Ben Roethlisberger places a lot of emphasis on his workout routine, specifically when it comes to his core training. The 6’5″, 240 pound quarterback has the work ethic and natural arm strength that makes him one of the more dominant players in the NFL.
During his training, he focuses a lot on his core. “It’s important to get your core strong because you do so much twisting and rotating when you’re throwing,” says Big Ben. He has worked on his midsection since his high school days in Findlay, Ohio. Now that he has made the transition into the NFL as one of the premier QB’s, he works with Steelers assistant strength and conditioning coach Marcel Pastoor up to three times a week, concentrating on core work. Within these sessions, he trains his abdominals, obliques, hip flexors, and lower back. A huge amount of power and explosion is generated from the core area. In order to have real throwing power, quarterbacks need to have a strong core. In addition, a strong core helps prevent many injuries.
While he isn’t the fastest guy on the field, running a 40 yard dash in about 4.8 seconds, Roethlisberger states that his core strength is what makes him so effective in this regard. “Anytime you throw on the run, you’re using your hips, abs, and back. You can use the torque and twist of your body to help give you a couple extra yards. Having a strong core definitely helps me get more velocity on my ball.”
As you can see with his workout routine provided by Sports Illustrated, Roethlisberger does all different types of core movements. It’s important to incoporate a range of motions because it will hit all the different ab and oblique muscles. If you just do the same core exercises over and over again then that can lead to muscular adaptation and you won’t really see better gains. Roethlisberger does a good job at bringing variety to his workouts.
MEDICINE BALL SIT-UPS-2 Sets x 10 Reps
“It’s tough, but it’s good to do because it strengthens all around your stomach,” says Roethlisberger. However, “You don’t want to do it too close to games if your ribs are hurting.”
ROTARY TORSO TWISTS 1 set x 10 to 12 rotations in each direction
“Most guys do crunches and only get their stomachs. It’s important to have all of it, but for me it’s more important to have strong obliques [the sides of the abdomen] than to have a strong stomach.”
SWISS BALL HYPEREXTENSIONS– 2 sets x 12 to 15 reps
“My lower back always got sore easily. This has helped,” he says. “It gives me a stronger twist when avoiding tackles. It really helps me get away from those guys.”
MEDICINE BALL TOSS 2 Sets x 10 tosses of a 12- to 16-pound medicine ball
However, training isn’t everything. He also has a lot of raw natural talent to go along with his work ethic. He has some of the best reaction time in the NFL that allows him to get off the pass before the defender can lay the boom on him. Just check out the Sports Science video below. Roethlisberger’s ability to recognize defensive schemes, evade defenders, and throw passes on the run in a split second has made him one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.