wrist strength and distance?

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wrist strength and distance?

Postby BrotherDave » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:48 am

Anybody have a ballpark idea about how much of a role wrist strength plays in one's distance capabilities? I feel like part of my problem is my weak grip strength (carpal tunnel syndrome runs in my family but I don't know if that's it or not). I've tried strengthening my wrists every now and then but they pop so much from years of basketball that it drives me crazy.

TIA.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JR » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:57 am

I don't have facts other than what i've read from Öystein Carlsen's thesis. The disc gains a lot of speed and spin from the wrist with 600' throwers that's Teebird 600'(!). I too have probably not too well functioning wrists as of now and i've had some gains. I've trained FH wrist motion with weights much more and longer than BH and it really has shown. I'm not a big snapper yet. No not even the fish snapper. Still i've gotten Rhynos with wrist alone hyzered FH to 60'. That's straight from waggling the disc back and forth to the wrist snap. So there's potential. There are some players that move so slow that it is unbelievable how far they get discs with the lack of arm speed. It's in the wrist to a very large degree.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby Redisculous » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:06 am

In that discraft video, more distance now, it is stated that you don't need a massive wrist motion to get snap. This seems supported by Brad Walker's comments about resisting the bend of the wrist. So you might not suffer too much.

On a side note, powerballs are supposed to be good for carpal tunnel...
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby masterbeato » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:54 pm

hand strength is what matters - fast twitch fibers in wrist helps but not a necessity.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JR » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:11 pm

Don't confuse the amount of wrist motion with a lack of great results. F=ma or force=mass times acceleration means that if you get to the same speed with a later shorter motion you created more force. Thus i understand why Feldy showed an index finger tip motion of half an inch or so in his clinic. If you look at the video of Jussi Meresmaa driving at Suonenjoki in the first throw he has triple or more wrist movement range and Jussi is a distance throwing world champ where Dave is disc golf world champ. Jussi threw 430' with an Ion according to jubuttib. That first throw has the easiest visible wrist snap i've seen in a video.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby jubuttib » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:23 am

Well, to be totally honest he only threw like 410', slipping the disc the whole time. He proceeded to put his P2 a tad longer afterwards. Had he had the time/will to play around with the ION for longer who knows what he would've done.

We were a bit... Inebriated when we posted that video. =)
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby BrotherDave » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:19 pm

jubuttib wrote:Well, to be totally honest he only threw like 410', slipping the disc the whole time. He proceeded to put his P2 a tad longer afterwards. Had he had the time/will to play around with the ION for longer who knows what he would've done.

We were a bit... Inebriated when we posted that video. =)

You guys don't fell like sending me a link to that vid, would you? I'd like to see that.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JR » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:00 pm

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=19641 contains the link and the discussion of that vid.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JHern » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:24 pm

Redisculous wrote:In that discraft video, more distance now, it is stated that you don't need a massive wrist motion to get snap. This seems supported by Brad Walker's comments about resisting the bend of the wrist. So you might not suffer too much...


...Wrong. What the dude is saying in the video is not to let your wrist flop around like a dead fish, which is what that guy had been doing previously. He showed him how to bring wrist strength into his throw by firming up his wrist motion, which added distance. There is a difference between motion and strength. Motion is the movement of the wrist, and strength is the force with which the wrist acts on the disc as the wrist moves. The product of force and movement is the total work performed by the wrist. The work done by the wrist is added to the total generated by all body motions and forces. It is partitioned between the translational kinetic energy of the disc m*v^2/2 and the rotational kinetic energy of the disc I*w^2/2 (m=mass, v=translational velocity, I=moment of inertia, w=spin rate). Strength makes a big difference for the same wrist motion.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby BrotherDave » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:41 pm

JR wrote:http://www.discgolfreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=19641 contains the link and the discussion of that vid.

Appreciate it, that mofo can really throw. On that one throw that started with massive anny, I can't believe that didn't turn and burn, I just kept waiting and waiting...

JHern wrote:
Redisculous wrote:In that discraft video, more distance now, it is stated that you don't need a massive wrist motion to get snap. This seems supported by Brad Walker's comments about resisting the bend of the wrist. So you might not suffer too much...


...Wrong. What the dude is saying in the video is not to let your wrist flop around like a dead fish, which is what that guy had been doing previously. He showed him how to bring wrist strength into his throw by firming up his wrist motion, which added distance. There is a difference between motion and strength. Motion is the movement of the wrist, and strength is the force with which the wrist acts on the disc as the wrist moves. The product of force and movement is the total work performed by the wrist. The work done by the wrist is added to the total generated by all body motions and forces. It is partitioned between the translational kinetic energy of the disc m*v^2/2 and the rotational kinetic energy of the disc I*w^2/2 (m=mass, v=translational velocity, I=moment of inertia, w=spin rate). Strength makes a big difference for the same wrist motion.

