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Texans start offseason workouts


On Monday, the Texans began their non-mandatory offseason conditioning program, which runs through May 15.

The program this year was designed by new head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright to focus on isolating muscles groups and preventing injury.

"I think it's going to be very challenging," wide receiver André Davis said "Ray has a lot of great ideas that will really help us stay healthy. I think that's the biggest thing – not just gaining strength but remaining healthy throughout the whole season.

"I think he is going to switch it up this year with muscle memory type routines. You get so used to doing a certain routine that your muscles get used to that. When you switch it up a bit, it gets other muscles in your body that you haven't worked out or smaller muscles that you don't usually work – he works on those so you don't have the nicks and bruises or they will heal faster because the whole body is working better together as a whole."

{QUOTE}To emphasize muscle isolation, Wright has redesigned the weight room, removing a handful of weight machines and adding free weight stations.

"From walking in there, the weight room is completely different," wide receiver Kevin Walter said. "There's not as many machines as there used to be. The warm up is a little different."

Wright also has added optional yoga and Jiu Jitsu classes to increase the players' flexibility.

"I'm excited about that," left tackle Duane Brown said. "I know it's going to help me out a lot with my flexibility. I tried to do it in college a couple of times, but I just couldn't get it. But maybe with the setting being a little different and me being with my teammates, I will feel a little more comfortable doing it."

Brown spent the offseason slimming down to improve his mobility in the team's zone blocking scheme and said he could feel the effects of the new program upon leaving the weight room.

"It's a bit different from what we had last year," Brown said. "It was pretty effective after the first workout because I am already feeling it."

Walter has planned to combat any soreness this offseason by spending time in his hyperbaric chamber, a pressurized chamber that pumps out air with increased oxygen levels.

"You've got to do everything to put yourself in the best position to be successful, and I think that (hyperbaric chamber) does," Walter said.

"You go in there and you breathe this fresh oxygen and it supersaturates your muscles. It helps flush out the toxins in your body. It feels great."

Last season, Walter averaged about three hours a week in the chamber and had the best season of his career, recording 60 catches for 899 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He believes the chamber helped him stay fresh and stay healthy, but he also thinks that Wright's new workout will help the team in both areas.

"We have to be injury free," Walter said. "We had guys who got injured last year that needed to help us win. What I think Ray is doing in the weight room, especially the warm ups we do, I think that's going to prevent injuries, and that will help us."

The Texans' offseason programs end the week before the organized team activities (OTAs) are scheduled (May 18-21, May 26-28, June 1-4 and June 9-11). The mandatory mini-camp will be held on June 15-17.

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