How a Phoenix trip got the Rams’ Beckham back on track

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Odell Beckham stretches before the Rams take on the Buccaneers in their playoff game on Sunday, January 23.

October 25, 2020: The date that changed the trajectory of Odell Beckham’s career long before he joined the Los Angeles Rams.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, then with the Cleveland Browns and once considered a prized free agent pick-up by the franchise during the 2019 season, had his foot clumsily planted and eventually left his game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The next day, Beckham and the Browns were linked with this devastating news for both sides.

What followed was a publicized split between Beckham and the Browns during the 2021 season, plus Beckham having to clear waivers before finding his new NFL home.

Now, one Google or Twitter search of Beckham, and you’ll probably come across how he became a star for the NFC champions or how he scored an 84.3 Pro Football Focus figure in the playoffs.

Plus, you’ll probably come across this tweet from OBJ on his personal account as well:

But how could a man approaching the peak years of his career overcome his knee setback? Especially when it comes to a devastating injury that not only robs NFL players of their former leg strength, but could threaten careers by potentially robbing players of their speed and agility to move forward?

A trip to the desert, and at a facility where Beckham began his early NFL hardships, got the “Ferrari” as a performance specialist described it in a conversation with Heavy to regain his acceleration.


Destination: Exos

Beckham spent his early part of his NFL career lifting and running at Exos: a state-of-the-art performance facility in Phoenix, Arizona.


Concept ready: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSUOdell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU, is ready to be called out in the 2014 NFL Draft after preparing for the Combine and his Pro Day at EXOS. EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance), founded in 1999 as a training facility for professional and elite athletes, offers training, nutrition and physical therapy programs from six locations across…2014-05-07T13:57:35Z

Right after his injury, he needed a place to regain what he had lost. And that’s where Graeme Lauriston, Nic Hill and Exos got into the picture for Beckham as he began his rehab in November 2020.

Both men specialized in getting OBJ back on track – Lauriston first enlisted with him for his preparation for the NFL combine before Hill took over Beckham’s comeback chase.

“He definitely came in with the mindset to rebuild not just the ACL, but everything else,” Hill told Heavy.

While Lauriston’s training helped make Beckham the breakthrough he was early on with the New York Giants, Hill says Lauriston referred OBJ to Hill after his ACL tear.

“Once the injury came up, it was more like a conversation between Graeme and ‘O’ to say, ‘Hey, I want you to come work with my husband Nick in Arizona.’ He pushed ‘O’ to come to Arizona and stay in one location throughout rehab. And he was ready,” Hill said.


Which trainings have put OBJ back on track?

Hill said Beckham did the “traditional ACL rehab,” which included knee extensions and half squats. But there was a big one that Hill focused on.

“Making sure he gets his quad power back and rebuilds the quad itself a little bit to get to its size,” Hill explained. “Any time you have the injury, the attribute will kick in and you’ll start to lose some muscle mass.”

Hill also got Beckham to improve his left-to-right balance. One key workout: single-leg squats on one leg.

“On his healthy leg, he was doing single-leg squats with a safety handle,” Hill said.

But balancing wasn’t the only challenge for OBJ. So was what was placed behind him.

“He had 405 pounds on his back,” Hill described. “And he does a one-legged squat on his healthy leg to aid his recovery.”

It sounds like a mentally and physically challenging workout, plus for someone recovering from an ACL tear. But as Hill points out, “Every time you do that kind of lifting you’re taxing your system, but you’re also sending huge amounts of different recovery hormones and whatnot to the rest of your body, which will help heal that injured side of something.” faster.”


OBJ Since then

Here are the numbers Beckham has since released following his return from his ACL injury, all according to Pro Football Reference:

Beckham’s epic NFC title game outing even led him to do some dance moves:

But Beckham’s comeback would never have been possible if he hadn’t made that trip to Phoenix and gone to where he started his NFL training and then trained again.

“He trusted us,” Hill said. “And we’ve built a great relationship.”

Now the “Ferrari” is ready to go one more time with Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 13 versus the Bengals coming up.

“I mean, he’s a Ferrari. He had a bit of misalignment and had a flat tire. So we fixed the tire and cleaned the alignment, then just let it go. And it’s on display now,” Hill said.


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