Humans are believed to be unusually good throwers due to their high dexterity and good timing capabilities, and it is believed that this is an evolved trait. Evidence of hominid throwing dates back 2 million years to homo erectus.The 90 mph throwing speed found in many athletes far exceeds the speed at which chimpanzees can throw things, which is about 20 mph.This ability reflects the ability of the human shoulder muscles and tendons to store elasticity until it is needed to propel an object.

Athletics throwing events can be categorised into push throws (shot putt), sling throws (discus), heave throws (hammer) and pull throws (javelin).