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Old 11-07-2017, 01:40 PM
slowplastic slowplastic is offline
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Do you agree that they get to essentially the same point when the arm is at the side of their body, disc/forearm loaded back, and then at the hit point? That's what it seems like to me, and it's just the backswing and beginning of throw that the arm is in a different position.

I would like to hear opinions on this too if there is a difference. I don't like the bent elbow backswing style because I feel it's too easy to "overdo" it and start getting towards the inverted W backswing, which can torque the elbow. However that's my only thought on it...if it's done right I don't know if there's any real difference other than preference?

Here's the inverted W position where the hand goes below the elbow. I'm sure many of us have seen some FH players do a version of this.

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  #32  
Old 11-07-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by slowplastic View Post
Do you agree that they get to essentially the same point when the arm is at the side of their body, disc/forearm loaded back, and then at the hit point? That's what it seems like to me, and it's just the backswing and beginning of throw that the arm is in a different position.
I think the position at the side is about the same, although it feels to me like my elbow is closer to my body when I use the bent arm backswing. I can't be sure, however, and I haven't studied enough videos of other throwers to see if there's a general correlation. I'm thinking this could be the origin of the "keep the elbow close to the body" advice that is often heard. That is, this advice may be specific to that kind of throw.

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I would like to hear opinions on this too if there is a difference. I don't like the bent elbow backswing style because I feel it's too easy to "overdo" it and start getting towards the inverted W backswing, which can torque the elbow. However that's my only thought on it...if it's done right I don't know if there's any real difference other than preference?
I don't think I've done the inverted W thing, myself (I believe I'd have pain to remember it by). I do think there's a difference, though, in terms of powering the throw, as I speculated above. It's not an either-or thing, but the straighter arm throw has to rely more on the pecs and front shoulder (I guess the front shoulder just is the pectoral muscle, now that I think about it), because the flexion of the arm just doesn't change much, except for a short thrust at the very end prior to release. The bent arm throw, in contrast, cocks the forearm right back to an acute angle with the forearm, as you can see Dave Dunipace do.

In both throws, the position of the upper arm is similar at the "top" of the backswing; it's the forearm that's drastically different. And that makes the arc the hand travels from the top of the backswing to release very different too. Since any kind of throw involves accelerating the hand (and disc) all the way to the release point, and acceleration requires muscular force, that different arc is going to depend on different muscles.

I don't mean to sound like a wannabe expert. I'm far from it. But as a new disc golfer with a fairly old body, I do notice stresses and strains that a younger person might just power through and overlook. I'm getting to the point where I can do both throws but the straighter arm FH feels a bit "riskier" to me. That is, I do feel a strain near the insertion of that right pectoral. I don't get that with the bent arm throw, which is why I started analyzing it.
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  #33  
Old 11-07-2017, 02:19 PM
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Yeah I'm trying to figure it out too. I don't get to the right position between transitioning from the backswing on the way to the hit point. I try to do the extended Wysocki style arm out backswing, but on the way to the hit my forearm is above the elbow instead of on line with the target with a level forearm. The backswing style does feel different to me, where the bent elbow style reminds me more of the top hand of a right handed batting swing. The elbow is up by the shoulder, and the whole unit swings down and to the side. However I don't think the muscles feel different when the throw starts, maybe your elbow is too far from your body or not out front enough in the straight reachback style and that's why it seems more dangerous? In slow motion of SW22's FH's from the side, he definitely gets a huge forearm load back similar to what Dunipace is getting with the other form.
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  #34  
Old 11-07-2017, 02:24 PM
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I prefer the bent elbow backswing. It helps to get into the "lead with the elbow" type mindset that helps to develop more snap (somewhat similar to BH technique in that way). Keeping the arm straight during the backswing makes me feeling like I'm strong arming the throw.

I see that "inverted W" posture ^^^ that slowplastic mentions all the time when people just start trying to throw FH. It often leads to the arm scooping out a low point as the arm passes the hip, and going upward into the release point, with the resultant throw being much higher than intended. That's the main reason I advocate for the "elbow near hip" philosophy. The elbow doesn't necessarily stay glued to your hip, but thinking that way at least keeps people from cocking their elbow up high behind their ear.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:04 PM
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Camera angles are slightly different. Biggest difference is that I keep the forearm and disc on plane and maintain the nose down. Also my elbow is lower and closer to body at the top of the backswing. You see how Dave winds the forearm and disc around off plane and the nose pops up at release with some wobble.

