Jessica Ennis shows us how to throw a javelin

The heptathlete starts her Olympic campaign today – we've got the inside track on her technique and training regime

Olympic-level javelin throwing requires total determination and upper-body discipline. Jessica Ennis gives us some tips on how to make that javelin fly.

Exercise all areas

“To throw the javelin you need to work on all-round athletic ability; your balance, stride pattern and technique 
are all crucial. Your run-up is around 20 to 30m, but it varies from one athlete to the next. Your approach to the line needs to be steady and controlled.”

Get some balls

“Working on the upper body is key. I work with 
a specialist coach on body positioning, and the strength comes from practice and drills with medicine balls. It’s not a discipline that comes naturally to me, so I devote two sessions a week to perfecting it.”

Use heavy weights

“Practice with the javelin itself is important of course, but I find that working with heavier javelin balls and plastic training weights helps to improve my throwing power. I start at around 800g, then drop down to to he official 600g Olympic javelin.”

Go through your paces

“Your run-up should be around a dozen steps when you’re a beginner but will get longer and more fluid as you practice. A couple of paces before the crossover [the shift in weight before you throw], draw the javelin fully back with your throwing arm and, in the final stride, push forward from the feet up to launch it.”

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