Whilst the trend of modern quarterbacks is to be mobile and able to keep plays alive with their athleticism and footwork, the fundamentals of throwing the ball remain the same to NFL quarterbacks, they have to be able to do it with power and arm strength is integral to that.
It’s something that comes more naturally to classic quarterbacks, who are tall and able to put their entire upper-body into a throwing motion, however to quarterbacks of a more varied build, for example Kyler Murray, they have to put in more work in the gym.
Arm strength isn’t the only aspect which influences throwing power, but it is perhaps the most organic in terms of being able to work on it.
What exercises help improve arm strength?
Adding strength to your bicep and shoulder muscles will add yards to your passes, that is obvious, but there are some exercises which help both of those regions, as well as some of the more overlooked areas.
Whilst known mostly for being an injury to basketball players and MLB pitchers, the rotator cuff is actually hugely important to quarterbacks and their throwing motion.
There are a number of exercises which help assist these areas:
Single-Arm Dumbbell Press
You have to lie flat on the bench with a dumbbell in one hand, slowly lower the weight down to your chest and then lift it back up.
You need to keep your back tight by pinching your shoulder blades together in order to maximise the distance between your shoulder and ear.
You will then feel a strain on the side opposite the working arm, as well as your core, and you are then well on your way to building arm strength.
Lunge Rotational Twist
You start by moving into the classic lunge position, with your forward pointing shin being perpendicular to the floor, whilst your backward facing shin should be parallel to the floor.
Whilst in this position, pick up two light dumbbells and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, slowly rotate your body by 90 degrees to the left and then the same amount to the right.
This exercise improves throwing motion mechanics by strengthening the legs in a split-stance posture, which assists shoulder stability.