Biomechanics of the Rotational Shot Put and the Rare Case of Technical Dichotomy


Since we seem to have a growing number of multi-eventers on the site to add to our usual jumps and sprints crowd, I figured I’d quickly add this clip about the biomechanics of the rotational shot put.

One thing I want to make very clear here is that the rotational shot put is a completely different animal than the glide and that coaching points which apply to one may not always apply to the other technique. In fact, many of the things you WANT to see in the rotational shot put (narrow stance, minimal left side block, reduced weight transfer, etc) are things that would doom an athlete to failure in the glide technique. This is an interesting thing to wrap your mind around because it indicates that you essentially have two completely different techniques being used to achieve virtually identical performances. In the entire sporting world, there are only a couple of instances where we see this dichotomy….free throw shooting (underhand vs. traditional) and golf putting are about the only other tasks that I can think of. High jump biomechanist once told me that the same could potentially be said for the high jump (flop vs. straddle) but no one has taken the time to truly master the straddle since Fosbury’s revolutionary technique came to prominence. Can you think of any other cases?
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