Isometric Band Training for a Quarterback's Arm Strength

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The quarterback position in football requires a unique blend of physical attributes. No matter what style of quarterback you are, you need to have some measure of arm strength that is suitable for completing forward passes. Counter-intuitively, it isn’t a matter of raw strength; a quarterback’s arm strength needs to be functional, and overdeveloped muscles in the arm and shoulder often inhibit the player’s throwing mechanics. Rather than focus on a strict free-weight workout, equipment such as isometric bands can develop the functional strength a quarterback needs.

Muscles in Focus

  • The throwing motion for a quarterback uses a host of muscles throughout the body, from the legs and back to the shoulders and arms. For arm strength in particular, there are three important muscle groups that training should focus on: the biceps, triceps, wrists, forearms, deltoids and trapezius muscles. While the deltoids and trapezius muscles aren’t strictly a part of the arm’s musculature, they directly contribute to how much force a quarterback can place on the ball for all types of throws. You can hit all these muscles with isometric band training.

Demands of the Quarterback

  • While there are numerous styles of offense that a particular quarterback may need to operate within, most styles feature some variation on the short, medium and deep passes that typify the position. This variance demands accuracy rather than force, so improving muscular endurance rather than volume is ideal -- you can do this by adopting isometric training. The endurance you'll build is important because a quarterback isn’t just making one or two throws; even in run-based offenses, the quarterback is likely to pass at least 20 times per game, not including laterals and pitches.

Get the Bands Together

  • Instead of classic weight training, resistance training with bands can improve strength along the path of the throwing motion without actually engaging in it. With a single resistance band, a player can isometrically develop the throwing arm by attaching the band to a fixed point, say a hook in the wall or a chain link fence, keep the arm locked into one position – three-fourths over the shoulder, bent at the elbow – while taking steps forward and backward. This places resistance on several target muscles, especially when the player performs a set of 10 stretches for each major arm position in the throwing motion.

Resistance Is Not Futile

  • A good workout with resistance bands shouldn’t be limited to isometric exercise. The resistance band allows a quarterback to provide resistance throughout the throwing motion. Static isometric exercises are helpful but ultimately one-dimensional. To develop true functional arm strength, use the resistance band, attached it to a fixed object behind you at shoulder level and perform several sets of 20 practice throws, going through your entire motion.

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References

  • Complete Conditioning for Football; Pat Ivey, Josh Stoner
  • The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Football; Rob Price
  • Strength Training Anatomy; Frédéric Delavier
  • Photo Credit Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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