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Vikings Pushing Tempo in Offseason Workouts

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings have been back at Winter Park for a little over a week for voluntary offseason workouts.

If the first few days have been any indication, new strength and conditioning coach Brent Salazar has put the players through the ringer. 

"Everything is just a higher tempo," said Vikings defensive end Brian Robison. "There's no standing around or rest time.

"It's get your heart rate up and get everybody moving," Robison added. "If you didn't come in shape, you're not going to make it through the workout. Luckily for us, I think everybody came in shape."

Players said Salazar, who was hired in February after nine seasons as an assistant in Kansas City, grabbed their attention right away.

Workouts have focused on rapid circuit-style training on the field mixed with dynamic lifting in the weight room. The sessions don't give players much time to catch their breath.

"I think what he's doing is probably a little bit harder than what we've done in the past," Robison added. "But it's great, as far as getting range of motion in your hips and getting explosiveness in your legs."

View photos of new Strength and Conditioning Coach Brent Salazar from his days in Kansas City.

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen said Salazar has made a quick first impression before he detailed a particular area of the body that the coach is looking to strengthen.

"He's one of the best in the game that I've seen so far," said Griffen, who had 10.5 sacks in 2015. "We run before we lift, we work on our explosion, we work on using our hips, mobility, on glute activation, and all the key necessary pieces that you need to have a structured football player because it comes from the glutes, your trunk, so he brings all of that to the table.

"The better glutes you have, the more power, range, mobility you're going to have. Glutes are everything. You squeeze tight, you hold, you count, then squeeze again real tight," he added. "I'm telling you, glute activation, you watch all the good guys that can run, that can hit, they can drop their hips, they have good leverage and they can explode."

While the Vikings are focused on the daily task at hand, they know they work they put in now will hopefully pay off this fall during the season.

View photos of the Vikings' defense getting to work during phase one of the team's offseason program.

"You have a long year – it's a long season," said Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. "We try to make the playoffs each and every year and try to make that Super Bowl run, so I think [they make] the workouts a little faster and try to get you into the best shape as possible."

The Vikings are one of 32 NFL teams pushing their bodies in preparation for the 2016 season.

But Robison noted that while every team is working out, it's the ones who push themselves the furthest that will reap the rewards later this year.

"Everybody is probably doing their deal right now, it's just the teams who are going to work harder," Robison said. "I think that's where we're going to have the advantage." 

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