Thomas Röhler Olympiasieger

Javelin technique – acceleration of the hip and bow tension

After the block I would like to dedicate myself today to the 2nd choice of the last SocialMedia survey. The correct use of the hip and the resulting bow tension in the javelin throw.
Some talented athletes have written to me that they feel a tight connection between the hip and the block, but it does not really work.

What role does the hip play?

Quite rightly, many find that the hip, as a “carrier” of the body’s center of gravity, plays an important role in the whole throwing movement. It converts the ground reaction forces into tension and translates the effective direction of the forces from the lower to the upper body. If we do everything right, we build up bow tension, a term that probably everyone heard the first time at the latest from the sports teacher at the ball throwing test in the schoolyard. Without hip acceleration in relation to the trunk and leg position, there is no valuable arc tension, the energy from the start simply never goes away at the spear. So what does the hip have to do now?

Active or passive hip application

Especially at coaching events in the UK I noticed that there is talked about a hugely active, conscious hip. Athletes describe a controlled way of the hip in the throwing motion. An idea that is personally too slow for me, because every consciously guided path is slower than a hip almost like a bullet that accelerates almost from the pressure leg. I must agree with the critics of the short hip path with passive acceleration over the pressure leg. However, this is in contrast to a higher body speed of gravity in the case of the athlete’s foot and thus optically more passive. The emphasis is on visual, the end result is also here and this is the straight-line fast hip way to generate arc tension.

A straight-line rotating movement

Is not that enough? In the definition of the term certainly. However, this idea has helped me to learn the correct Hipdrive. By rotation, the athlete associates a first closed and inward moving movement. Exactly what we want. By a strong pressure impression and a generally strong entrainment of the speed from the start, the same but also strictly rectilinear drive and ends in the same voltage position as the slower appearing rotation. So a matter of taste and what the athlete can imagine better to come to the result.

At this point it should be mentioned that the knee of the pressure leg plays an important role in the hip construct. If it is not mobile and correctly active in the direction of movement, the hip is blocked.


Hip good but still no bow tension in the javelin throw

Of course, those are the ones who with the upper body and impatience make everything broken again. In the range of 90m throws and enormous speed, a phenomenon that I too often face. Without a restrained, closed upper body position and a proper litter delay from the limb, any good hip work is useless.

This makes it clear that the hip acceleration and arc tension in the javelin throw is also only part of the complex overall movement. A properly felt effect of the correct hip application also requires the athletes’ understanding that 80% of the good litter is from the lower body. Waiting, aiming and firing, nothing more. Pure brutal arm throwers that every one of my gained meters is a fast arm to have it always hard to use the option attack the hip correctly.


Common mistakes

  • Open hip position
  • Too deep way of the hip
  • Passive pressure leg
  • Stiff knee in the pressure leg
  • No opening of the hip to the throw
  • Too strong upper body template
  • Active removal of the hip from the tension build-up (Also recognizable as buckling in the middle body)
  • Lack of flexibility in the hip / trunk

Exercises for better bow tension and hip application

The hip itself is between the legs and trunk, logical that we do not choose exemptive forms of exercise at this point, but consider the hip integrated.

Physical preparation

In order to maintain the necessary body position for the hip, the abdomen and back must be coordinated in a healthy manner and cooperate powerfully. After all, we move our center of gravity relative to the stationary system legs and put high forces around. In particular, the lower back and the low abdominal muscles must have a good level of strength. Exercises are varied and there are no limits to creativity and variation. Specifically, we train with medicine balls and throwing balls. Mobile must be the hip to work properly, we like to use unstable surfaces and challenges to the hip and adjacent muscles really to get going.


Coordinative preparation and exercise

It does not work without timing and coordination, that’s something that all those who deal with javelin have certainly understood. A solid hip insert I imitate very well. In front of the mirror, with spear or taut rubber band in the throwing hand. Pay attention to solid footwear when diligently screwing in the pressure foot. Many filigree running shoes were destroyed here already at the first litter unit in the front area. I like to recommend the Metcon from NIKE, my versatile companion for almost every training session.

Feel arc tension first

In contact with young talents, I notice that often there is no idea of ​​the sense of self-experienced arc tension. Through partner exercises, where one partner simulates the spear, counterpressure on the throwing arm, the launcher vigorously turns the hips, leaving the stems leg stretched and then the partner asks: “Do you feel the tension?”. If the partner answers with No you have to adjust further, it means that the holding partner lets go and the arm of the imitating athlete jumps forward. That’s the effect of arc tension. So many athletes have already experienced a real aha effect in litter units.

Attention daily form

The hip timing is sometimes a twisted thing. One day it works, not the next. This is often due to the training program and the form of the day. Here, yes, do not despair and get impatient, this is quite normal and needs a lot of practice because the timing window for the timing is very narrow and also directly related to good Stemmbeinarbeit, which is described here.

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