Aerobic Power/cardio-vascular endurance
Javelin throwers need little or no aerobic power/cardio-vascular endurance because their event is purely anaerobic and lasts for such a short period of time that in needs only fast twitch fibres to achieve success.
Javelin throwers undoubtedly need very good anaerobic power and speed because they take part in an event, which only takes a short period of time and requires a maximal effort. In terms of muscle fibres that they need to achieve the best results they require a very high percentage of fast twitch muscle fibres in comparison to slow twitch muscle fibres (around 60/70% fast twitch and 40/30% slow twitch).
Of which of that 60/70% they want as many FTG (fast twitch glycolytic) muscle fibres as possible because their event is purely anaerobic so unlike FOG (fat oxidative glycolytic) muscle fibres which combine both of the two types, FOG’s can work almost as well anaerobically as FTG muscle fibres but they lose some power and strength because they have a slightly small muscle diameter thus meaning they are not as strong. Yet because javelin throwing is purely anaerobic, competitors will want to get the full capacity out of their fast twitch muscle fibres which they can only do with FTG muscle fibres. Despite this FOG muscle fibres will be helpful for the javelin throwers over a series of heats because the throw is highly strenuous on the upper body in particular so they must have some anaerobic endurance.
Explosive leg power
Javelin throwers will have a high percentage of fast twitch fibres in their legs because they do play a large part in the throw, but in comparison too their upper body their legs are used more for gaining momentum rather than actually putting the force into the throw. This means that they don’t need as high a percentage of FTG muscle fibres in their legs because they don’t have to produce a maximal effort.
Arm and shoulder strength
Obviously javelin throwers need a lot of strength in their arms and shoulders because the bulk of the effort is coming from the upper body; the main movement a javelin thrower uses is the shoulder starting in an extended position and moving it into a flexed position to throw the javelin. They will also go from flexion at the elbow too extension of the elbow. The two main muscles in use for these movements will be the deltoid; bicep and tricep which are all obviously muscle of the arm and shoulder. So to carry out these movements effectively and successfully they require good strength and power in these departments.
Arm and shoulder strength and endurance
Although javelin throwers require no endurance in terms of aerobic endurance but in order to be able to throw the javelin the javelin over very long distances and then possibly have to repeat this throw and try and better it in the next heat they do necessitate endurance in terms of FOG muscle fibres as these have the advantages of slow twitch fibres (good blood supply, myoglobin content) but also have the advantages of FTG muscle fibres (long fast firing motor neurones and ATPase for quire ATP production) so they do give a certain amount of endurance in terms of anaerobic work.
Abdominal strength and endurance
Javelin throwers need good strength and some endurance in their abdominals as they play a part in the in the throw because they must take there run up in almost a side on position too the direction they wish to throw the javelin and then rotate at the torso to give the throw extra momentum. To do this effectively they must have strong abdominal muscles in order to rotate quickly without losing balance during the run up. Also when lifting the weight from the ground they must initially use their abdominals.
Javelin throwers need very high joint mobility and flexibility because throughout the throw they will be using a lot of the joints in their body, especially their torso, shoulders and elbows, on top of the rapid movements that will be taking place at these joints they will also be extremely powerful movements so the ligaments and tendons involved need to be very strong in order to withstand them.
Agility & Balance
Agility is vital for success in javelin throwing because the competitors must be able to run reasonably quickly and then produce very rapid and powerful movements and at the same time they must keep their footing because if they don’t they may step over the throwing line and the throw will be recorded as a foul. This is why we often see javelin throwers throw the javelin a good few metres away from the throwing line, in order to give them selves time and space too be able to catch their footing and find their balance.
So someone with great agility in balance might be able to throw the javelin closer to the throwing line which will obviously add extra distance too their throw and give them an advantage.
Javelin throwers do require some co-ordination because they must be able to throw the javelin while thinking about how they need to move to counter balance them selves while under the stress and momentum of the throw. Although this seems simple in terms of co-ordination, without it would be almost impossible to balance while producing such a massive effort.
Javelin throwers don’t require fast reactions at all because their event doesn’t involve any reaction to any kind of stimulus which needs a quick reaction.
Although javelin throwers don’t need amazing timing they must be able to self pace themselves, especially in terms of timing of their run and timing of their throw, because there is a possibility of fouling by stepping over the throwing line javelin throwers must be able to time their throws. If they throw the javelin too early they will lose distance on their throw but if they throw too late they risking fouling.