The Perfect Physique for Throwing

Body types still have a wide range, as shown by the podium at the 2011 Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. Photo by Photo Run.One chapter of the David Epstein’s The Sports Gene discusses the role of body type in sports and how this has evolved in almost a Darwinian fashion over the last century. At the beginning of the modern Olympic era elite athletes tended to have the same body type. As Epstein explained, in 1925 the average Olympic volleyball player looked similar in stature to an Olympic discus thrower, high jumper, or shot putter. American Robert Garrett was the first modern Olympic discus and shot put champion standing just 6-foot 2-inches and 180-pounds. There is a reason he could easily be mistaken for a high jumper: he also won silver medals in the high jump and long jump. The scientists of the day even had theories of why this was the ideal athlete for each sport. Epstein notes that:

“Anthropometrists felt that human physique distributed along a bell curve, and the peak of the curve-the average- was the perfect form, with everything to the sides deviating by accident or fault.”

Fast forward a hundred years and each of those sorts has developed a distinct type of athlete that works best for it.


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4 replies
  1. Leo
    Leo says:

    I asked Sergei Litvinov what height his father is, he said 1.78, and throwing peak weights were 88kg-98kg Sedykh slimmed down post 83 and was 105kgs when he was throwing 86m.

    Reply
  2. Leo
    Leo says:

    the perfect physique for throwing; Mac Wilkins, he could have been elite in either of the 4 T and F throws, a unique Athlete !

    Reply

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