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  #36  
Old 11-07-2017, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tmoody View Post
Still experimenting and learning...

I've noticed a couple of things. First, there are some basic differences in how people do FH. Sidewinder's videos clearly show his throwing arm pretty well extended throughout the throw, from the deep reachback through the release.

Consequently, a lot of the arm power (over and above hip turn) is coming from chest and shoulder muscles.

In contrast, some other FH throwers, and also this squash/stone-skimming video, make more use of triceps muscles, with the arm well bent in the backswing, and a lot of power coming from the unflexing of the arm in the throw. See Dave Dunipace:

Dave's arm is very bent at the end of his backswing, straightening through the throw.

I've been experimenting with both ways of throwing FH. They feel very different. At this point I get better results with the bent arm unflexing method. I'm not talking about distance, which is about the same either way. It's more about control and accuracy, and especially consistency. I'm not sure whether this is one of those things where you just pick one and practice it, or whether individual body type and anatomical details indicate throwing one way rather than the other.
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Originally Posted by tmoody View Post
I think the position at the side is about the same, although it feels to me like my elbow is closer to my body when I use the bent arm backswing. I can't be sure, however, and I haven't studied enough videos of other throwers to see if there's a general correlation. I'm thinking this could be the origin of the "keep the elbow close to the body" advice that is often heard. That is, this advice may be specific to that kind of throw.

I do think there's a difference, though, in terms of powering the throw, as I speculated above. It's not an either-or thing, but the straighter arm throw has to rely more on the pecs and front shoulder (I guess the front shoulder just is the pectoral muscle, now that I think about it), because the flexion of the arm just doesn't change much, except for a short thrust at the very end prior to release. The bent arm throw, in contrast, cocks the forearm right back to an acute angle with the forearm, as you can see Dave Dunipace do.

In both throws, the position of the upper arm is similar at the "top" of the backswing; it's the forearm that's drastically different. And that makes the arc the hand travels from the top of the backswing to release very different too. Since any kind of throw involves accelerating the hand (and disc) all the way to the release point, and acceleration requires muscular force, that different arc is going to depend on different muscles.

I don't mean to sound like a wannabe expert. I'm far from it. But as a new disc golfer with a fairly old body, I do notice stresses and strains that a younger person might just power through and overlook. I'm getting to the point where I can do both throws but the straighter arm FH feels a bit "riskier" to me. That is, I do feel a strain near the insertion of that right pectoral. I don't get that with the bent arm throw, which is why I started analyzing it.
I was going to say I'm using less shoulder and arm muscles as my shoulder and elbow actually moves less. My arm is basically just a whip from the hips turning my body with the arm and weightshift. A local pro here said I have the laziest FH in disc golf, and some touring pros I've played with couldn't believe my standstill distance.

The funny thing about "feel ain't real" and "elbow in" is that I feel like my elbow is "in" close to hip during the throw until release, my elbow is definitely closer to my hip in the backswing than Dave's. I think it just feels "in" during the swing because it is connected and loaded back to it. I also clear my rear side hip over to the left side of the tee pad more than other players as my rear leg everts and slides to the left, so naturally that gives my arm more room or space away from the body to swing through and more counterweight. When I tried to actively "keep my elbow in" closer one time it actually hurt my shoulder. I've never experienced pain with my normal throw except for my oblique muscle when I didn't warm up.

As for control, accuracy and consistency IMO my way is much better. I think you can get more spin by cocking the forearm more off plane like Dave, but not really necessary IMO, and the extra spin helps stabilize the disc from more off plane torque/wobble so those two may go more hand in hand to balance out. My forearm and disc maintain much better angle integrity throughout the swing so it's very accurate and consistent. As Scott Stokely says disc golf is like darts, backswing straight back, then straight forward on same path. He also said "elbow in" is the biggest myth in disc golf.

In conclusion, if something causes pain, then stop doing it and do whatever doesn't cause pain. IMO if it hurts trying it my way then there's probably something wrong with your sequence or mechanics, or maybe something different about your own anatomy.

