weight around," Humphries said.

Humphries said he participated in individual drills in the team's first OTA on Monday as he makes his way back from last year's season-ending knee injury. He's taking it slow for now to avoid any mishaps, and knows the real test will come when he gets into full-contact situations.

There will be an element of luck to Humphries staying healthy in 2019 – the majority of his issues have come from in-game collisions – but he will be proactive as possible to stave off the injuries.

"It's kind of hard to guard yourself against 600 pounds falling against your legs," Humphries said. "I don't know a workout to do for that. If y'all can figure it out, please let me know. I'll do it. But I'm just going to try to get in the best shape as I can and get as strong as I can in any way possible."