The hammer throw technique is quite different to all the other throws. It is a rotaitonal technique where the thrower aims to turn in the circle with gradually increasing speed with the elite throwers managing four turns before releasing. Throws coach John Painter has broken down the technique into four drill sets making it easier to learn and retain the technique.
A good way to support the development and retention of throwing skills and technique is through the use of drills or practices. These practices can break down the skill into much more manageable chunks and allow the athlete to learn one step at a time, giving them extra time to perfect the technique. This is much more beneficial than just giving an athlete a hammer and letting them throw it.
Hammer competitions were first recorded in Ireland and Scotland in the 16th century and by the 1800’s were a regular part of the highland games. The hammer was first introduced into the Olympics in 1904 with most hammers throwers today using a three or four turn technique.
Practice set 1 involves the use or medicine balls with handles called D-balls. The aim is to improve core stability and rotational technique.
Hammer drills practice set two involves using the hammer and doing turning shuttle runs in a straight line. Single arm turns with both hands as well as two handed turns are done.
Hammer drills set three involve shuttle runs along a straight line and pivot turns on the spot with medicine balls and hammers. The aim is to improve rotational technique, core strength, balance and control.
Practice set 4 involve using an Olympic weight lifting bar and performing tuning drills. The aim again is to improve rotational technique, core strength and co-ordination.