Field Events: Exercises to Improve Your Shot Putters' Glide

Glenn McAtee

Novice Shot Putters May Never Have Learned How to Move Backwards Comfortably
Novice Shot Putters May Never Have Learned How to Move Backwards Comfortably

Many novice shot putters have trouble with the glide because they can't stay balanced while moving backward.

The problem is twofold. First, young athletes may lack the leg strength to execute the glide correctly. Second, they simply lack experience in moving backward because their previous sport experiences have not included the opportunity to practise backward movement.

    The remedy is straight-forward: give your throwers experience in moving backwards in a variety of ways. Some possible drills include:

  • Backwards running and sprinting,
  • Backwards jumping,
  • Backwards hopping and leaping,
  • Backwards lunges,
  • Many backward glides along a line on the field or track (glide from both right and left legs).

The added benefit to such exercises is an improvement in the general and specific strength of the throwers' legs.

How to Schedule
These exercises can be used as part of the warm-up, as a break from putting, or as part of the conditioning at the end of workout. However you use these exercises, including them in your throwers' training will surely help them to become better gliders.

Contributor: Glenn McAtee is the former throws coach at Cal State -Northridge and Clemson Universities. He was a national-level thrower (former Canadian national bronze medalist in the hammer).

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© 2011, Physical Education,

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