Throwing the javelin takes practice. When you are starting out, it is important to get your javelin throwing technique correct in order to avoid injury. Whenever you begin your training sessions, remember to stretch your arm and shoulder thoroughly, as these are the parts of your body most impacted by throwing the javelin. Here is CoachUp’s guide to javelin throwing technique:
There are three different types of javelin throwing grips. Any of them work; it is a matter of personal preference. The javelin should lie horizontally on your shoulder, with your palm facing upward. Here are the three types:
- American Grip: The American Grip is done by holding the javelin with the cord in between the thumb and index finger.
- Finnish Grip: The Finnish Grip is done by extending the index finger under the shaft for control and then gripping the cord in between the thumb and middle finger.
- “V” Grip: The “V” Grip is done by gripping the shaft in between extended index and middle fingers.
Begin your run-up by holding the javelin high over your head with your elbow level with your neckline. The javelin should be pointed towards the target with the tip pointed slightly down. When you take your first strides, your hips should be perpendicular to the target area. Beginners generally take fewer than 10 strides before throwing, but more advanced javelin throwers take anywhere from 13 to 18 strides. As you take your final strides, turn your planting foot (opposite from your throwing hand), and point it towards your target. Your legs should cross over as you pull the javelin back to throw it. Keep your throwing hand at shoulder height and your arm straight.
Make sure your elbow is high when you coil back to release the javelin. Your throwing hand should be as high as possible. The point of release for the javelin should be in front of your planted foot. Remember to follow through completely, or you may lose distance in your throw.
Keep these pointers in mind when you go to throw the javelin, and know that practice is everything. By spending time on the grip, run-up, and throw, you are getting that much closer to your best throw yet. Keep in mind that the key to good practice is technique. Make sure that you are using impeccable technique when throwing the javelin, both to make the javelin travel farther and also to avoid injury.
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