The Workout Routine That Made the Knicks Julius Randle a Star

New York Knicks big man Julius Randle has always been a talented player. He was a high-level recruit in high school and an elite player in college, ultimately making him a top-10 pick. But it takes more than talent to be an NBA star. That’s why Randle adopted a vigorous workout routine during the offseason that helped to turn him into the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2021 and a three-time all-star. 

Randle’s offseason workouts are undoubtedly grueling, but they’re not just for NBA players. Anybody can follow the bulk of what Randle does, they just have to be willing. There is no secret to Randle’s workout routine other than committing to do it every day. Let’s learn a little more about the workout routine that helped turn Randle into a bonafide star in the NBA.

For a 12-week period, Randle trained five times a week to completely change his body in one offseason. His trainer wanted to focus on three different areas: cardio, agility, and mobility. Due to his past injuries, including a hip-pointer and a broken leg, Randle made sure he stretched for at least 15 to 20 minutes to make sure his body was ready. He then ran a mile on a treadmill, usually in his bare feet. When he started the routine, Randle was running an eight-minute mile. 

But by the end of the summer, he had cut that time down to five and a half minutes.

Once his mile on the treadmill was completed, Randle did both a thigh stretch and a calf stretch with a foam roller to make sure his legs were loose and strong. This was followed by a glute stretch called a supine bridge. Randle completed two sets of this exercise, 12 reps per set.

The next step of the routine involved an exercise ball and a prone-over-stability stretch using opposite arm and leg movements. After two sets of 12, Randle moved onto a rotary torso stretch by bending over an exercise ball. He did one set for each side, eight reps each. 

Randle then moved back to leg exercises. First, there was a closed chain ankle dorsiflexion, 10 reps per foot. Then came a cross-legged stretch with Randle doing sit-ups with his legs crossed and arms back. Next came a kneeling hip flexor stretch with two sets of 10 reps on each side. The final stretch of the routine was two sets of an anterior chain stretch.

Once all of that was over, Randle would run another mile on the treadmill. Of course, that was just the morning workout. Afterward, Randle would finally step foot on a basketball court for two hours of basketball drills. But even that wasn’t the end of it. In the evening, Randle would take between 1,000 and 1,500 jump shots to help keep that part of his game shot.

The results of Randle’s vigorous workout routine speak for themselves. By the end of his first offseason following this routine, he had lost an estimated 20 pounds and had lowered his body fat from around 14% to just shy of 5%. Randle’s already impressive physique was transformed in one offseason, making him one of the strongest players pound-for-pound in the NBA.

When Tom Thibodeau became head coach of the Knicks in 2020, he was immediately impressed with Randle’s work ethic and offseason conditioning. With help from Thibodeau and his offseason routine, Randle took home the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award and became an all-star for the first time during the 2020-21 season.

Equally important, Randle’s performance with his new body has helped turn the Knicks into an Eastern Conference powerhouse. Despite a shoulder injury that ended Randle’s 2023-24 season early, he helped New York secure the no. 2 seed in the playoffs. While the Knicks have been able to survive without Randle, his absence has been felt.

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As for Randle, there should be little question that he should be able to bounce back from the injury that ended his 2023-24 season early. Given the shape his body was in before the injury because of his offseason routine combined with his work ethic, Randle is in a good position to get his career back on track quickly. That’s the power of a great exercise routine that anyone can replicate, as long as they’re willing.

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