ISOLATION INSPIRED: Illinois football players get creative with training

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Illinois offensive lineman Alex Palczewski pulls a SUV to train during the pandemic. (Courtesy: Twitter/@palczewskialex

CHAMPAIGN – Lou Hernandez is facing quite a challenge right now, but at least he’s not alone.

The strength coach for Illinois’ football has to find a way to keep his players in shape without them having the benefit of team facilities or any others around campus or the country.

Pandemic has closed just about all of them, forcing players to stay inside their original homes since campus has been mostly shutdown since the COVID-19 breakout.

But Hernandez has to be proud of his group, because they’re finding “Isolation Inspired” ways to stay in shape for the 2020 season.

Over the past few weeks, a number of Illinois players have been posting their unique workout videos to Twitter. They range from just about anything you could imagine – and all of them were done within or around their homes or neighborhoods.

“It’s really exciting to see how much this matters to these guys,” said Hernandez on a recent conference call to reporters. “To find a way to continue to stay the course on everything we have set coming up for our season.”

From the looks of it, they certainly have, as a number of players continue to get creative in their workouts.

Offensive lineman Alex Palczewski was pulling a car behind him in his neighborhood.

Wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe completed some box jumps with the help of a garbage can.

Defensive back Kendall Smith used some backs of bottled water to aid this parking lot workout.

Linebacker Ryan Meed was bench pressing family members.

Quarterack Coran Taylor found a basketball goal in his neighborhood to lift.

All are getting creative in hopes of continuing what the Illini built in 2019, when the program broke through for their first bowl berth since 2014.

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