Shot Put & Discus Workouts
The shot put and discus are two of the oldest field events in the sport of track and field. Both depend on explosive strength. However, it's not just muscle power that helps athletes dominate their sport. Shot putters and discus throwers also need quickness to generate momentum.
This weight training exercise builds dynamic power in the legs. In the shot put or discus, your legs provide the majority of the power. Lunges can build the strength you need. Grasp a barbell and put it behind your neck so it rests on your shoulders. Lunge forward so your right knee is straight and your left knee is bent. The closer your right knee is to the ground, the more power you will gain. Return to the starting position and alternate the movement so your left knee is straight and your right knee is bent. Do this exercise 10 times each way.
High Knee Lifts
To develop the quickness needed for an explosive throw, shot putters and discus throwers should do high knee lifts. Go to the track and begin by sprinting 20 yards. After you get to the 20-yard mark, walk another 20 yards and lift your knees as high and as quickly as possible. Then sprint 20 more yards and do high knee lifts for 20 more yards.
Kettlebells teach shot putters and discus throwers how to coordinate their movements as they train to get stronger. Kettlebells help the field athlete with balance, coordination and core strength. Hold the kettlebell under your chin and get in the shot-put start position. Practice the spinning movement used in the shot put and discus throw to improve your balance and coordination. Use arm swings with the kettlebell to gain throwing distance.
Run shuttle sprints to develop explosive quickness for the shot put and discus. Starting in the gym, run 10 yards and pick up an item such as a track baton. Run 10 yards back to the starting point and put the baton on the ground. Run 20 yards and pick up another baton, then run back to the starting line. Do this routine three times per training session.
Workouts that increase your strength and quickness can help improve your performance in your track and field events. Athletes must work on functional strength and quickness in order to improve in any sport.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.