Optimal distance from the implement to the axis of rotation in hammer and discus throws.

Abstract

It is a well-known fact that a dramatic improvement in the range of any projective throw can be achieved by increasing the release velocity. In this paper a simple model of a competitor with an implement (hammer or discus) in the turns is considered. The thrower is regarded as a rigid body, and the implement as a point mass. The transverse velocity component of the implement at the release moment is maximized. For finding the optimal distance of the implement from the axis of rotation optimal control theory is applied. According to the proposed model, the optimal hammer throwing technique requires constant and maximal distance of the implement from the axis of rotation, followed by the rapid shortening of the distance immediately prior to the release. In the discus throw, however, this shortening is useless.

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