5 Javelin Throw Tips

Young athlete posing with javelin
A young woman is holding a javelin. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The javelin throw can be extremely strenuous and tough. At first glance, it may simply seem as if you are throwing a long rod; in reality, a lot of athletic ability and strategy go into throwing the javelin. But there are ways to improve your javelin throwing. Here are a few tips.

Relax Your Arm

When sprinters reach the second half of the 100-meter dash, they relax their bodies, which allows them to move faster. The same principle applies to javelin throwing. As you throw, relax your throwing arm. This will help you move it more smoothly and faster. Relaxing your arm can add 0.5m to 1.5m to your throws.

Practice Standing Still

The most important thing you can do to improve your javelin throwing is to practice while standing still. In a meet, javelin throwers take a running start before they throw. But if you practice while standing still, you can increase your arm strengthen and improve your technique. Practice standing still every time you practice for about 10 to 15 minutes and your distances will increase dramatically.

Watch the Weights

Javelin throwing is not based on force--like the shot put. Instead, it is a velocity-based sport. The most important things are moving your arm fast, and how much weight you can throw. Bulking up with weights may make your body look great, but it won't perform as well.

Don't Lean Back

When a professional throws the javelin, his legs and hips jut forward, giving the impression his body is leaning backward. This is an optical illusion. When you throw, you should never lean back. Beginners make this mistake all the time. Leaning back adds air time to the throw and reduces your distance. Keep your body as upright as you can when you throw.

Engage Your Core

When you throw, your entire body should be engaged. As you near your release point, tighten your abdominal muscles, flex your back and feel the core of your body strengthening. If your core is engaged, the javelin will go farther. It will also protect you from straining your spine.

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