Exercise of the Week: Patrick Willis's Core Workout

January 30, 2013

The STACK Exercise of the Week will help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight Patrick Willis’ core workout, which he uses to increase overall core and ab strength.

Who’s Doing It

  • Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers LB

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases core strength, specifically in the abs and obliques

Sports Performance Benefits

Patrick Willis is one of the most powerful linebackers in the NFL, thanks largely to his elite core strength, developed through workouts like this one. Because it hits your core from multiple directions and activates your abs and obliques, the workout helps you transfer force from your lower body to your upper body, allowing you to deliver powerful tackles and stay balanced when grappling with opponents.

Patrick Willis's Core Workout How To

Weighted Sit-Up

  • Assume position on decline bench, holding plate tight to chest
  • Perform set of Sit-Ups in controlled fashion

Sets/Reps: 2x15-20

Weighted Sit-Up With Twist Combo

  • Assume position on decline bench, holding plate tight to chest
  • Perform set of Sit-Ups in controlled fashion
  • Immediately perform set of Sit-Ups With Twist, holding plate in front of chest
  • At top of movement, rotate left for one count, then right for one count
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x20+10

Leg Raise

  • Lie with back on ground or bench with legs straight
  • Raise legs until perpendicular to floor
  • Return to start position; repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x15-20

Hanging Leg Raise

  • Hang from bar with grip slightly wider than shoulder-width
  • Hinge at hips and lift knees up to chest
  • Slowly lower to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2x15-20

Coaching Points

  • Avoid using momentum to initiate movement
  • Keep core tight throughout movement
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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