Field Events: Shot Put - Ideal Release Angle

Field Events: Shot Put - Ideal Release Angle

Dick Moss

While the ideal release angle for the shot has been shown to be 42 degrees, the difference in distance when the shot is thrown at any angle from 36 to 47 degrees is only 30 centimetres.

Some throwers can generate a faster release speed when throwing at a flatter than ideal trajectory. For such athletes (i.e. Randy Barnes at the Olympics), this might be the better option.

For example, it has been shown that an increase in release speed of only 1.5 km/hour at a release angle of 45 degrees can improve throw distance from 60 to 65 feet.

Beginning throwers should attempt a release angle that is as close to 42 degrees as possible.

As their skill level progresses, they can experiment with lower angles of release - as low as 36 degrees. As they experiment, you might find that their distance improves because of a faster speed of release.


1. Peter Lawler & Jörg Probst, "Important Flight Parameters in the Shot Put." Modern Athlete & Coach, January 2007.

2. David Post, Important Flight Parameters in the Shot Put (Original article), Track Coach, Volume 174, pg 5571-5572, 2006.


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