T Nation

Shot Put Help


Im in need of some help with my shot put form, so I was wondering if there are any experienced coaches/throwers that could look at a few videos and help me out.

And yes, I know this is the powerlifting forum. But it's better to post it here than dealing with the douchebags in the GAL section.


Are you a glide or spin technique?



I dont know shit about shot putting, but I think theres a couple of guys in the over 35 forum dabbling in this sort of thing. Check out users Carl Darby and hel320 (beastly guy, by the way), they both have training logs in the over 35 forum.
Also, Chad Wesley Smith, competed at a fairly high level, I believe. He can be contacted at the elitefts Q&A. Seems like a solid guy.


Im a spinner.


Ok cool, thanks alot man ill have to check those guys out.

And yea, Chad is a pretty good putter, im not sure if hed have the time to look at videos of me though. I guess its worth a try.

Thanks again.


I retired from shot putting, but I'd be happy to comment on your technique. I'll follow the guidelines of the Hippocratic oath (do no harm, unless there is the potential for humor).

Chad Smith has pretty decent form. His videos on Youtube are take from pretty decent angles. Be careful if you look at Adam Nelson--he does things that can't be replicated by normal humans. And Randy Barnes, of course, is worth studying.


Sorry, bro. I can't help you. I only know how to do the glide.



Alright, sounds good man. I try and only watch videos of Hoffa, Barnes and Godina. I try not to copy Adam and Christian Cantwell's form, for the exact reason you said.

Here's a video of me spinning from a few days ago. I wrote in the descrition section on the video of what exactly I was doing wrong:


Okay, I have some general comments and some specific comments. The general stuff first, which probably repeats things you already know:
-Your body stays relaxed and your movements are fluid and deliberate. These are good things and they indicate that you will make improvements simply by increasing your strength level--more on that later.
-I don't know how often you are throwing per week. I would recommend 2 or 3 sessions of 25-35 throws. That should match the frequency of your weightlifting, which should consist primarily of squats, bench presses and possibly Olympic lifts, although the necessity of the O lifts is debatable. Oldfield recommended push presses and I wish I had done more of those. Be careful of wrecking your shoulders. Also, and this is counterintuitive, but don't spend any time on weight based rotational training. The experience of some top rotational throwers bears this out and Dan John has some good comments on this topic. Your throwing sessions can be treated as your primary core/rotational exercise and supplemental workouts could end up having a negative effect. I would make an exception for medicine ball work, but don't try to go crazy with twisting your spine or you'll mess yourself up long term (like me). Use left handed medicine ball work to help balance out your body.
-Start saving your throws. If you can foul 60' but throw 50' in a meet your a 50' shot putter, which doesn't make finals at the N.E. championships anymore.
-I advise taking no more than six standing throws per session. Stands should be non-reversal and should focus on constant acceleration of the ball without dropping the left side or over-rotating to the left. Distance of these standing throws can be as little as 70% of what you get from a full throw.
-And, this is probably most important, try tofocus on only one technique element per session.

Specific comments on your technique:
-You set up well in the back of the circle but I would recommend keeping your left arm a bit higher and concentrate on keeping more weight on your left foot. Your right leg is good out of the back--keep it smooth and linear.
-Now, this is where I see things breaking down a bit. Your eyes and head and left shoulder tend to drop as you turn into the center of the ring. This has the effect of splitting your body into two pieces as you hit the power position. The left side of your body continues rotating left and forward out of the circle while the shot ends up going off rightwards. This is a common phenomenon in the rotational shot and can be corrected with the following drills:
-Keep eyes level through the turn and keep the left arm higher (See Ryan Whiting)
-Concentrate on rotating your right foot forcefully when it hits the center of the circle. This will have the effect of turning your hips and knees together and enhancing lower/upper separation which will impart torsional force to the ball.
-Keep pushing the ball left--if you can make the shot land in the left side of the sector then you know that you're on your way to keeping a tight power position (See Jacko Gill, and Cantwell, and Hoffa)
-In lieu of stands, work on the 1/2 turn drill. This is a difficult drill to master and I also advise not overdoing it. Start with your right foot in the center of the circle with your chest facing the throwing sector. Your left foot is behind you. Drive and turn your right foot and leg, snap your left foot down and complete the throw. Try to push the ball left and up.
-Your South African looks decent. Use this drill to teach yourself to move from slow to fast out of the back, but be careful with how many times you use this drill as you can rarely develop a good reverse from it.
-And save your throws. Next video you post I want to see save throws and the ball landing in the left side of the sector.

Hope this helps.


Yes, that helped alot, thank you very much. Although im not that new to spin, im finding out more and more things as I got along. For example, I never knew I had to throw my right foot into the middle of the ring coming out of the back... that little tidbit could have saved me 6 months of training.

Im only throwing once a week, twice if im lucky. Once it's a little nicer outside ill have alot more time for throws and drills. I will definitly keep you posted.

Thanks again.


Agree with david s on most accounts. Besides the left arm and eyes level, and cranking your right foot long and hard in the middle (the better you do this, the more to the left of the sector your throws will go), I would point out that your balance in the middle needs work. Probably tied in with dropping your head and left arm as you hit the middle of the ring, you can see the effect when you go out of the ring somewhat to the left at the end of many of your throws. Keep you weight centered and back over your right foot in the middle. Its very hard to turn the right foot when you don't. I would prefer to see you leading with the inside of your right leg into the middle of the ring, and not allow you left arm and shoulders to come around so far before your right foot hits the middle. Set up a strong separation early and hold it.


Gotcha. I know I am very slow with my right foot pivot, I am going to start working on that with some drills and half turns. And getting the right foot to the middle is good advice, I thought I was doing alright with that.

I think I will start breaking my throw's down alot more, just jumping into my full spin doesn't seem to be helping at all. I found a few videos on youtube that I think will greatly help me. This Coach Tony Ciarelli has 3 or 4 good drills that he has his spinners do that breaks down every part of the throw.


I watched your video and I'd say the 2 big things are A) stop practicing fouls you gotta push your body up and not out. Next is speed, your fulls are very slow, my coach always tells me that a slow thrower with good technique won't throw as far as a fast thrower with worse technique. Another thing have you ever tried to glide? Only 2 spinners have won the Olympics you know. Also what's your P.R.