Track & Field Training Tips: The Shot Put

There is a common misconception that you must have large, bodybuilder-type arms to be good at the shot put. But, the truth is, much of the strength and force needed to throw comes from your core and legs. Shot put training does require utilizing your whole body, but being strong and flexible in your quads, core, gluts, and hamstrings is especially important. Try these Track & Field training tips to excel at the shot put.

Build Strength And Increase Power

You’ll want to keep opposing muscles groups at relatively equal strength. Try lifting similar amounts of weights with your quads and with your hamstrings. It is good to incorporate powerlifting as part of your weight training, such as the bench press and squats.

One technique frequently used by coaches is to throw a medicine ball against a wall. Use a pushing action to thrust the ball and then catch the rebound. Really use your legs to get enough power to throw a heavy ball. You can also have a partner or coach carefully drop a medicine ball toward your chest while you lie on your back. Catch the ball and throw it back up to your partner.

You can also try “bounding,” to help your lower body develop power. Run with exaggerated strides, occasionally hopping or jumping over an obstacle with both legs.

Work Your Core

Yoga and Pilates are great for building a strong core and increasing your flexibility. You can also try a dance class, like ballet. These activities can improve balance as well, a skill that beginner shot putters often overlook.

Practice Wrist Flips

Practicing your wrist flips will help perfect your shot release and strengthen the muscles in your wrist. Try holding the shot in your hand as normal, but extend your hand above your head. Flip your wrist forward to launch the shot in front of you.

Warm Up

Before throwing the shot, get your body ready with some light jogging. Stretch your legs, hands, and wrists as well. Any Track & Field sport requires getting the muscles stretched and ready, the shot put is no exception.

Important To Note

If you are newer to the shot put, practice the throwing technique with a lighter ball or tennis ball until you get more comfortable with the movement. You can injure yourself with a dropped shot, or if you do not normally use all of the involved muscles.