Can you explain this in layman's terms for me, particularly motion vs strength part? My poor brain is interpreting this as you are physically opening the wrist instead of letting inertia do the work.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby turso » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:37 am

In Feldberg's clinic we were taught to open the wrist actively, and to be honest the "tendon bounce" theory sounds bit too hocus pocus to me, even if it'd work, it wouldn't be as effective as actively opening it yourself. I time it so that I start opening the wrist at around right pec area. I get cleaner releases with it, plus same distance than before with less effort, even though I'm sure that it still needs work on the timing. Plus my grip strength is low, I need to start pumping it up.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby gretagun » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:25 pm

I have been having mixed results with actively opening my wrist vs. not actively opening it, and can't seem to understand which way is "correct". A few weeks ago, I had a field session where I was trying to actively open my wrist, and was having just amazing results. I was able to flip up my star leopards, which are more stable than my dx leopards, and just getting a ton of speed on my slower discs. Last week I had terrible luck with this. I think I've introduced an unhealthy amount of wrist roll and everything was turning and burning, and the area below my right shoulder blade was getting very sore and uncomfortable. This week I went back to not actively opening my wrist, and everything was was good again, but all my discs seemed to fly very straight, with hardly any right to left movement. Anything I tried to flip would just hold that hyzer line and never flatten. I did not notice any gains in distance either way, but I had better control when I did not try to actively open the wrist and my shoulder blade/back stopped hurting.

Basically, I'll have success with actively opening my wrist one day, then the next day it doesn't work so I go back to not actively opening it, and everything is good again. But then that breaks and I'm in an endless loop of switching back and forth between both methods. I'd like to know which was is best, and try to focus on one method instead having to go back and forth all the time.

Whenever I have asked any of the local pros about this, they say they really don't think about it and just throw. The most common advice I get is to reach back further, but I have other issues to correct first :) That makes it hard to talk to someone that understands the fundamentals discussed here. Most of the local guys just seem to "have it", but aren't exactly sure how to explain it, which I understand is the most challenging aspect of trying to teach snap.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JR » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:54 pm

Turso read up on plyometric loading and extension AKA tendon bounce. It's taught to people with masters in sports at Vierumäki at least judging by running into two of those plying DG over here. They remembered reading about it during their studies. Here's a test applied to the legs: Which way you jump higher? 1 stand at normal posture and bend as far down as you would from jumping from a chair. From that position jump up. 2 Jump down from the chair then jump back up immediately. The leg tendons and muscles act like springs loading energy into them by having them stretched and once you release the tension/energy by having them move to normal longer form by straightening the legs you create normal power plus release that stored energy. Ever heard of cars loading batteries driving down the hills? Claiming the enrgy of gravity and turning it into forward motion. The same thing for cats landing and leaping forward to dissipate the impact. The same goes for parkour. That you can see in detail and slo mo on the Discovery Channel show Time warp in the episode having parkour segment in it.

In disc golf ideally you would be releasing plyometric loading by opening the wrist and adding active opening on top of that to gain from both sources. Muscles aren't powerful at maximum extension so it's nice to have the added push of the stored energy of the plyometric extension in the end of the throw to allow the acceleration to continue. Timing is difficult and i'm not great at it. I'm too inexperienced to say which way would work best for me. I gotta develop muscles first to see more clearly when i should start to open actively. I haven't tried opening the wrist at the right pec yet i've always started it later. Interesting i'll have to test it out. Big hitters need to be consulted i'm only a half hitter.

gretagun hopefully the muscle pains are just a passing things until you get used to the new stresses.
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby MrScoopa » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Gretagun, this post by Lithicon helped me.

As described by Blake. The wrist will open to neutral/half open position due to inertia. This is as he describes it as half hitting essentially. The timing needed for actively opening the wrist past neutral is different than just passively letting the wrist open to half open. Because, this changes when the disc will come out of hand, so the timing is going to be off. You should work on actively opening the wrist doing Right pec drills, I've found this is the easiest way to insure the timing is attained easier. Blake constantly preached to me that until I learned to hit it, everything I done before that didn't really matter, as the entire throw would have to change slightly(and I'd actually get and feel why and how) to better facilitate the hit after I learned to hit.

That is why he preaches and stresses you get and learn pec timing/actively opening the wrist before you move on much farther. Once you learn that then you build the throw around it, as those are the biggest keys everyone lacks the most of when real power is in question.

As far as how to time the active wrist extension, it's even harder to time than when to pull, as it makes up even less of a micro-second in the entire throw. But, the way I understand it is that it's sort of like the "pec drill" in that there is a certain point you don't want to actively start to participate. Once the arm comes to near full extension and the forearm can't go forward anymore, the wrist is then forced to start opening as inertia overcomes it.
Now, there is a slight micro-second after it starts to open, before it comes to the neutral position. The way I understand it you want to start to actively participate in opening the wrist just after it starts to open due to inertia, but before it reaches the neutral position. The reason for this is to conserve energy produced by inertia, and not hinder it's potential, but to add to that potential. Which is essentially what the Right pec drill demonstrates to a degree.

