Muscles used in throwing the ball: The lower body is more important than the upper body

There is a myth in football training, especially among younger athletes, about where the power comes from when throwing a ball. Many mistakenly believe that the muscles of the upper body, those of the shoulders and the arm, are the primary muscles used to execute a deep, powerful and precise throw. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as the most powerful NFL and college football quarterbacks use their lower bodies to get stronger when throwing.

The first muscle group young players need to be aware of is theirs thigh muscles. These include the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors, among many others. The calves should also not be ignored, but the upper thigh muscles are the most important. These muscles are used to plant the foot in the ground and establish a solid footing for the launch. Force is typically put into the ground to generate a throw, and the leg muscles are what put that force into the ground to begin with. Without strong leg muscles, that strength cannot be generated.

Once the front foot is planted, the next muscle group involved is the flanks. The glutes, mainly the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, are used to generate the twisting motion that creates the force to throw the ball. The hips are the densest muscular area of ​​the body and can generate enormous amounts of force, as can easily be seen with world-class sprinters who have extremely developed hip muscles. Football quarterbacks also need this development to make a long and powerful pitch.

The last area of ​​the musculature that young footballers need to consider is the abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles are made up mainly of the rectus abdominis, which is located in the front of the body; the obliques, which are located on the sides of the torso; and the transversus of the abdomen, which cross the torso diagonally. These muscles are not used to generate force but to transfer it, and transfer it mostly diagonally. This can be seen when a quarterback puts his left foot forward before throwing with his right hand. The legs and hips generate force, which is transferred through the abdomen and into the chest, shoulder and arm.

It is the abs that complete the chain from the lower to the upper body and create a powerful ball throw. Unfortunately, many football strength and conditioning programs spend too much time focusing on the chest and triceps, in particular. While these muscles are important during throwing, they are primarily used for stability and accuracy rather than power and speed. An accurate, stable and slow launch is more likely to be intercepted than a powerful, accurate, stable and fast one.

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