How To Throw A Shot Put
Shot put is a field sport. It was one of the sports featured in the first modern Summer Olympic Games in 1896 with women’s competition being added to the Games in 1948. It remains an Olympic event today as well as a track and field event at lower levels of competition. It involves throwing, or putting, a heavy spherical object known as a shot.
Follow these instructions to learn a basic shot put throw.
Holding The Shot
Properly holding the shot is very important for your throw. Be sure not to grasp it with your entire hand or hold it in your palm. Hold it instead with your fingers and have them spread out slightly around the ball. With the shot in your fingers you’ll want to then cock your hand back. If you are a beginner then it helps to imagine that you’re balancing a pizza box with that hand. Keep your hand steady, but be careful not to over-extend it because this can result in hand and wrist injuries. Stand up straight with the shot held at your neck and prepare to enter the starting position.
Shot Put Starting Position
A shot put throw begins with a very important starting position. This position sets up your form and prepares you for your throw. It’s just as important as holding the shot correctly. In this position your feet are out wide. You back leg should be bent down. Your upper body should be facing the back of the net and you should be holding the shot with your fingers close to your neck at your jawline. The elbow of your shot arm should be roughly parallel with the ground and your thumb pointing toward your collarbone. Point your palm in the direction you’ll be throwing the shot.
Releasing The Shot
The starting position should have you low to the ground. This generates momentum as you begin coming out of that position. As you come up you want to explode into a standing position, twisting your body around quickly. Lead the movement with your elbow. Push the shot up and away from your body at a 45 degree angle. Keep your elbow high and shift the leading motion to your hips as you extend out your arm. Your entire body needs to be involved in the twist and you need to be sure to follow through the motion be extending your throwing arm out completely as you release the shot. Release at the moment that your arm is completely extended.
More Shot Put Tips
As with any sport or exercise you should begin your practice with a warm up. You want to be sure you’re throwing the shot at your full capacity and you also want to avoid straining any muscles during the throw. A general warm up is usually running and stretching. You may also want to specifically work your arms by doing push ups or some weight lifting. Cool down after throwing by stretching your arms to relax your muscles.