Although hammer throwing is perceived as a sport focusing on strength, there are many factors affecting the throws of athletes during the competition. Many people think that hammer throwing does not require much skill because, well, the athlete’s aim is just to throw the steel ball as far as they can. What they aren’t aware of is that hammer throwing calls for different skills. Speed, endurance, balance, and focus are just some of the skills required in order to accomplish a decent throw.
Since a variety of skills are needed for hammer throwing, it’s only sensible to enhance each of these skills to achieve a better throw. There are exercises that can be practiced to attain better throwing performance. Here are some of them:
Plate Twist Exercises. During hammer throwing, a thrower is required to spin consecutively before releasing the hammer for him to carry out a good throw. Twist exercises mainly focus on your abdominal, hip and lower back muscles, thus improving your rotation. Plate twist exercises will strengthen your core muscles. Just be mindful in choosing the weight of the plate you’ll be using. For starters, you may choose a plate with lighter weight and gradually move up to a heavier weight once you get used to it.
Bench Press Exercises. Doing bench presses is a good way of improving muscle strength and endurance. Bench press exercises enhance shoulders, chest and triceps. Having a strong upper body is essential in lifting the hammer. Aside from lifting the hammer, you have to swing it around for three or four times. Therefore, your body would have to carry the weight of the ball while swinging it.
Hand Grip Exercises. Some people miss the importance of having a good grip. Having a good, strong grip is essential to hammer throwing because you’ll be gripping the hammer’s handle as you turn. Focus on improving your crush grip or the grip between your fingers and your thumb. Grippers can be used to improve your grip. While lifting barbells and dumbbells are also helpful in enhancing hand grip, you may also try simple exercises such as lifting heavy pails on both hands.
Squat Exercises. When you perform hammer throwing, you rely not only on your upper body, but your lower body as well. Your balance and ability to turn smoothly depends on your lower body. Squat exercises will help boost your leg power, balance, and mobility. Squats are extremely helpful in increasing muscle strength on your legs. It also works out your core muscles, which is important in maintaining balance while turning during hammer throws.
Speed Exercises. Doing 30-50 meter-sprints every practice will also increase speed while turning.
Medicine Ball Exercises. Med or fitness balls are important in increasing explosive power which is a great help in throwing. Plyometric training, or training on how to maximize your muscle strength in a short period of time is crucial in hammer throwing because you have to give the best you‘ve got in just three or four turns.
There are numerous methods, practices, and exercises that can be followed in preparation for hammer throwing. What’s important is to remember that hammer throwing uses almost your full body. Paying attention to improving each of the body parts needed in hammer throwing can go a long way and improve your throws drastically.