Ultimate Throws: The Basics

A quick beginners guide to the two basic throws of Ultimate.

So you want to learn how to play Ultimate?

If you are an aspiring handler on your team, or just want to learn how to throw a disc properly, then these tips should help you out.

The Backhand


Everyone’s first throw. The backhand is the signature throw that everybody starts out with. However, it takes practice to master the technique.

First, you want to grip the disc in a fashion so that your thumb is on the top of the disc, and your four other fingers are underneath.


 Second, you want to move your arm in a pendulum motion. With your disc hand starting out in front of  your body, have your other hand grip the other side of the disc.

Third, In one motion  you want to bring the disc towards the opposite side of your throwing hand while pivoting your body backwards.

Fourth, like a pendulum, you want to transfer all of that momentum going backward, right into the opposite direction, launching the disc out in front of you.


The Forehand


Another throw that you often see many Ultimate players using, especially to get around a defender, is the forehand throw. This throw uses the wrist to flick the disc forward with force. Here the throw uses minimal arm movement, instead using the wrist to propel the disc forward.



First, to start, you want to grip the disc with two fingers on the underside, and two on the rim, with your thumb on the top ring. It would look as such:


Third, you want to have your arm completely horizontal, as it is shown in the picture above. Make sure that you keep your elbow as stationary as possible, as you want to get most of the power out of your wrist. (This can’t be stressed enough)

Fourth, you are going to bring your wrist and forearm back to be in line with your body. As you are doing this, take a step to the side with the foot on the same side of your throwing hand. In one fluid motion you will snap forward with your wrist and forearm and release the disc.

The best analogy that could be given would be that a forehand is very similar to whipping someone with a towel. The snap in the wrist is what causes the towel to hit the target, and the same snap forces the disc to spin and move through the air.



Practicing these two throws should cover the majority of the situations you will find yourself in a game of Ultimate. With the backhand used primarily for unblocked passes, short passes, and full field pulls, and the forehand being used for accuracy, to get around defenders, and curved flights. Each throw has it’s use, and if you practice them both, you will no doubt become a better handler.










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