Last edited by sidewinder22; 11-07-2017 at 05:14 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11-09-2017, 02:38 PM
tmoody tmoody is offline
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Originally Posted by sidewinder22 View Post
As Scott Stokely says disc golf is like darts, backswing straight back, then straight forward on same path. He also said "elbow in" is the biggest myth in disc golf.

In conclusion, if something causes pain, then stop doing it and do whatever doesn't cause pain. IMO if it hurts trying it my way then there's probably something wrong with your sequence or mechanics, or maybe something different about your own anatomy.
In principle I agree with the idea that it's best to eliminate extraneous movements from the throw.; it's just a question of what counts as extraneous in a given case.

I did some field practice again yesterday, trying the throw both ways. I don't think I can get my forearm tilted back to lead with the elbow to the extent that both you and Dave can do it. And if I try too hard that's when I get a twinge of pain. But it's not every time, so maybe I just need to smooth it out in the straighter arm form.

My best throws are about 200 feet, with any disc. I'm okay with that, but maybe the reason I can't generate more power has something to do with my difficulty in getting that elbow out there in front. I'm doing all throws from a standstill, until I get to a point where I'm ready to add more moving parts. I set up with my left side to the target, then step toward the target with my left foot as I make a left parenthesis with my body and start turning my hip. So the whole throw is just that one step, for now. On a good throw, I have a smooth follow-through, my right hand turns over and my right (rear) foot end up on tiptoes, similar to a golf club swing finish.
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  #38  
Old 11-09-2017, 03:03 PM
slowplastic slowplastic is offline
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Originally Posted by tmoody View Post

My best throws are about 200 feet, with any disc. I'm okay with that, but maybe the reason I can't generate more power has something to do with my difficulty in getting that elbow out there in front. I'm doing all throws from a standstill, until I get to a point where I'm ready to add more moving parts. I set up with my left side to the target, then step toward the target with my left foot as I make a left parenthesis with my body and start turning my hip. So the whole throw is just that one step, for now. On a good throw, I have a smooth follow-through, my right hand turns over and my right (rear) foot end up on tiptoes, similar to a golf club swing finish.
I would watch the Shawn Clement hammer video from post 13 in this thread.

I don't try to get the elbow in front, and I don't try to lag the disc back. I try to keep the the upper arm/elbow leveraged with my torso, and let the disc load my forearm back as it wants. I don't get as much load back on line as SW22 and don't throw as far as him, but can still throw 375+. Things feel different to everyone in their throw, but I know when I think about elbow lead or the like, it ends up with too much elbow lead and some strain on the elbow.

Also I don't think about the lead leg, I think about the rear leg and rear hip load from behind. In that Shawn Clement video it shows how to turn your hips to leverage your swing downward and through, this is what I'm doing to feel the connection with my upper arm through my torso all the way to my hips. Once you know how to obtain this leverage you can think about the lead stride, etc., but I really feel that how you shift your weight on the rear side is what really matters. It's about being able to have leverage through the whole swing, not just about trying to get your arm moving forward real fast.

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  #39  
Old 11-09-2017, 03:15 PM
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Yeah, if you can use a hammer sideways or toss it, then you can throw a forehand or backhand. Also when you do use a hammer, you would never take it off the line in your backswing, you take it straight back(swing back with curved arc) to be able to hit the nail with the hammer head on the same plane, you would never twist the head of the hammer around off plane if you want to hit the nail flush.

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  #40  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:49 PM
tmoody tmoody is offline
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After playing more rounds and doing more field practice I'm slowly finding what works for me, with my particular arms and joints. I've had more success with a more "upright" FH throw. It's almost an overhand throw, with a slight anhyzer, released at about the level of my ear. I aim slightly down, to keep from skying it. Full follow through, like throwing a baseball.

I don't get any more distance with this throw; I still max out at 200 feet. But I get pretty good control and no shoulder pain. The flight is a slight S curve with the usual fade at the end. At the moment I'm working with a Teebird in Star lite plastic, at 158g. I also have pretty good luck with a DX Beast and plasma Crave. Very different discs but these are the ones that work.

I still sometimes do a more traditional FH stone skipping kind of throw but I'm not really finding any advantage to it.


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