Some of the SPO physical therapists hit the road and stopped for a visit at Section 715 Throwing Co. While there, they learned about the ins and outs of axe throwing from the local axe-perts. They also provided some physical therapy tips and tricks regarding shoulder maintenance and form when performing the same repetitive motion. Whether you’re an expert axe thrower, simply raising your arm over your head, or picking up your child these tips can help you!
Ryan: What’s going on, everybody. I’m Ryan and this is Dan, and we’re coming to you for PT round table live from Section 715.
Dan: That’s right. We’re here with the good people at Section 715. We’re here with Chris today. He’s a local axe-pert and he’s been here since the beginning of 715. And he’s gonna show us the ins and outs of throwing axes. And we’ll answer a few PT questions along the way.
Jesse: How’s it going, Chris? I’m Jesse.
Chris: I’m Chris. I’ll be your axe-pert today.
Jesse: Awesome man. Show me what I need to do. What are we playing?
Chris: So normal Axe World League, we throw 10 throws — best out 10. In them 10 throws — twice you can go for that kill shot. The blue dots up in the corner. If you wanna get things started, I’ll go first.
Jesse: Let’s go. So when you’re throwing all day, where are some places that you feel this at, on your body?
Chris: You feel a lot of it in your forearm, bicep, shoulders, back — a little bit everywhere.
Jesse: So how many hours a week would you say you practice throwing?
Chris: So I throw as much as I can every week.
Jesse: As much as you can is how much?
Chris: At home, here.
Jesse: So you have this setup at home, too?
Chris: I have the same setup at home.
Jesse: So it’s like your living room TV here and then a bullseye?
Chris: I got a shop outside. In the shop.
Jesse: Yeah, that’s smart. Don’t do it in the house. So what’s a secret to great axe throwing?
Chris: Muscle memory. It’s all muscle memory trying to repeat the same thing over and over again.
Jesse: On scale of zero to ten, how good are you at this?
Chris: Currently ranked about top 150 in the world.
Jesse: Top one 50, huh? Outta how many?
Chris: About 5,000.
Jesse: All right. So pointers here. Let me know if I’m doing anything wrong. (Hits bullseye). Or was that good?
Chris: That seems pretty good to me.
Jesse: So how can people participate in this? Are there leagues? Can you just come in whenever you want?
Chris: We have leagues Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We have youth leagues. We have our world act swing league. We have two-person rec leagues.
Jesse: Well, Chris, thanks for showing me the ropes. I appreciate it. And thanks for taking it easy on me. That was fun.
Chris: No problem. It was good being your axe-pert today.
PT Quick Tip
Carter: Hey everybody. It’s Carter from the PT round table coming to you here today. We’re gonna use our subject here, Ryan to talk to you a little bit about some of the proper positioning and the overuse injuries that Chris sees as an axe throwing professional. It’s a repetitive motion that occurs a again and again and again, using the same exact movements, the same exact muscles, every single repetition.
And so again, we’re gonna use Ryan here as our example to talk a little bit about the positioning of where you need to be in order to be as consistent as possible. One thing that we need to keep into consideration is where Ryan’s shoulder blade or scapula is on his back. Having your shoulder too high, shrugged up towards your ear, or too low can put some of the tissues around the shoulder into some positions that can cause pinching and that overuse like he alluded to.
And so what we want Ryan to do when he’s gonna throw this axe, so that he’s in a really stable position at his shoulder blade is to make sure that his shoulder blade is just up and slightly tilted back to create a really stable base. And he’s in a really good position right now. What this does is this allows him to use his arm without any compensatory motions occurring so that when he throws and he extends his elbow, his shoulder blade’s not moving. The only things that are producing motion are his elbow and his wrist.
One of the things that we see and we talk about in our practice, at Steven’s Point Orthopedics, is overuse and repetitive motions. We have our high-tech motion analysis software from Noraxon. We’re able to look at how the body moves, and particularly with axe throwing, we would be able to see just exactly how the shoulder, elbow, and wrist all work together as that axe is being released towards the target.
Whether you’re someone that’s struggling raising your arm over your head, picking your child up, or you’re an axe thrower looking to improve your performance, we in the physical therapy world at Stevens Point Orthopedics feel like we can help in a really, really big way. And we’re super, super excited again to be here at Section 715, and we thank them again for their hospitality.