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Old 09-10-2015, 01:38 PM
fearthebeard88 fearthebeard88 is offline
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Default Breaking a string arm habit

I recently came to the conclusion that I have been basically strong arming everything I throw for an average drive of around 250 to 280 ft. So I have been working for the last 2 weeks or so trying to break this habit and involve the rest of the body, however it feels to me at least that I am still throwing with my arm unless I treat it like a dead piece of rope and then I feel like I get nowhere with distance. Can anyone help me figure out how to get past this?
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2015, 01:54 PM
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Lightbringer Lightbringer is offline
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SW22 and Slowplastic are going to tell you to make sure you are shifting your weight and using the positioning of your hips and shoulders to move your elbow forward before you really start to put power on your arm. You should check out their posts on other players' threads. SW22 has a lot of helpful explanation and drill videos.

You may also consider posting a video, because that makes it a lot more easy for people to spot where exactly you may be having trouble.

I was also strong arming and having the same type of issues. I just recently feel like I "got" bracing. The most important thing for me was to learn to rotate my hips away from the target on my "backswing", then to almost fall backwards onto my plant foot really resisting using any arm until the last possible moment. Your hips open up, bringing your arm in front of your body, and then you fully transfer all of your weight behind but not over your plant foot and rip through. When I do it right it I can really feel the tension build up on my right ankle, knee and shoulder until I transfer my weight and rip it and it all releases. Almost like you are lazily leaning against a wall and then the wall disappears.

Last edited by Lightbringer; 09-10-2015 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:13 PM
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banzai7 banzai7 is offline
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There's two things you might mean by "strong-arming".
(1) Throwing with nothing but the arm strength, pulling 100% from max reach back.
(2) Throwing with all upper body (i.e. shoulders and arm/wrist) without generating any power from the legs and hips.

You can definitely fix (1) without fixing (2), and still throw in the 350+ range. The key to fixing (2) is bracing. The key to fixing (1) is late acceleration and "throwing around the nose" of the disc (aka "snap").

There are a lot of great resources out there for fixing (1). The Beto/Blake T. "Right Pec Drill" is one of them, along with Bradley Walker's "Closed Shoulder Drill". Basically you slowly guide the disc into the "power pocket" under the right pec with you grip on the outside edge of the disc. Then accelerate you shoulder swing and your lower arm to "hit" the disc in front of you, ripping out of your grip while your hand is on the inside edge of the disc.

Be sure to check out HUB's videos for a lot better explanations of this stuff.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:48 PM
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To piggy-back on what Banzai just said, not much is ever said about the actual science of disc throwing but I feel like it can help you set some goalposts for yourself when you're improving.

According to Best Disc Golf Discs, a study on disc acceleration and distance was done by Theo Pozzy and his results show that every 1 mph in disc speed after the disc had left a player's hand translated to about 7.2 feet of distance.

If this is correct, your disc leaves your hand traveling at about 38.8 mph when you have one of your 280 foot throws.

So if you want to maximize your distance, obviously you have to maximize your disc acceleration. The biggest chunk of acceleration you can impart on the disc comes from "snapping" it out using your elbow as a hinge and pulling your hand around the circumference of the disc, like Banzai said. Throwing from the right pec drill you should be able to accelerate the disc to at least 30-40 mph with the correct form.

In other words, anything else you might be doing in your form right now is only adding a negligible amount of acceleration and in fact may be slowing you down. A run up in particular couldn't possibly add any more than 4-8 mph, which is useful to eke out maximum distance when the rest of your form is correct but not until then.

The idea behind the right pec drill is to get the most out of your disc speed with the smallest amount of motion, and then from there you can add in things that are each going to give you a few more mph in acceleration and add up to more distance on top of the big chunk you're already getting.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:46 PM
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I had this problem too. The angle between my throwing arm and right pec would be small with too loose an arm and actually squeeze together resulting in more of a fling than a pull. If I understand correctly, using arm muscle to hold the correct angle at 90° with it closing just a little while pulling through is OK. I think it's the lower arm from your elbow to your hand that really needs to hinge and be really loose. Again, this is what I understand from the SW22 vids (you might as well favorite them or download them to your phone for instant reference like I did. I'd like to find a way to compensate SW22 for the effort as well. They're free and so very informative). Also this bit from HUB I go back to as well...

http://www.heavydisc.com/2015_04_01_archive.html?m=1
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:44 PM
fearthebeard88 fearthebeard88 is offline
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Very interesting article, one more question though, and I apologize in advance if it's a stupid one, but I'm going to ask anyways. What exactly is "bracing"?
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ash81 View Post
I'd like to find a way to compensate SW22 for the effort as well. They're free and so very informative).
I accept paypal donations... seabas22 at yahoo.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:06 PM
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Bracing is basically having a proper athletic posture that allows you to use the power of your whole body, especially your lower body, in your throw.

In this image of Paul McBeth, you can see how he has all of his weight going into but not over his plant foot. He's "braced" against his foot.

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Old 09-10-2015, 06:15 PM
Beener Beener is offline
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Yep, I've been working hard lately to break a ~300' strong-arming habit. For me, it's all in the hips:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightbringer View Post
I was also strong arming and having the same type of issues. I just recently feel like I "got" bracing. The most important thing for me was to learn to rotate my hips away from the target on my "backswing", then to almost fall backwards onto my plant foot really resisting using any arm until the last possible moment. Your hips open up, bringing your arm in front of your body, and then you fully transfer all of your weight behind but not over your plant foot and rip through. When I do it right it I can really feel the tension build up on my right ankle, knee and shoulder until I transfer my weight and rip it and it all releases. Almost like you are lazily leaning against a wall and then the wall disappears.
Rotating away on the "backswing" and engaging my hips feels so unnatural. But, when I focus on slowing down and intentionally rotating, the rest seems to fall into place...
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:30 AM
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banzai7 banzai7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightbringer View Post
When I do it right it I can really feel the tension build up on my right ankle, knee and shoulder until I transfer my weight and rip it and it all releases. Almost like you are lazily leaning against a wall and then the wall disappears.
Interesting description. I'm still trying to get the feel of bracing. It was under the impression that you are supposed to feel the tension in your hip joint and inner thighs. But I definitely don't know what I am talking about and am still trying to figure it all out.
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