You may think the core consists only of six-pack abs, but it actually includes all of the muscles between the upper thighs and chest. The core thus provides an incredible reservoir of power for executing sports skills, like throwing a ball or shooting a puck. Athletes must strengthen their entire core through movements that simulate game-time situations.
Under the guidance of Travelle Gaines, director of elite athlete development for Athletes' Performance, Da'Quan Bowers, a top prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, builds his core rotational strength with Kneeling Med Ball Woodchoppers. Kneeling on one knee limits contributions from the legs, forcing the core to provide most of the strength and power.
Although many different muscle groups fire during the movement, the exercise mainly hits core rotators like the obliques, which are vital in helping Bowers rip by his offensive line opponents.
Watch the video above to see Bowers performing Kneeling Med Ball Woodchoppers
- Kneel on right knee with body parallel to wall five feet away on right side
- Hold med ball above left shoulder with arms extended
- Explosively rotate core and throw med ball down and across body, bouncing it in front of, then off, wall
- Catch med ball, assume starting position and immediately repeat
- Repeat for specified reps; perform set on opposite side
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