How to Throw a Football for Distance

Man Throwing a Football
Increasing arm strength will help you throw the ball farther. (Image: Todd Arena/Hemera/Getty Images)

Throwing the ball is one of the most fundamental skills in football. Quarterbacks like to throw the ball farther so they can stretch the defense and complete long passes, which can help create a variety of options for the offense. To throw the football farther, quarterbacks must work to increase their arm strength. This can be accomplished using a variety of sport-specific and strength-building techniques.

Step 1

Lift weights to strengthen the entire body, including the arms and shoulders. San Francisco City College strength coach John Balano advises quarterbacks to focus on strengthening the core, or abdominals, and the shoulder area.

Step 2

Throw the ball as often as you can without pain and perform long toss where you gradually move back and throw the ball as far as you can. According to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, throwing is the best way to increase arm strength.

Step 3

Use your legs as part of the throwing motion. Getting your legs involved gives you more power and, in turn, more distance and velocity on your throws. Instead of simply stepping and throwing, quarterbacks can take a skip or hop into their throw, which allows for more momentum and power. This is done by simply bringing the feet together at the end of the drop and hopping forward with the nonthrowing foot first as you release the ball.

Step 4

Move the ball down to a lower throwing position and then work the ball back up as you release it. The proper release point for the football is high and near the ear, but by bringing the ball down or starting lower, you can build momentum and get extra yardage on your passes.

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