Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to be in good shape this year and the concerns about the knee he had cleaned up during the mandatory mini camp have been put to rest after the first two training camp practices.
Roethlisberger has said a few times over the course of the offseason that he started his conditioning for the 2013 season earlier than he ever has before and according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that conditioning included taking up kayaking.
“I emphasized upper body strength, making sure my shoulder was strong,” Roethlisberger told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The doctor (orthopedist Jim Bradley) was looking at my shoulder the other day and saying, ‘Ben, you\’re stronger than I\’ve seen probably since you\’ve been here. You look good,\’” Roethlisberger said. “That was important to me because I wanted to make sure that I didn\’t have those issues. I want to be able to play at a high level all year and help this team.”
While I have only been kayaking and canoeing just a few times in my life, I do remember how sore I was in the arms and shoulders the next day, as it really is a workout for the upper body. Being as Roethlisberger has had rotator cuff and shoulder injuries in the past, perhaps him paddling around during the offseason will help strengthen those parts of his body.
More and more NFL players are turning to other sports these days to condition themselves better during the offseason as we have seen several videos of them boxing, biking and even MMA fighting. I guess we can now add kayaking to the list.
As it has been pointed out several times during this past offseason, Roethlisberger will more than likely receive a contract extension following the 2013 season, so staying healthy for a full season will certainly help his cause come negotiating time. He has said and done all the right things up until this point of the season and is primed for perhaps the best year of his career in 2013 if he can stay off the ground and out of trainers room. It looks like he is doing everything in his power to ensure that happens.