How to Warm Up Shot Put & Discus Throw

Shot put and discus training programs combine speed, strength and technique, warmup routines should reflect these elements also. Coaches develop training programs with the end result in mind, getting the best throws at major championship events. The warm up routine for practice starts with a low intensity dynamic warm up followed by general and event related exercises.

The daily warm up is started with controlled movements focusing on flexibility with proper movement mechanics. Higher intensity exercises with more dynamic movements are performed to increase the body’s range of motion and stimulate the nervous system as the warm-up progresses.

Medicine ball routines, plyometric training and event related exercises can be used before or after the shot put and discus practice.

After the dynamic warm up, coaches can use circuits and event related routines, setting up stations with groups rotating to different work areas.

Why Throwers Need Flexibility?

Having the flexibility in the torso to create separation between the upper and lower body during a throw will help create a longer path of acceleration of the implement resulting in a longer throw if appropriately timed.

Warm Up Phases

  • General Dynamic Exercises: low intensity to high intensity
  • Event Specific Movements:  simple to complex
  • Individualized Exercises:preventative to specific needs

Warm Up Concepts and Sample Programs

General Dynamic Warm Up

  • Walking quad stretch
  • Walking hamstring stretch
  • Walking side lunges
  • Walking forward lunge with twist
  • Jogging carioca
  • Jogging high knee
  • Jogging butt kicks
  • Explosive skipping for height
  • Explosive skipping for distance
  • Dynamic build up acceleration runs

General Dynamic Warm Up Circuit

Tip: medicine ball throws, plyometrics and sprint combinations for warm up, explosive strength and speed development:

Tip: use heavy medicine balls for strength and light medicine ball for speed

  • Forward shot put throw x5
  • Overhead shot put throw x5
  • 5 double hops
  • 5 backward double leg hops
  • 5x20m sprints

Event Specific Warm Up

Exercises designed specifically to help with the technical aspects of the throw plus develop speed and strength:

  • Walking glide shot put throw
  • Shuffle-shuffle-half turn discus throw
  • multiple glides with a barbell

Early Season Training 

General Dynamic Warm Up

2x30 meters each

  • Easy forward skip with arm circles
  • Easy backward skip with backward arm circles
  • Straight leg jogging
  • Walking lunge with a twist
  • Backward lunges with a twist
  • Side slide
  • Carioca with high knees
  • Dynamic build ups

General Dynamic Warm Up Circuit

  • Kneeling chest pass x10
  • Hurdle hops (“24) x10
  • Kneeling hammer throw x10 each way
  • Side hurdle hops (“12) x10 each way
  • Vertical jump-vertical jump-forward throw for height x10
  • Jump-jump-forward throw and sprint x20m x5

Event Specific Warm Up

The event specific warm up can help develop the technical and physical needs to throw well.

Beginning Shot Put and Discus Throwers

  • Kneeling shot put crunch drill 1 x5 each way
  • Standing shot put crunch drill 1 x10
  • Easy wind up discus stand throw x10
  • 1/2 turn discus stand throw x10

Advanced Shot Put and Discus Throwers

  • Kneeling shot put crunch drill 1 x5 each way
  • Standing shot put crunch drill 2 2x5 each way
  • Discus stand throw 2x5 each way
  • (Side facing) Shuffle-shuffle – shot put stand throw x10
  • (Side facing) Shuffle-shuffle-half turn discus throw x10

Mid Season Training

General Dynamic Warm Up

2x30 meters each

  • Backward lunges
  • High knee skips
  • Backward skipping
  • Forward skip with arm circles
  • Walking knee lifts
  • Walking quad stretch
  • Backward jogging
  • Side slide
  • Dynamic build ups

General Dynamic Warm Up Circuit

  • Backward jumps x10
  • Chest pass to 10m sprint
  • Side jumps x10 each way
  • Forward throw and sprint x10m x5
  • Chest pass and sprint x10m x5

Event Specific Warm Up 

  • Kneeling discus throw x10 each way
  • Kneeling hammer throw x5 each way
  • Kneeling shot put throw x10 each way

Peak Season Training

Dynamic Warm Up

2x20 meters each

  • Backward lunges
  • Forward lunges
  • Inchworm
  • Walking hamstring stretch
  • Walking quad stretch
  • Forward skip for height
  • Backward jogging
  • Dynamic build up

General Dynamic Warm Up Circuit

  • Overhead shot put throws for distance x 5 throws
  • Medicine ball overhead throw, turn right and sprint x20m x3
  • Front shot throws for distance x5 throws
  • Medicine ball overhead throw, turn left and sprint x20m x3
  • Double leg hops into sand x5 jumps x3

Event Specific Warm Up

Discus with barbell on back

  • Discus 1/2 turn to power position  x5
  • Step to the middle drill x10

Shot put with light medicine ball

  • Shot put stand throws x5 each way
  • 1/2 turn throws x5

Shot Put and Discus Warm Up Concepts

Shot put and discus training programs at the start of the season are designed to develop basic skills with medicine ball throws, low impact plyometrics and event specific technical patterns.

The warm up routine prepares the throwing for the training session and will develop several athletic skills to help the thrower reach big performances.

Later in the season, medicine ball exercises, plyometrics and drills are used to correct technical faults, develop specific strength and speed for the shot put and discus.

During the peak phase the routine is shortened with an emphasis on explosive speed and technical refinement.

Team Warm Up

Throwers, sprinters, distance runners and jumpers can work together during the dynamic warm up and general circuits to improve the team atmosphere while developing speed and power at the same time.

What About Static Stretching?

Studies cited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Guide to Program Design have shown a decrease in performance with static stretching routines; the studies refer to evidence that suggest static stretching before exercise can have a negative effect on force production, power, strength and speed (Hoffman, 2012).

Throwing Warm Up Review

The warm up for the throwing events include active flexibility exercises, followed by more dynamic exercises, slowly increasing the range of motion of the activities as the body temperature rises. 

The warm-up routine will include both general and specific exercises related to the athlete’s event area in track and field. In addition, the warm-up should include individualized exercises based on the needs of the athlete.

The throwing coach can organize practice several ways, however, the warm up is used not only to prepare the body for the workout but develop technical precision, speed and strength.

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