A good discus thrower needs to master the technique and strength required for successful throws. Repetition is vital, of course, but there are specific exercises and drills you can do to help bolster your ability to get the most out of every throw. And the focus of a number of these maneuvers is getting your body — in particular, your hands and arms — comfortable with the throwing motion and the smooth release necessary for great throws.
This exercise is both a good warm-up and a way to help a discus thrower get the feel for centrifugal force, according to the National Throws Coaches Association. To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the discus in your throwing hand. Swing the discus back, rotating your body, and then bring the discus around and catch it in your opposite hand. The thrower should get to know the feel of the discus pushing out from the throwing hand.
Another favorite of the National Throws Coaches Association, this exercise includes two discus throwers at a time, can be done indoors and focuses on a key part of the throw. To begin, have two throwers about 15 feet apart in a gymnasium. The first thrower will attempt to “bowl” the discus on the ground to his partner, with special attention to having the discus roll off the index finger without wobbling. The key to good throws is a firm and steady release, so that should be the focus in this drill. When the throwers are efficient at bowling the discus from 15 feet apart, have them back up a few feet, but only if their rolls are wobble-free.
This is a great exercise to strengthen your core muscles, which is key for discus throwers, says certified personal trainer and Level II USA Track and Field Coach Ian Graham. To start, lie face down on a mat and support your body on your forearms and toes. Try to hold the position for 30 seconds without arching your back or moving your body at all.
The ability to stay balanced while turning in the circle before and during your throw is crucial, and Blinn College track and field coach Tommy Bardon, also a contributing writer to “Track and Field News” suggests some basic drills in the circle to develop your balance. To help your body get used to staying balanced and in control while spinning, start by facing the back of the circle. Wind up the discus and, with your left leg bent and your right leg pressing outward, turn a complete 360 degrees using your left foot as a pivot. Another balance drill you can practice involves a partner, such as a coach. Start by having your coach hold a ball in his hand on the outside of the circle. Then, as you turn, kick the ball out with your right foot.