An underappreciated athletic skill is the ability to maintain control of your body when you're fatigued during a long play or late in a game. Keeping control prevents sloppy movement, helps preserve strength and speed, and prevent injuries.
That's why Rob Gronkowski and his brothers regularly perform battle rope exercises at the end of their workouts.
Swinging heavy ropes over and over again spikes your heart rate and provides a great metabolic conditioning effect. The result is improved work capacity, which means that your body can do more work in a given time.
In addition, swinging the ropes in different patterns challenges your entire body, with an emphasis on the core, shoulders, hips and grip. The swings quickly cause fatigue, and you're forced to fight through it while maintaining technique and body position.
The result: resistance to fatigue during explosive athletic movements. And as with any intense exercise, there's a mental toughness benefit.
In the video above, you can watch Glenn Gronkowski, fullback for the New England Patriots, perform four challenging exercises with Gronk Fitness Battle Ropes. These custom battle ropes have a durable sleeve covering the length of the rope and thick aluminum grips that can handle repeated slams.
Gronk Battle Rope Workout
Wrap the rope around something immovable, like a squat rack or an anchored pole. Walk backwards until there's a small amount of slack in the rope. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, resting only as needed. Repeat the circuit for 2-3 sets, resting for 1-2 minutes between sets.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a quarter squat, holding one end of the rope in each stand. Stand up and lift your arms in front to shoulder level. Immediately bend your hips and slam the ropes onto the ground as forcefully as possible. Stand up and repeat.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a quarter squat, holding one end of the rope in each stand. Keeping your core tight, swing your arms up and down in an alternating fashion to create waves in the rope. A larger arm swing makes larger waves, and a smaller arm swing creates tighter waves.
Rope Lateral Swing
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a quarter squat, holding one end of the rope in each hand. Keeping your core tight, swing the ropes from side to side.
Rope Wave Shuffle
How to: Use the exact same technique as Rope Waves while shuffling from side to side for 3-5 yards.