As I said you want to take the energy from the inertia, THEN ADD TO IT. If you do, you'll multiply the inertia with your added active wrist extension/acceleration. Then it's almost like adding a whole new mini pec drill to your throw, the distance and power is only limited how well you harness it and control it. That's why you want to actively participate in opening the wrist JUST before the neutral position as this can mark the end of the throw if you don't. Now if you reach the neutral position before you actively start to open the wrist it's; well for all intents and purposes reaching the complete end of your throw too soon. And, the disc could Slip and you'll essentially be half hitting still.

Really hope this make sense. :p


Firm and Strong then active wrist extension past neutral.

You are firm at first by resisting the wrist bend. I see two reasons why you do this. One, it puts you in a powerful position to open the wrist when you enter the apex. Two, it is building up tons of spring in the tendons(you've felt this if you have been holding firm).
When it starts to force its way open, help it. Sling the hammer. Push your palm out so it is pointing at the target.

That is my current understanding. Blake, Beto, Brad, USAnarchy, Lithi, JHern, JR, could all probably explain it better. :)
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Re: wrist strength and distance?

Postby JHern » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:58 pm

If you don't actively open the wrist, then you're not getting as much out of your wrist. Its really that simple. Timing is essential, you should resist the wrist breaking closed going into the hit (of course it will wag slightly back), and when it starts to bounce back forward you then actively open it. But it has to be done at the right timing to work properly.

Also, you can't get tendon bounce unless you apply force to the wrist (either to keep it in place, or to actively open it). And tendon bounce isn't a hypothetical thing, it is real, and you can see it for yourself. Whenever somebody tries to keep a limb held motionless, and somebody else (or something) bumps into it, there is a natural "springiness" or tendency to rebound, or bounce back into the position in which it is being held. This is because your muscles and tendons are elastic, they are not rigid. If they were rigid, then you'd damage and eventually break your bones at the joints every time you jump or run or do anything with sudden jerky motions. Nature saves us from this latter fate by making us elastic.

What previous descriptions of tendon bounce and its role in throwing have failed to do is to also consider the dynamics of rebound. You see, the rebound of tendon bounce occurs on the "rebound time scale" (the time it takes for the disturbed limb to bounce back in place). The rebound time scale changes from person to person depending upon wrist strength and muscle fiber, tendon structure, and conditioning. You can also change it yourself by holding more firm or more loose. People who work with their hands a lot, pounding hammers, painting walls with huge paint brushes, etc., will develop more well-conditioned tendons and muscle structure, and their wrists will be more springy. If you put a disc in your hand, then the rebound time scale will be significantly longer than without it, because the disc adds inertia to the motion.

There is a large body of physics on stuff like this. The time scale in all sorts of phenomena where there is a restoring force that bounces things back into place is always something like the square root of mass m divided by a spring constant k. You can write this as t~sqrt(m/k). The implication is that the time scale for rebound also depends on the weight of your disc, although the dependence is weak and differences like 165g vs 175g will not mean very much. The spring constant k is the amount of force your wrist makes in the open direction when it is forced closed. You can change your effective value of k by going from holding your wrist neutral and then actively opening it. Since k is then increasing as you force the disc in the motion as your wrist opens, the time scale is also decreasing as the wrist opens. That means that the disc is accelerating forward, owing to the increasing force applied by your wrist.

You can measure your own rebound time scale. You should measure your own rebound time scale. Or at least do this exercise to get the feeling for what the time scale is, and how it changes with the amount of force you apply. Put the disc in your hand with your usual grip, and hold your wrist firm at the neutral position. Tuck your throwing elbow into your side, to help keep your arm rigidly in place. With your other hand, grasp your wrist and hold it in place. Try to make your throwing arm up to the base of your wrist as rigidly held as possible so that the rebound of other parts of your arm and body do not pollute the results. Now, holding the disc plane horizontal, have somebody else perturb the nose of the disc in the closed wrist direction (like a quick little hammer strike), and watch it bounce back (or you can bump it against something else to get the same effective result). If you are holding your wrist firmly in place, after being displaced it will wag back to neutral and will also slightly oscillate until it comes to rest.

Now that you've read this far, its time to reveal my latest thoughts on big snap and something called "resonance." Resonance occurs when a system (in this case, your wrist, hand, and disc) is forced at the same period (i.e., time scale for rebound) as the natural rebound period (i.e., the rebound time scale). It is a very powerful phenomenon, and I think that it is the only thing that can explain why some players can throw so damn far.

Wikipedia has a decent quick description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonance which is OK for now. Think about the pushing the swing analogy, it is closest to the scenario of wrist wagging back and forth.

Your goal, if you want to get more out of your wrist action, will be to take the disc through the hit portion of your throw on the same time scale as the wrist rebound time scale. That is at least half-hitting it. Play with your mechanics, your pull speed, etc., until you get resonance into your throwing motion. To get a full hit, you'll have to apply the correct leverage and increasing strength going into the release as you also increase the force applied to actively opening the wrist. This is far more tricky.

Anyways, enough of this for now...busy watching an old man beat up on the Patriots.
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