If you’ve ever known someone who played football, you know how intense the off-season workouts and pre-season training can be. Players need to be strong, tough and powerful.
At quarterback, we find some of the finest athletes on the field, relying on a special brand of quickness, endurance and more. Here are some ways to train for QB skills like an NFL pro.
Foot Speed in the Pocket:
There are a number of different techniques used by QBs to move in the pocket – to be able to scurry to a smart position in the few seconds before you pass the ball, with a field full of defenders focused on getting to you, you need agility. That means quickness, balance and coordination moving in all directions, including backwards. Agility ladder drills are a classic choice. And strong calves and ankles are a must:
- Resistance band ankle work. Sit on the floor your legs out in front of you holding a medium weight resistance band, one end in each hand. Wrap the band around the bottom of one foot, and pull in on the band to take up any slack. Perform 10 – 15 reps of the following three movements, alternating feet after each exercise.
1. Flex and point—pull your toes back toward you (flexing your foot) then push them away (pointing your foot). 2. Circles—draw circles with your toes keeping your heel on the floor, to the inside, then the outside. 3. Tick/tock—Rotate your ankle to push your foot to the inside, then the away to the outside, back and forth to equal one rep.
Strong Throws, Good Grip:
The upper body is of special concern to the QB. To avoid risking injury or strain to the rotator cuff, most upper body workouts for quarterbacks will involve dumbbells, versus barbells, or body weight exercises. Also critical for throwing control is grip strength. Squeezing a rubber ball is a good start, and this chin up variation will work wonders.
- Chin-up and hold. Extend your arms up and grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing you and hands a bit closer than shoulder width. Inhale. Keeping your spine long, exhale as you pull up your torso until your head aligns with the bar – keep your elbows close to your body and focus on using your biceps. At the top of the movement, hold for one breath in and out. Inhale and lower your body to the starting position. Start with one rep and work your way up from there.
Rotation at the Core:
There’s an extra benefit for developing core strength that supports rotation through the mid-section when you’re a QB. Turning sideways to throw across the body is aided by strong oblique muscles and deep abs that support the spine. Rotational strength aids throwing velocity and core stability helps protect your shoulders from wear and tear.
- Rotational Medicine Ball Throws. Position yourself about five yards away from a wall on your left. With feet shoulder-width apart, stand with knees slightly bent and abdominals engaged. Hold a medicine ball to your right side with both hands, then turn to throw the ball against the wall, hard, at waist level. When the medicine ball returns to you, repeat up to 10 times. Then switch direction and throw to your right from the left side of your body. Alternate sides for 3 – 5 sets.
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