Discus Throwing Technique

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The discus is one of the two most commonly-featured throw events in track and field, along with the shot put, because discus equipment is relatively inexpensive, and the throw can be performed on the same field as the shot put. The discus throw uses your entire body to generate momentum leading into the release of the discus. It requires strength as well as the correct technique to release the discus with the proper force, direction and angle to yield a maximum score.

Grip the discus in your right hand, with your hand on top of the discus and fingers curling over the side for support. The fingers should be evenly spread out on the discus. This grip allows you to hold and support the discus without applying force with your hand--the centrifugal force of the spin will hold the discus firmly in your hand until you release your fingers and let the discus fly.

Stand with your non-throwing shoulder pointed toward your target and your face pointing at a 90-degree angle from the target. Let your discus arm hang freely at your side, with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart.

Swing your discus back behind you to start your motion. As you swing back, drop your dominant leg back--your right one if you are throwing right-handed--toward the center of the throwing circle. The leg on your throwing side will be your pivot leg, the center from which you will build your momentum and power.

Bend your knees and begin your rotation, swinging the discus out away from your body. Bring it around to the front of the circle toward your target, keeping your shoulders aligned with your arm--don't bend your arm forward until you release the discus. As you spin, lift your dominant leg and bring it around with your body, then drop it down in the middle of the throwing circle as you raise your other leg off the ground. Your dominant foot will be pointed toward the back of the throwing circle, and the back of your non-dominant foot will lead you into the final segment of your discus throw.

Plant your non-dominant foot on the ground with your toes pointed toward the target. The discus should be pointed directly behind you. Your dominant leg should be straight and angled toward your target, while your non-dominant leg should be bent.

Twist your torso and bring your arm around, breaking its alignment with your shoulders. Your feet should remain planted to help generate power and provide stability. Lift onto the balls of your dominant foot as you release the discus into the air by releasing your fingers. The ideal angle to release the discus at is around 35 degrees, according to BrianMac.co.uk. The discus should slide off your hand and into the air. Your feet should remain planted as your arm swings across your torso to complete the follow-through.