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Increase Throwing Strength

Updated on July 27, 2008

Increase Explosive Power

'Throwing strength' which may also be known as 'throwing power' is the product of 2 factors: strength and speed.

Both strength and speed can be trained to certain degrees and are an absolute neccesity for increasing throwing strength. Many things affect how you should train for your desired throwing sport. For example a Shot putter requires a very high level of absolute strength (overall body power) and a great level of speed relative to there size, but compare this to a baseball pitcher and the tables are turned, as a pitcher only has to throw a 150 gram ball compared to the 16lb shot. Therefore the baseball pitcher won' rely on absolute strength (this doesn't mean he won't train strength) as much but arm speed is a must.

Generally, too many people see throwing strength only relates to the arms and upper body, but nothing could be further from the truth. Total body power for increasing throwing strength rules all. If you only want to throw with your upper body then go somewhere else or set yourself in a bowl of concrete then try throwing and then come back here to find out how to increase your throwing power.

As a shot putter/discus throw and highland games athlete. I myself increase my throwing strength through various training activities. These being 1. the throwijng of various implement related to my events and 2. Lifting heavy weight and kettlebells for maximum strength and also lifting dynamically and explosively.

Your first port of call for deciding on a training routine for increasing your throwing strength should be to analyse your strengths and weakness relative to your sport. If your sport requires excellent explosive power then you must decide whether or not you have sufficient of this quality.

How far can you standing broad jump, vertical leap, 3 jumps, 5 jumps.

How much can you power clean, power snatch or squat.

What's you 40 yard dash time?

Do you have a deficiency in your throwing technique and are you utilising all your assets??

These are things you can analyse for your self, but something you may need help with.

Go and analyse some basic statistics for your sport and work out if you're powerful enough to compete at your desired level.

If you are not then you must do something about it.

There are no secrets for throwing far and increasing your strength, only good old hard work and plenty of it.

Leg Power

Leg Power

Leg power is quite possibly the no.1 neglected area of development in throwing athletes.


Because leg training hurts most people and only serious athletes know how and why it should be done.

In the average under trained thrower a simple diet of squatting and power cleans will do untold differences to someones overall body power and throwing capabilities.

In the more trained athletes. This must be looked at more carefully. Periodisation may need to be used or more consistent power orinetated exercises maybe required.

Although not definitive the list below is of leg training activities I believe to be essential.

Barbell squat (including chains and bands Westside Barbell Style)

Barbell/dumbbell squat jump


Power Clean

Power Snatch

Low/med/high impact plyometrics (bounding)

short sprints

Without any of these in your training your overall leg power and throwing potential will be seriously limited

Highland Games

The Highland Games is a real test of explosive power and strength.

Training for it alone with just the weight events is a superb body strengthener and excellent training for Increasing Throwing Strength

Check out this Highland Games Video of me Throwing the 28lb Weight for Distance. My distance was 67ft. notice Geoff Capes. Previous World Strongest man, International Shot Putter and Highland Games athlete.

Geoff was the ultimate thrower, strong, fast and extremely explosive.

It was great to meet him

Highland Games Video of me Throwing the 28lb Weight for Distance.

Plyometrics For Throwing Power

Plyometrics (Jumping/bounding call it what you like) is a fundamental aspect required for all athletes especially throwers to excel in. You will rarely find a good thrower who can't or doesn't excel in plyometrics. Period.

Plyometrics form a great base for throwers to work from. Alongside heavy weight training plyometrics provide a thrower with the ability to move explosively and rapidly in a very short period of time. The more explosive thrower has the ablity to generate force faster than others. He may reach a peak force the same as others but he/she who does this faster will almost always throw further and hence be more powerful.

In the most basic of forms a plyometric session will involve simple bounding (hopping on 1 or 2 legs). As an example, 2 footed bounds in a straight line for 6 foot contacts repeated 5 times with a 3min rest between sets. This is the first style of plyometrics you should undertake to allow your self to acclimatise and let your muscles recover. Plyometric training should not take place until you have completed at least 2 years of intense weight training where you perform squats//cleans/snatches on a regular basis.

When you have a good base of general plyo training you can move onto higher intensity training where you may jump off boxes and react with another jump either forwards or upwards. This is known as depth jumping. This style should be introduced very slowly as it places much greater demands on your body. Start off juping down only a few inches and never go over 1m.

Athletes who weigh over 130 kg should only jump up onto a box as excessive bodyweight can cause injury when jumping.

