So we’ve worked on our feet, we’ve worked on our core. The last, final, most important is our arm. Our arm is the expression of what we are as a quarterback.     Today I am going to share some awesome quarterback conditioning drills and exercises to improve our arm strength and power for throwing.

Quarterback Conditioning: Arm Strength & Power

I’ve often wondered what’s a drill simply by throwing the ball that I can do to strengthen my arm. A lot of times, you see pitchers throw a lot of long ball, a lot of long toss. This is a drill somewhat derived from that concept.

Long Toss

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With feet square and no step, and incorporating the upper body and hips, start at 10 yards. Have the partner throw a medicine ball to the player. Every throw, have the partner move back five yards. Then you can move back 10 yards. So you keep working all the way back. Eventually, you get to the point where you can can’t throw it any further – for me, that’s about 50 or 55 yards. Once you get that point, start working your way back up, throwing every five yards.

After you’ve gone through, back all the way to 50, 55 yards, get on that line and have your partner go to 10. And now face perpendicular, and again with no step, throw the ball to your partner, and again work five yards back. Once you get to a distance you can’t throw it any further, have your partner come on back.

And then lastly, turn the other way. And this is the most difficult, because we’re working on that extension. And now do the same drill. Have your partner move back five yards every throw. And once you get to a point throwing that long ball that you can’t throw it any further, have your partner come back.

Now that drill puts a lot of stress, a lot of emphasis on that core and on that arm. Is that something I would do every day? No. Is that something to do twice a week?


And you’ll notice, the more you do it, the stronger that arm gets and you can move back three yards, five yards, four yards. You’ll see that progression and that build-up. You always want to see improvement. Improvement comes with work.

Arm Extension

So we’ve worked on our feet. We’ve worked on our core. We did an arm-lengthening drill. Now this is a very specific drill for those of you that are struggling getting that extension. This is about the best drill I’ve ever done that I could come up with to work on it.

Crossbar Drill

If I don’t have extension, and I’m shot putting that ball, there is no way for me to get that ball to skim right over the crossbar. What I want to do is get that nice high extension and just skim that crossbar.

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And the better you get at it, move up a little closer to the goalpost. When you move closer, the higher your release needs to be. You want to just clear that crossbar. And again, those of you that struggle with extension, you’ll find yourself not being able to get it up and over that crossbar.

You’ll hit it, you’ll push it, that’s not what we want here. We want extension.

There is no better drill that I’ve found to teach extension than this – skimming that crossbar.

Medicine Ball Toss

The last thing is something I used to do when I was in high school. I wasn’t the guy that could bench-press a lot of weight. I’m still not. I’m not a guy that has a lot of natural muscle, a lot of natural bulk. I had to work for everything I got.

A drill that I came up with when I was in high school – and I did in my back yard with my wall and the roof of my shed – is I would take a medicine ball that I could control and press and get the extension that we’re talking about.

Again, that extension when I throw that football. That extension that creates velocity. That extension that creates that throwing downhill instead of throwing uphill. That extension that creates a movement that I can do consistently over and over again.

So have a partner. Or have a wall. And throw the ball back and forth getting that extension and that tricep, shoulder strength and upper body power. After throwing a nice heavy medicine ball around, that little pigskin will be a piece of cake!

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All these things – our feet, our core, our arm, our shoulders – all these things will help you be a great quarterback.


For more great quarterback conditioning tips and techniques, be sure to check out my Football Drills & Practice Plans Video Series.   And don’t forget to “Like” Us on Facebook, where we share even more great quarterback conditioning information!