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IMPACT Corner Questions March 2012 – Todd Durkin

Thanks for your questions on our Facebook LIKE Pages ( and on our Twitter feed ( this past week.  I always enjoy hearing from you and connecting via our Social Media outlets.


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What are the top 3 exercises for my young son who plays quarterback? –Jerome Taylor

Answered by Todd Durkin.

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Quarterbacks need to be strong and have great feet. Therefore, if I could only choose 3 exercises for your son, they would be:

  1. Jumping Rope                         3 sets x 2 minutes
  2. Plank to Pushups                    1 set x 10 each side
  3. Walking Flex-T Lunges           3 sets x 20 total reps (with 2 lbs in hands holding Flex-T position)

Jumping rope is self-explanatory.  Have fun.

Plank to pushups.  Start in a hover plank, facedown position where the toes are on the ground and the forearms are on the ground.  Everything else is in a straight line from heels to neck. Lift your belly off the ground and hold.  Lift and extend one elbow off the ground and then the other to end up in pushup position.  Return to starting position.  Repeat 10 times, rest 20 seconds, and then repeat on other side.

Walking Flex-T Lunges.  Hold light 2-3 lbs dumbbells in hands and then lift your hands up above your shoulders and bend your elbows to 90 degrees.  Maintain that position.  Now take a step forward with one leg and the back knee comes close to the ground.  That is one rep.  Complete 20 reps.

What are the keys to a great bench press test at the Combine (225 lbs max reps)?

Courtesy of Coach Ryan Burgess, Director of NFL Combine

When you’re training the bench, you need to focus on absolute strength, power, and endurance; even though it’s a rep test, you can still benefit from getting stronger.  Focusing on full range of motion back exercises (pull-ups, row variations) and triceps exercises such as dips will also help bring your bench up. As for when your benching, some “cues” we use with our guys are:  set your feet, squeeze the bar & “pull” it apart, take a big breath before you go, and focus on driving yourself away from the bar (gives you better leverage).

Note:  Our guy Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma LB/DE crushed 36 at the Combine, best for a LB in the last 5 years.

What are the top ways to increase my vertical jump?

Courtesy of Coach Jeff King, CSCS

First and foremost you need to focus on getting strong in the traditional lifts, such as squat and deadlift variations.  When it comes to your actual jump training, focus on quality reps vs. quantity; you’re trying to perfectly execute a movement, not get yourself tired, so remember that in training.  Finally, an often overlooked aspect of improving a vertical jump is improving core stability, because this will improve your body’s transfer of energy.  Planks, side planks, and pallof presses are all great exercises to accomplish this goal.


What is the greatest emphasis when discussing character with your athletes?

(Answered by Todd Durkin)

Well, depending on the age of the athlete, this could be a few different things, but one thing that transcends all athletes, regardless of age, are CHOICES.  You have choices every day that dictate your success. Who you hang out with? Are you doing well in school? Are you training as hard as you can? Are you eating the right foods? Are you eliminating distractions? Are you “hungry” to get to the next level? Are you staying away from things and people that YOU know will bring you down? Are you putting yourself in an environment to win and succeed? These are all CHOICES we have every day.  Together, they help determine your ultimate success.

CLICK HERE to check out last months IMPACT Question corner

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