How to Throw a Hammer

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There is a range of ultimate frisbee throws that you can use in different situations during a game. Learning new throwing techniques not only increases your skill level but also helps you outperform your opponents.

One of the most popular and advanced throwing techniques that every frisbee player should learn is the hammer throw. In this article, we’ll discuss a detailed method that will help you understand how to throw a hammer.

How to Throw a Hammer

The hammer throw got this name because of the style that you need to follow while throwing a frisbee. It’s an upside-down throw like throwing a hammer that can be very effective and useful to trick opponent players during a game. You can use the following steps to throw a hammer in ultimate frisbee.

Step 1: Grip the Frisbee in the Right way

The first step and most critical step is to hold the frisbee in the right way. You won’t be able to throw a hammer effectively with the wrong grip.

Stick your middle and index fingers along with the thumb straight up. This way, your hand will make the classic imaginary gun formation.

Keep your hand in that position and slide the frisbee between your thumb and index finger. Then place your thumb on top of the disc and press your middle and index fingers against the inside of the frisbee’s rim tightly.

After that, stack your ring and small (pinkie) finger underneath the disc’s bottom to add firm support and steadiness. This way the curved part of the frisbee disc will be between your middle and ring finger.  

Important Note: Make sure that you use your dominant hand and hold the frisbee disc as firmly as possible.

Step 2: Understand Arm Motion

After applying your forehand grip to the disc, you’ll need to bring your hand behind your head. Your forearm and hand should be in a vertical position with your arm (above the elbow part) perfectly horizontal to the ground.

Then tilt your forearm and hand backward by bending your elbow and wrist as much as possible. Make sure your arm remains in the horizontal position while bringing the frisbee behind your head. 

Most novice players bring the frisbee straight up above their shoulders, which is not the right way to position your arm. The disc should be behind your head, making around a 45-degree angle with respect to your forearm. Otherwise, the disc won’t flatten out and will fly inaccurately and erratically.

Step 3: Get Into the Proper Stance

Stand in a semi-squat position and take one step using the opposite leg of your throwing arm while facing the receiver. 

Then turn your shoulder and hips towards the arm holding the frisbee disc. It will allow you to transfer the weight to your front foot from your back foot while releasing the disc.

Not only will it allow you to have better control over the throw but you’ll also be able to send the disc with a greater spin and force. This body stance comes in handy if you want the frisbee disc to cover more distance.

Step 4: Release the Frisbee

Bring your forearm forward and release the frisbee by snapping your wrist. You want to let go of the disc when your hand is at the level of your ear and make sure that you keep your elbow bent.

The frisbee will start flying in a tilted position but it’ll turn upside down slowly during its flight, depending upon the distance it covers. Always release the frisbee at a higher angle and less spin if you want it to cover a short distance and vice versa. 

That’s because a smaller release angle and short flying duration won’t allow the disc to turn upside-down. In such a case, your teammate will find it difficult to catch the disc easily. 

The release angle mustn’t be over 45 degrees or the disc will tail off to the side without covering the intended distance.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that the sooner you release the disc the higher it’ll go in the air. So, if you want a shallow throw, you’ll need to release the frisbee disc when your wrist is fully bent forwards.

Tips to Throw a Hammer

If you’re a beginner and trying to learn to throw a hammer, keep the following tips in mind to accelerate the learning process.

  • Never try to overpower your hammer throw if you want the disc to go farther. Just like any other frisbee throwing technique, the hammer throw is all about spin. The disc will fly very far if it’s spinning fast, even if you don’t apply too much force. So, power is a secondary concern.
  • First, learn to throw a hammer at shorter distances with lower spin and force. 
  • Learning a simple level pass using a hammer throw is more important than trying to a huck pass.
  • Focus on snapping your wrist forward while throwing the hammer and keep your elbow bent for more accurate results.
  • Practicing regularly is the only way to master the skill of throwing a hammer.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some most commonly asked questions that frisbee players ask about throwing a hammer.

When Do You Need to Use the Hammer Throw?

The best time to use the hammer throw is when there are defenders between you and the receiver. You can also use it when your opponents are near the end of the stall count and marking you hard. It’s one of the most popular throwing techniques in the ultimate frisbee and it works best at a medium range.

Is Throwing a Hammer Easy?

No, throwing a hammer isn’t easy. It’s considered one of the riskiest throwing techniques in the ultimate frisbee because it’s very hard to control the flight path of the disc. You need to practice a lot to master the skill of throwing a hammer.

Final Words

Learning how to throw a hammer is a little difficult process but it’s not something that you can’t learn. I hope the step-by-step method discussed in this article will help you learn the right way to throw a hammer. Just keep in mind that the more you practice the better you’ll become at throwing a hammer.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.