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How to Improve Your Technique and Get Better at Shot Put

How to Get Better at Shot Put
If you're a track athlete, I'm sure you have your dreams of making it big, maybe even at the Olympics level. Though you will need to do a lot of hard work, there's no harm in dreaming big. If shot put is what you want to be good at, you'll have to work at it, and here's how you do that.
Arun Prabhu
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
One common problem with track sports is deception. They can look a lot easier than they actually are. That causes a lot of frustration for athletes. The reasons for this are wide, ranging from bad technique to a weaker physique. When I say weaker physique, I don't mean a weaker body. Each sport relies more on a particular set of muscles and you need to build those sets to get better. This article concentrates on what you can do after you get the basics of shot put.
Areas of Improvement
This is a set of things that you need to get better at, just after or during the beginners stage. What can happen sometimes is that to learn the basics, you may forget a certain aspect of the game. Find out what you're missing out on and strengthen yourself in that area.
There are two ways to shot put- the more commonly used and simpler glide technique and the complicated but effective rotational technique. You should get better at gliding first, then work at your spin.
Better Technique and Form
The form remains the most important thing about shot put. A better form gives you the biggest advantage on the field. This comes to you even if you don't have as much strength as half the athletes out there.
Shot put
When you pick up the ball, make sure it rests on the lower end of your fingers, where they meet the palm. The ball should not rest in the palm, just the fingers.

Plant the ball between the neck and the shoulder. Don't lose grip on the ball, hold it tightly with your fingers.

Stand at the back of the circle if you're gliding. Put your weight on your stronger leg and start to arch back. As you do, lift your weaker leg up to counter-balance the weight of your upper body on the leg.
Shot putter throwing ball
Lift your body up by pushing down on the weaker leg. Your upper body should rotate around the body center. When your shoulders are the furthest from the ground, spring your throwing hand outwards. Start from the elbows and push using the shoulders.
Throwing shot put
Release the ball the moment your hand is completely outstretched. Use your fingers and wrist to get that extra push on the ball. Note that upon release, the hand, arm and fingers are straight.

The best shot angle is about 37 to 40 degrees.
Better Workouts
It is a common misconception that shot put uses only the muscles of the hands and the shoulders. Shot put actually requires a lot more muscle groups than just the two. The main group is the core muscles. As explained before, you need to follow a flow of motion in your body to get the best distance on the shot. That's why you need to train your entire body for it.
Man doing exercise
The important muscles still remain the hands and the shoulders. Work on them like you normally do.

You also need to concentrate on your legs, especially your calves. Your legs are from where your movement starts when you take the shot. If they are not strong enough, you just won't get a powerful lift on your body.

The next comes your chest and abdomen. Your abs transfer strength from your leg muscles to your chest, which pushes the shoulder and arm.
An important thing to understand is that shot put is only about impulse strength. To get the best burst from all your muscle sets, they need to be as limber as possible. This will help to get a faster coil and uncoil action from them, giving you an edge over the other athletes

Incorporate failure sets in your workouts. They are generally the 4th or the 5th set in a workout session, where you pause and then continue. If you complete the failure set without any difficulties, increase the weights on your next set.
You can identify your own strengths and weaknesses and the way your body reacts to an action. Once you attain the right form, the next step would be to know your own body better. This will help you come up with a style that's unique. Do that right and consider yourself a good shot put athlete.