7 Steps to Throw Better Bags in Cornhole, Backed by Science

Cornhole Europa, Cornhole in Germany




It was the finals of the 2018 Konken Cornhole Club Tourney in Konken Germany. In a daze of Pils beer and poor gym lighting, my husband and I made the finals, against two dudes, one of them being the champion of the Swedish Open. And I out-threw my husband! My husband who can do the “pancake” (some weird twisting bag thing that is supposed to work better) and practices all the time and cares about winning.


As a physical therapist I totally geek out on biomechanics. Let me explain, no too long, let me sum up. I was that annoying person in yoga class asking questions of the teacher about the exact angle needed in a downward dog. (Shame on you, past Morgan!)


Talk about ruining the vibe. I could see the corners on the teacher’s mouth start to turn downward when I opened my mouth.


Teacher: “Just flow with it.”

Me: “I’d like to have really good posture, how do I go from this really awkward position to the next really awkward position?”

Teacher: “Think about ujjayi breath, pull up and in with your “lower abs” or your 5th chakra.”

Me: But, how should I hold this pose, and breathe with my belly but still pull my belly or “chakra” in and up?”

Teacher: “It’s 99% practice, 1% theory”

Me: WTF? This is like a politicians answer.

Me to myself: “F%*k your chakras. I have to breathe and my abs have to move in and out and what the heck is a a “lower ab”? I dissected an actual human and there are just abs. (BTW, dissecting a cadaver is a lot of manual labor!) There are four layers of abs from the inside to the outside, and they run the entire length and breadth of the abdominal cavity. There’s no division under your umbilicus. Sorry, under the fifth chakra.”


So how should we throw cornhole bags to win?

Practice, duh.

10,000 hours should do it. Focused practice.

But how to practice? And are there any scientific ways to improve?

99% practice but with 1% good theory might be the way to go for most of us. No lower ab cues please.


1% theory question: what is good sound scientific theory on how to throw 1 pound sandbags to a target 27 feet away. My mission!


As a physical therapist I immediately go toward thinking about how to hold our bodies.


**Should we use a reciprocal stance where our left foot is forward and we throw with our right arm?


**Should we take a step while we throw?