Balance Training With Philip Rivers
San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be missing his main receiver targets, but Denver defenders still had big bulls-eyes on their backs last night. Rivers fired strikes all over the field, and the Chargers broke the Broncos with relative ease, 35-14, in Monday Night Football action.
The game did not feature one of Rivers' typical 300-plus-yards passing performances (he owns five of those this season). In fact, it was his lowest single-game passing total of the season. Nonetheless, # 17 was madly efficient, completing 15 of 24 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns, marking the first time in his seven-year career that he's thrown for four TDs in back-to-back games (fun fact: Drew Brees was the last Charger to accomplish that feat, back in 2004. Check out Brees' off-season training vids on STACK.com).
In the MNF booth, analyst Jon Gruden gushed about Rivers' wide-base throwing stance, quick release and marksmanship accuracy. Sure, the Chargers offensive line allowed him plenty of time in the pocket. But Rivers made plays happen, despite a depleted supporting cast, which is missing his go-to target, All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates (learn how Gates improves upper-body and core strength).
What was most impressive about Rivers' dynamic performance was his ability to put the ball on the mark, regardless of whether he was off balance and scrambling in the pocket, or throwing off one leg while rolling out of it. It all starts with a training program that centers on improving balance and core stability, performance aspects that Rivers takes to task at his off-season workout home, D1 Sports Training in Huntsville, Ala.
Get to work with the BOSU Squat With Med Ball, which helps an athlete's balance in the lower legs and quads. From there, perform Single-Leg Throws on an Airex Pad, a great exercise for strengthening the ankle, knee and hip joints.
You don't have to be a QB—or even a football player—to benefit from this sequence. To make the drills more specific to your sport, use a basketball, baseball or tennis ball in place of the football for the Single-Leg Throws.