Sunday, July 19, 2009

Need for speed

weight loss - high intensity exercise
Too many throwers complain about not being fast enough but when I ask them what their workout consists of they fail to mention a lot about sprinting. Our legs are what propel us in the circle when we throw. Shorter throwers like me who are deficient in wingspan need all the speed we can get out of our legs in order to produce enough momentum to launch the discus. Taller throwers can get a way with being slower due to their height and longer wingspans but as I just mentioned, shorter throwers thrive on it.
Watch the video of Asafa Powell below:



As you can see, the sprinting motion is very similar to the sprint to the middle of the circle. We can see how his left leg powerfully extends while the right leg hits the ground in quick succession. The amount of power generated from the sprint phase will drastically improve your chances of having enough momentum to unleash the discus at a high velocity. Interestingly enough the South African drill is a perfect drill for practicing the sprint portion of the throw from the back of the circle. We all know how to do it but not all of us do it well enough. Just hitting the positions is not good enough, you have to be explosive like a sprinter coming out of the blocks! Attacking the middle of the circle like Mac Wilkins does so well.
Apart from the frontal sprint, which is important for the first portion of the throw, the backward sprint is important for the second half of the throw. Remember that the discus technique is fundamentally a forward sprint, a spin then into a backward sprint. Working on the backward sprints is just as important, if not more important than the forwards because of the power position. The power position demands a good backward sprint ability because depending on how much explosion and force you can generate from the backward sprint, you will be able to push off the center of the circle more efficiently.
Doing both forward and backward sprints should be a regular part of our speed regiment. Don't ignore the importance of the sprint because it is where the power of your technique comes from. A day dedicated to the sprints during the off season will do wonders in increasing explosiveness and general athleticism. Do some sled pulls, do some stairs, do some hill runs (and backwards too) push a car or truck, just sprint!! Focusing on the weights is important but so is sprinting. Don't be lazy, get out there and do it.

let me know what you think! or email me at 0a4w@virginia.edu

7 comments:

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS POST

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, I have heard elsewhere that sprinting has a negative transfer to the throwing events.

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

By sprinting I mean short distances. 40 meters should be about the maximum. Let me know who told you that sprinting has a negative transfer because I have really never heard that before. It would be interesting to hear his/her rationale.

Anonymous said...

DR. Bondarchuck said it, I do not know his rationale. I would guess he would have based it on empirical evidence over his years of coaching. I would think sprinting would be good for Discus and Javelin, but I guess their are just different training philosophies.

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

I just read some stuff on him. Very interesting stuff. But from what I read about it, he isn't necessarily saying it is bad sprint. I think he is saying that that is only the first step. He wants us to be able to transfer the explosiveness and speed into our technique through doing some specialized exercises. Some of the videos of Gunthor show what I think he means.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I see what your saying. Those Videos are just awesome, thanks for posting them.

Yemi Ayeni (D.M.F) said...

I know! They are wonderful