The Motor Solutions of Throws in Sports

Reference work entry


This chapter presents technique characteristics of elite discus and javelin throwers as examples of motion solutions in throwing sports. Three-dimensional kinematic data from a large database of discus throwing and javelin throwing were analyzed. The performance of each of these two throwing events is measured as official distance, which is the sum of distance lost at release, vacuum flight distance, and aerodynamic distance. Vacuum flight distance and aerodynamic distance are the major components of official distance. The vacuum flight distance is mainly determined by the release speed of the implement. Movement rhythm, body positions, and order of joint movements significantly affect the horizontal and vertical speed of the implement and thus the vacuum flight distance. Certain technique characteristics were also found to associate with aerodynamic distance. Kinetic measures provided further understanding of motor solutions of these two throwing events.


Discus throwing Javelin throwing Vacuum flight distance Aerodynamic distance Release speed 


  1. Dai B, Mao M, Garrett WE, Liu H, Yu B (2015) Biomechanical characteristics of an anterior cruciate injury case in javelin throwing. J Sport Health Sci 4(4):333–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hay JG (1993) The biomechanics of sports techniques, 4th edn. Prentice-Hall, Inc, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  3. Hay JG, Yu B (1995a) Critical characteristics in discus throwing techniques used by elite athletes. J Sports Sci 3(2):125–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hay J, Yu B (1995b) Free-leg action in throwing the discus. Track Coach 134:4265–4268Google Scholar
  5. Hay JG, Yu B (1996) Weight shift and foot placement in throwing the discus. Track Coach 135:4297–4300Google Scholar
  6. Leigh S, Yu B (2007) Effects of selected technical parameters on performance of discus throw. Sports Biomech 6(3):269–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Leigh S, Gross MT, Li L, Yu B (2008) The relationship between discus throwing performance and combinations of selected technical parameters. Sports Biomech 7(2):172–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Leigh S, Liu H, Hubbard M, Yu B (2010) Individualized optimal release angles in discus throwing. J Biomech 43(3):540–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Liu H, Leigh S, Yu B (2010) Sequences of upper and lower extremity motions in javelin throwing. J Sports Sci 28(13):1459–1467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Liu H, Leigh S, Yu B (2014) Comparison of sequence of trunk and arm motions between short and long official distance groups in javelin throwing. Sports Biomech 13(1):17–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Yu B, Broker J, Silverster LJ (2002) A kinetic analysis of discus-throwing techniques. Sports Biomech 1(1):25–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Allied Health Science, School of MedicineThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gert-Peter Brüggemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biomechanics and OrthopaedicsGerman Sport University CologneKölnGermany

Personalised recommendations