Most quarterbacks are gym rats when it comes to being in the weight room getting stronger, watching film, and on the field getting their reps throwing the football. The problem is that there is often times a discrepancy between the amount of time being put in to get better and how much improvement there actually is for the quarterback. The reason for this is that for most players, there is a lack of specificity in what they are doing to get better. This is especially true in the weight room. Today, we want to talk about 4 areas of the body that are often times forgotten to be trained by quarterbacks and why these areas are so important for proper QB performance on the field.
One of my favorite sayings by physical therapist Kelly Starrett is that “athletes need to work from trunk to sleeve.” What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that when athletes are working to improve their performance, they have to work from the torso to the extremities. You have heard us talk about all of these syndromes that quarterbacks can present with during their throwing motion. These include lateral leaning, trailing leg, snapping leg, over extension, and over striding. What would you say if I were to tell you that there’s one common denominator that plays a role in causing all of these syndromes? Well, there is! It’s a physical therapy term that we call “lower crossed syndrome” and it affects nearly 80% of the athletes we see. Today, we will do a DEEP dive into what this is, how it affects the throwing motion, and steps players can take to try and fix it.
Quarterbacks and quarterback coaches all over the country always hear the terms “arm slot”, “arm talent”, and release point all the time when it comes to throwing mechanics. What actually does matter in the upper body mechanics though for a QB? Does it really matter how the quarterback brings the ball back? Is there an ideal area on how far a QB should load the ball back in his motion? We will answer these questions and many more as we break down what actually matters for quarterbacks when it comes to upper body mechanics during the throwing motion!
The throwing motion is an extremely complex movement and often times doesn’t get trained as intricately as it should by most coaches. One ideology that we promote often is that the QB will only throw the ball as well as his body allows him to throw it. Just like other complex movements such as the squat or the deadlift, there are many joints of the body moving all at one time in synchrony to be able to perform a very specific task. When there are mobility, stability, or motor control issues, complex movements become compensated movements very quickly, which predisposes the athlete to decreased performance and increased injury risk. One of these areas that is often times a glaring problem for the QB throwing motion is a lack of hip internal rotation on the drive leg. When a quarterback lacks hip internal rotation on the drive leg, there is automatically a disconnect between the ability to generate power through the hips and translate that power to the trunk, and then up to the rest of the body. Today, we want to give you a literal step by step process that you can perform in order to increase the internal rotation range of motion!
One of the most common questions that we get asked on a consistent basis is “what is the best warm-up exercise to get the shoulder ready before throwing?” Whenever we hear this in a singular text, as if the shoulder was just one joint, we always want to educate that the shoulder girdle is one of the most complex joints in the body. It’s so complex that it is made up of four joints in which many of the muscles that surround the shoulder joint also attach to the shoulder blade (scapula). There’s actually 17 muscles that attach to the shoulder blade. Isn’t that amazing? Today, we want to give you a series of exercises that you can perform as part of your warm-up to get the shoulder girdle ready before you throw. This is a post that you don’t want to overlook!
We get some great questions from people when they ask about the throwing motion. “How do I throw the ball further?” “How can I improve my accuracy?” What is the most important area of the body for a QB to improve his throwing motion?” The more that I get these questions, the more I realize that coaches and players don’t understand the important relationship between all three of these questions. Today, I will go in depth about the importance of a super critical area of the body and how improving this area will AUTOMATICALLY clean up accuracy and increase power.