4 exercises to build quarterback arm strength

By Peter Macias | Posted 3/2/2018

In football, everything starts with the quarterback.

The play call. The snap. The handoffs and throws. Quarterbacks are the face of the team and are expected to lead it.

Being a football player is hard work, and being a leader is even harder. When you're the player who touches the ball on every play, preparation each week is crucial to success. Watching film and studying the playbook are among a QB’s tools. Fitness and strength also play a large part.

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Quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes. Some are 6-foot-4 with strong arms who can stand tall in the pocket. Others have shorter, slimmer frames, but move quickly in and around defenders.

No matter what a QB’s size or style, though, there are some basic exercise routines to attain and maintain peak physical condition.

Here are four quarterback-specific strength training exercises to add to any workout program:

1. Single-arm dumbbell press

One-arm dumbbell press

Photo via WeightTrainingExercises4You.com

Three sets of 15 for each arm. Helps keep the body balanced and engages the core.

2. Single-arm dumbbell row

One-arm rows

Photo via Yes4All.com

Three sets of 15 for each arm. A pulling motion to build strength and equal out all of the pushing a QB’s throwing arm experiences.

3. Lunge rotational twist

Lunge rotation twist

Photo via IronEdge.com.au

Two sets of eight for each leg. The legs are the foundation of a thrower’s strength. Build the legs, shoulders and torso to improve arm power.

4. Shoulder rotation

Shoulder rotation exercise

Photo via Felxcin.com

Two sets of 15 for each arm. Throwing the football puts torque on the shoulder. Quarterbacks must keep the strength up to help avoid injury.

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Customize each workout to fit your needs. The focus should be on quality, not quantity. Talk to a coach or strength trainer about proper form to translate to better results on the field. 

Peter Macias is a youth football coach who writes about technology and sports. He's also a former member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers special events and gameday operations staff and a member of the NFL Alumni Association.

This is an updated version of a blog that originally published March 30, 2016.