Throwers are big individuals. Although having size helps make throwers throw further due to more muscle mass and longer levers, throwers often struggle to move as quickly and can't hit as deep of range of motion as other athletes. This is due to a lack of mobility. Larger size almost always comes with tighter joints. By improving mobility, throwers can take more advantage of the strength that they have by being able to be accelerate at deeper ranges of motion adding speed to the throw and power to the finish.
Mobility as a term is different than "flexibility". Being flexible means that an athlete can passively reach deep ranges of motion. However, mobility is when the athlete has active stability in that position with the ability to move out of that position with control. Although having passive flexibility is very important, having mobility takes it to the next level.
Ankle mobility is crucial to improving the throw as there is active dorsiflexion and plantar flexion that occurs. In the spin, throwers need to keep their heels high off the ground, or plantar flex with the left foot out of the back and the right foot through the middle of the circle. Being able to dorsiflex, or bring the toes up towards the shin, is crucial when squatting to be able to hit depth in the hole.
PVC Pipe Walks
Build proprioception through the feet while developing stability in the ankles. Walk on the PCV pipe rolling it forward for 15 meters.
Slant Board Holds
Stabilize yourself while holding in the dorsiflexed position for 15 seconds, then raising up into the plantar flexed position for 15 seconds.
Thoracic spine mobility is an area where many throwers struggle but is imperative to the throw. When you are holding the shot put back in your neck, pinching your shoulder blade back with the discus, keeping loose shoulders in the hammer, or getting a deep stretch back with the javelin, thoracic mobility can make a huge impact on your throw.
Build thoracic mobility while the trunk is rotated just like the throw. Slowly rotate your elbow up to the sky and hold in the deepest position you can reach for 10 seconds. Complete on both sides.
Lack of thoracic mobility often impairs overhead movement. Hold the bar with a snatch grip and hold the bar tight. Pull the bar down to the top of your traps and press back up without the bar moving forward. Ratchet up the difficulty by squatting down into the hole and then pressing the bar.
Hip mobility is another major problem point for throwers. Developing hip mobility not only improves the ability to hit deeper positions in the spin and squat deeper, but will also decrease pack pain and reduce the risk of groin injury.
Place your shin parallel to your body either up on a box, on a hurdle, or lying prone on the floor. Feel a big stretch wrapping around your glute to your hamstring.
90/90 Hip Rolls
Maintain a 90 degree angle with the knees throughout the movement, pushing one knee to the ground on the inside and one on the outside, then rotate to the other side. Feel a stretch in the groin and the glute meds.
Performing mobility is one of the hardest parts of training for throwers. Not because it is hard or even time-consuming, but because many struggle to see the incredible long-term benefit of the movements. Whether mobility is performed during the warm up, after lifting, or even at night before bed while watching Throws U's YouTube videos, 15 minutes of mobility a day while improve your throw just as much as any other mode of training.
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- Dane and Trevor