3 Gronk-Approved Core Exercises

Learn how the Gronkowski brothers increase their core strength with med balls.

Dating back to when they were young and developing athletes, Rob Gronkowski and his brothers have had great success with med ball training. It helped all of them become more powerful and explosive athletes.

That's because of the versatility of this great piece of equipment. You can throw them, slam them or just hold them, performing a variety of exercises, some of which aren't possible with other types of equipment.

With a med ball, it's possible to load fundamental movements used in common sports skills, such as throwing, swinging a bat or even sprinting. You don't lift nearly as much weight as you would with common strength exercises, but each rep is performed explosively.

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A med ball is one of the best tools for taking the strength you develop in the weight room and transferring it to explosive power that can be used on the field.

Med balls are also great tools for developing strength, especially core strength, and for improving conditioning.

Below are three of the Gronkowski brothers' favorite med ball exercises, which they perform using the XD Kevlar Med Ball. This ball is designed to withstand repeated slams and throws while retaining a moderate bounce so you can catch it off the ground or wall.

Med Ball Slams

Med Ball Slam

Slams are one of the easiest med ball exercises to perform. You simply bring the med ball overhead and slam it on the ground, which teaches your body to produce explosive power.

Setup: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and hold a med ball with both hands at your chest.

Action: Bring the med ball overhead. Simultaneously bend your hips and knees, and slam the med ball on the ground as forcefully as possible. Catch the med ball off the bounce and repeat.

Coaching Points:

  • Keep your back flat and core tight.
  • Drive your hips back as you slam the ball. Don't lean over.
  • Be careful of the ball off the bounce.

Sets/Reps: 3x5-10

Med Ball Sit-Up Throw

Med Ball Sit-Up Throw

This is a great way to strengthen your abs and improve your core stability, because you're forced to brace when you throw the med ball and catch it off the wall.

Setup: Lie on the ground with your feet touching a wall and your knees bent. Hold a med ball overhead.

Action: Forcefully contract your abs to sit up. As you sit up, bring the med ball in front of your chest and throw it at the wall. Catch it off the bounce and lower to the starting position.

Coaching Points:

  • Keep your core tight throughout the movement.
  • Avoid overly flexing your spine by keeping your back straight; do not curl up to perform the sit-up portion of the rep.
  • Control each portion of the rep.

Sets/Reps: 3x10-15

Partner Med Ball Squat and Throw

Partner Med Ball Squat and Throw

This is a great full-body move that improves conditioning and muscular endurance.

Setup: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart facing a partner about 10 feet away. Hold a med ball at your chest.

Action: Lower into a quarter Squat. Drive up out of the Squat and explosively throw the ball to your partner. Your partner catches the med ball, lowers into a quarter Squat and throws it back to you. Catch it and repeat.

Coaching Points:

  • Catch the med ball as softly as possible.
  • Keep your core tight and back flat.
  • Drive the med ball equally with both arms

Sets/Duration: 3-5x30 seconds

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CORE | MEDICINE BALL EXERCISES | MED BALL | ROB GRONKOWSKI