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A Simple Explanation of the Right Technique of Throwing the Discus

An Olympic sport, the discus throw is an extremely popular sport with athletes all over the world. For those of you who want to start off with the basics, this article is here to help...
Mamta Mule
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
A discus is basically a heavy disc-shaped object, and an athlete has to throw it standing inside a circle of a particular diameter, and try to achieve the maximum distance, as compared to his/ her competitors, to win the event. Along with strength, balance, footwork, and crisp body movement are essential for a perfect throw. Mastering the right technique is a must for an athlete participating in this event. Here are some tips to help you out.
Holding the Discus
This forms the base of discus throwing. Start by placing the tip of your thumb on the plate. The popular technique is to hold it with a split. In a split, all the fingers are spaced equally, thumb resting on the top of the discus. The discus will rest on the finger joints which are closest to your nails.
The Right Position
Holding the discus as mentioned above, follow these steps. Align yourself with the target. Stand in a way so that your left shoulder (if you are right-handed) is pointed towards the target, and face is pointing at a 90-degree angle from the target. The feet must be spaced shoulder-width apart.
Bending at your waist and knees, swing the discus behind you, away from your body as much as possible. Your non-throwing arm and throwing arm must be in opposite directions. Your weight will be on the right leg (if you are right-handed), with the left leg being slightly off the ground.
Rotation and Release
Keep your arm in-line with your shoulders. Rotating the discus outwards, away from yourself and towards the target, move your shoulders in the direction of the throw. As you spin while swinging the discus, shift your weight to the left foot, raise the right foot, pivot on the ball of the left foot, and swing the right foot around the left leg, towards the center of the circle.
Now, the right leg is off the ground, and the ball of the left foot is on the ground. Just before the right foot lands in the center of the circle, push yourself off the ground with your left foot and pivot on the ball of the right foot, swinging the left leg around to bring it in the front of the circle.
Land the left leg slightly outside the right leg. Confused? Basically, if a line is drawn joining the two ends―your right foot and the target, then the left foot must lie slightly left of this line.
Now, the weight is shifted from the right side to the left side. Your non-throwing arm is forward, and throwing arm is behind you, straight and above waist level. You need to twist your torso and shift your weight forward. At the same time, bring your arm upwards, at an angle of 35 degrees, which is known to be an ideal angle for throwing. Release the discus smoothly and continue rotating towards the left.
The phase of rotation seems like a complex one. But, if understood properly and practiced well, you can definitely master this. Many coaches add their own styles and variations in the technique, in line with the rules, of course. The key is to keep practicing as much as you can.
Discus throw
Male athlete
Discus in hand
Jim Thorpe Discus Statue