The Influence of Technique on Throwing Performance and Injury Risk in Javelin Throwers Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Leigh, Steven
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Curriculum in Human Movement Science
  • The overall objective of this dissertation was to understand the effects of elite javelin throwers' techniques on their athletic performance and their risk for injury. Javelin throwing is a complex, multi-joint task that requires great coordination, muscular strength, and control to generate the forces necessary to propel implements at high velocities. A javelin thrower's technique has crucial effects on the release variables that determine their performance. The need to generate high release speeds means that javelin throwing techniques exert significant musculoskeletal stress to multiple joints, which may cause acute and overuse injuries. Since an athlete's technique affects both their performance and their injury risk, it is necessary to understand the inter-relationships between technique, performance, and injury in throwing events, such as the javelin. Three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data were reduced from the video images of elite javelin throwers competing in the USA Track and Field National Outdoor Championships. Cross-sectional and longitudinal, subject-specific statistical analyses were performed to investigate the relationships between javelin throwing technique and performance, to further investigate potential risk factors for injuries, to investigate the differences in technique between injured and uninjured athletes, and to classify technique variables based on their relationship with performance or injury. Technique variables that were associated with differences in performance and injury were identified. Differences were found between males and females, and for specific subjects. These differences do not mean that javelin throwing technique was different between genders or subjects. In general, it is important for javelin throwers to effectively transfer run-up momentum and throwing arm action into great release speed, and to control the release. Great joint forces were observed in javelin throwers, were associated with movements of the shoulder and elbow, and are the mechanism for javelin throwing injury. Some technique variables were identified that were only associated with either performance or injury. These variables may be modified to improve performance without increasing injury risk, or to decrease injury risk without affecting performance. For technique variables that affect both injury prevalence and performance, other training methods and treatments may be necessary to allow for improved performance without increased injury risk.
Date of publication
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  • In Copyright
  • Yu, Bing
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2012

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