Whether you're an aspiring big-time QB or just a rec-league weekend warrior, pumping up your arm strength is a great way to start improving your throws. But you’ll need to do more than just bicep curls if you want to become the next Aaron Rodgers. To add some yardage to your throws, stop focusing on your biceps and start focusing on an often overlooked muscle group: the rotator cuff.

“When you're talking about arm speed and you're trying to maximize strength in the arm, a lot starts with the rotator cuff,” says Ken Mastrole, of the Mastrole Quarterback Academy and XPE Sports Academy, who has worked with first-round NFL Draft picks Teddy Bridgewater and E.J. Manuel. “The rotator cuff and the four-muscle group of that area of the shoulder are key. There's a lot of undeveloped areas in the shoulder that can help quarterbacks improve arm strength.”

Add some of these moves to your routine, and you'll notice improvement in throwing distance, arm strength, and accuracy.

Exercise 1

3 sets x 10-12 reps
Rest 15-20 seconds between sets

How to do it: Start standing up, knees slightly bent, arms hanging at your side. Put your hands in one of the three palms angles (see below). Raise your hands until you get to your chin, then extend your arms outwards away from your body, straighten them, and bring your arms back down to starting position. This exercise will help loosen up your shoulders and the muscles in your upper back.

For Set 1: Use an "inward" palm angle. Turn palms facing towards your body, fingers on each hand pointed at each other.

For Set 2: Bring palms together. Turn the palms towards each other and keep your hands together in a prayer-type position.

For Set 3: Use outward palm angle. Turn palms facing away from your body, fingers on each hand pointed at each other. Bring your hands as close to your chin as you can, then extend arms straight out to your sides, and bring down to starting position.

Exercise 2

3 sets x 12 reps
Rest 15-20 seconds between sets

How to do it: Stand with your legs straight, then bend over forwards towards the ground, keeping your chest parallel to the floor. Start with your arms hanging naturally, keep your head and neck in line with your body, and then put your hands in one of the three palm angles (below). Bring your hands up to your chin, then extend your arms outwards away from your body and parallel to the floor, straighten them, and bring your arms back down to starting position. Make sure to keep your back flat—this will help work the muscles in your rotator cuff.

Set 1: Use inward palm angle
Set 2: Palms together
Set 3: Outward palm angle

Exercise 3

4 sets x 8-10 reps
Rest 20 seconds between sets

What you need: Medicine ball (1–2 lbs) and a partner.

How to do it: Lay down on a bench on your left side. Place your left elbow on the bench and put your left arm in a 90-degree position, and lean your head on that hand. Have your partner stand facing you, and flip the ball towards you. Catch the ball with your right hand above your body, and let the momentum of the ball push your arm back slightly. Once you start to feel the stretch in your arm, push back forward and toss the ball back to your partner. Switch sides with each set. This will work out your tricep and loosen up your rotator cuff on each side of your body.

Exercise 4

2 sets x 12-15 reps
15 seconds rest between sets

What you need: 2-lb dumbbell (can go up to 5 lbs, depending on comfort level).

How to do it: Stand up straight, arms at your side. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand, and place on the left inside part of your thigh. Raise the dumbbell up and across your body, keeping your elbow straight, and finish the rep over your right shoulder. Keep your arms straight throughout the rep. Repeat for 12-15 reps, then switch hands. This will help work your shoulder muscles.

Exercise 5

2 sets x 12-15 reps internal rotation
2 sets x 12-15 reps external rotation
15 seconds rest between sets

What you need: 2-lb dumbbell (can go up to 5 lbs depending on comfort level) and a bench.

How to do it:

For Internal Rotation: Lay on your right side on a bench with your knees slightly bent. Bend your right elbow to form a right angle, and hold the weight up against your body, so your forearm is vertical. Keeping your elbow on the bench, lower your arm away from your body until your forearm is parallel to the floor. Slowly raise it to the starting position and repeat for 12-15 reps. Change body sides and repeat with the opposite arm.

For External Rotation: Lay on the left side of your body, with your left elbow on the bench, supporting your head with your left hand. Keep your right arm bent at the elbow, and hold the dumbbell in front of your stomach on the bench. Raise the weight, keeping your right elbow at 90 degrees, until your forearm is parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the weight back into the starting position. Change sides and repeat with the opposite arm.

These will help work your help with your range of motion and shoulder support.