How to Throw the Hammer Throw in Frisbee

The hammer throw in Frisbee is one of the most fun throws you can learn, especially when starting out and learning how to throw a Frisbee. There are a lot of reasons to learn how to throw a hammer, which you can read below. I want to start with the most important part – how to actually throw a hammer.

How to Throw a Hammer

The first thing you need to think about when throwing a hammer, is the grip. You’ll grip the Frisbee like you would when you are throwing a flick

On the bottom side, your pointer and middle fingers will curl against the rim of the disc, allowing you to grip the Frisbee strongly. 

Hammer Throw Frisbee Grip Bottom
Bottom hammer grip on my new TOSY Ultra LED Frisbee.

On the top side of the Frisbee, your thumb will cover the top, providing additional balance and support when you throw.

Hammer Throw Frisbee Grip Top
Top hammer grip on my new TOSY Ultra LED Frisbee.

Once you’ve gripped the Frisbee correctly, you’ll begin your throwing motion. Unlike a forehand throw where the disc is released relatively flat, a hammer throw is much more vertical – so much so, that it’s almost upside down. Often, this is called an “inverted” throw – because the disc is traveling through the air upside down.

The release point of the Frisbee will be up over your head, almost across your body, instead of to the side.

It’s similar to throwing a baseball, but not the same, as the release point of the Frisbee is over your opposite side shoulder. It probably will feel awkward the first few times you throw a hammer, but it will feel more natural as you practice more.

The motion of a hammer throw should look like a downward curl. If you’re left-handed, it should resemble the letter “J”. If you’re right handed, the disc should travel in a motion similar to a backwards “J.”

And that’s it! Congratulations, you can now make an Ultimate Frisbee hammer throw!

To recap, when you throw a hammer in Frisbee you should:

  • Make sure you have the same grip as a forehand
  • Release the Frisbee vertically, almost upside down, over your opposite-side shoulder
  • The path of the Frisbee should look like a “J” as it travels through the air

Why Should you Learn How to Throw a Hammer Frisbee

There are a lot of reasons why you should learn to throw a hammer while playing Frisbee. Here are the three most important.

Experience in Throwing and Catching

Whether you’re playing a game of Ultimate Frisbee, or just having fun with friends, the hammer throw is part of the game. You’ll become a better thrower overall by practicing throwing hammers. Perhaps even more importantly though, you’ll become a better catcher and receiver by throwing hammers.

I have had very good teammates in the past who could do almost anything while playing Ultimate Frisbee…except catch hammers. Learning to catch a hammer is so important, because the disc is usually traveling faster, is upside down, and spinning the opposite direction. Practicing catching is just as important as throwing when it comes to hammers.

Throwing to an Open Teammate

If you are going to play Ultimate Frisbee at any skill level, you’re going to get in a position where a teammate is open, and you need to get the disc to them quickly. Your defense will probably know this too, and they’ll move their mark to stop an easy throw. What do you do?

You throw a hammer!

Throwing a hammer is one of the easiest ways to break a mark. Not only that, but hammers often travel through the air quicker than forehand or backhand throws, so they can get to your open teammate faster. This is a pretty common reason to throw a hammer while playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Fun

Throwing a hammer throw in Ultimate Frisbee is fun! Whether at practice, at the park, or playing a game like cups, you’ll see someone with a disc throwing a hammer. Being able to throw a hammer adds variety to your game, and generally makes disc sports more enjoyable.

When Should you Throw a Hammer in Ultimate Frisbee

There are some specific times when throwing a hammer makes sense in Ultimate Frisbee. Here are some of the more common ones.

Zone

When your opponents put a zone on you, it’s sometimes hard to pass the Frisbee to a teammate. Being able to throw a hammer can easily get the Frisbee over the top of the zone, making them run more, and making it easier for your team to break through the zone.

Poach

As mentioned earlier in the article, sometimes a defender will poach somewhere else on the field, and one of your teammates will be wide open. Being able to throw over your mark with a hammer can get the disc to your teammate quickly.

Wind

This doesn’t happen as often, but sometimes the wind is strong, and moving at an angle that makes a forehand or backhand throw difficult. Sometimes, it’s just easier to make a Frisbee throw – hammer – through this type of wind. The release angle of the hammer, velocity, and path of the disc as it flies can sometimes make the hammer throw a preferred throw in the wind.

Flex on your Opponents

When you really want your opponents to know what’s up, you can throw a hammer instead of a more conventional forehand or backhand. Just be sure not to mess your flex up!

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