Throwing is the launching of a ballistic projectile by hand. This action is only possible for animals with the ability to grasp objects with their hands (mainly primates).
Humans, being bipedal, have a wide variety of throwing techniques and abilities. These have been employed in warfare Ö first through rock-throwing, then refined weapon-throwing (e.g. spear, throwing axe), and into modern day with hand grenades and tear gas canisters. Throwing is used in many sports and games, particularly ball games, and in throwing sports the action is the main determiner of the outcome. These serve as forms of recreation and exercise in society.
Types of throws include overhand throws, underhand throws and using both hands. Overhand throws are thrown predominantly above the shoulder, underhand throws below. Overhand throws are usually significantly faster, and ball speeds of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) have been recorded in baseball. Thrown objects can often be intentionally spun for stability or aerodynamic effects.
The overhand throwing motion is a complex motor skill that involves the entire body in a series of linked movements starting from the legs, progressing up through the pelvis and trunk, and culminating in a ballistic motion in the arm that propels a projectile forward. It is used almost exclusively in athletic events. The throwing motion can be broken down into three basic steps: cocking, accelerating, and releasing.
Desired qualities in the action produce a fast, accurate throw. These qualities are affected by the physical attributes of the thrower like height, strength, and flexibility. However it is mainly the throwing motion mechanics and the thrower's ability to coordinate them that determines the quality of the throw. Determining the desired qualities of the throwing motion is difficult to assess due to the extremely short amount of time that it takes professionals to perform the motion.