For more a more in depth look at plyometrics for increasing throwing strength check out this article

Of course plyometrics are not only for the lower body they can be peformed with the upper body. However, as I said 'the legs can create more power than the arms and explosive legs are a priority for increasing your throwing strength.


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      AM 3 years ago

      Don't forget about core strength, back strength, and explosive strength. Before my senior season of shot put, I focused almost exclusively on power cleans (max: 275 lbs), overhead squat, and tons of core exercises. I threw mid 14m with the 12 lb shot during junior year, and during senior year, I threw 16m+ consistently. I am in my first year of college and I started spinning for shot put and with the same training routine, I was able to throw 14m. Technique helps a ton.

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      Mm 3 years ago

      I'm 16 and I'm throwing 11 meters and I would love to throw 12 meters in a very very short time. (Couple says) I have a huge T&F meet and I would like to place first there but

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      3 years ago

      Honestly sure lifting can help improve your throwing distance and is a great way to gain explosive power but it only help so much. In the end its technique technique technique. If you look at all the comments above all those guys are massive and are all strength based throwers and could go so much farther with improvment to their technique. If I look at myself as a junior I was 6' 180lb and I benched 145 squated 250 didnt do any power lifting and threw 50m in discus and 13m in shot

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      tom461 5 years ago

      hi im 12 years old 5'9" and i can throw discus 74' i have only been throwing for about 2 months i have a county competition in a week so i was wondering if there is anything i could do to increase strength for then

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      Rico 6 years ago

      Im 340 lbs and I can bench 220 but my throwing is terrible. 60 ft in disc. And 30 ft in shot. Any help?

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      Alex 6 years ago

      Im 14 and Im 6' 3". I just started and I cannot find how far i should be throwing. I would also apreciate if you could tell me what exercises would be good for a begginer.

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      Chris 7 years ago

      as a freshman in high school, i weighed 300 lbs and was 6'1" and my best shot throw was 38 feet. i found out that doing cleans, incline bench, and squats with explosive low reps and high sets helped the best for lifting. right now i can bench 265, squat 420, and clean only about 195 or 200.

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      JH 7 years ago

      hello I throw both shot and discus I'm a sophomore in high-school my best discus throw is 155ft and my best shot throw is 50ft. I bench 295 squat 595 and clean 295 I'm 6'2 240 lbs any help

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      Brittany 7 years ago

      I am 5ft 9 and i throw discus, i love it, but my best throw is only 110 any tips for improving my distance?

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      cade 7 years ago

      hey im a jr and i can only through around 100 :/ i really need to be up to 125 or more in discus and at least 40 in shut put what can i do?

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      dale  7 years ago

      I am 13. 5ft 11 and I just started the shot put any tips on how to become stronger and better at this sport

    • profile image

      dale  7 years ago

      I am 13. 5ft 11 and I just started the shot put any tips on how to become stronger and better at this sport

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      E J 7 years ago

      Ok i understand what you are saying. At 315 i had a 40 time of 4.9, but yea i am probably in the 5.1-5.2 range right now. As for the lifts, i guess you could say that my reps are just normal speed. i dont do slow reps or super fast reps. i have for the past 5 years always trained with a 3 days on 1 day off routine with 3 workouts per body part and 3 heavy sets of 6-8 reps.

      I think i will do my best to throw on my own time until i transfer to throw in the spring. Also i am going to try transitioning my workouts for a couple months into more powerlifting style. So more or less im going to try doing sets with 3-6 reps instead of 8ish. i am not fond of these types of workouts because it just doesn't feel the same as my normal 6-8 reps. But i think its something i need to do to become more explosive and powerful

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      KETTLEBELLS 7 years ago from Scarborough UK

      Hi EJ, you sound mighty strong, but how fast are you? what's your best 40 yd dash or 30m sprint. A good time for 30m would be around 3.7 sec from standing start.

      Also how fast can you lift 400lb in the bench and 500lb in the squat? Is it explosive or slow? Speed and strength are the critical components of throwing power. Above all else, technique with rythym, you need to drill your ass off for throwing to improve, plant the seeds and let them grow!!!!

      As for speed and strength I would recommend working on lifting explosively with heavy weights and really fast with light weights. Go back to the basics and get a plan fixed for the winter and next summer you'll see the results. Check out Dan John articles for some good information

      Cheers and good luck, let me know how it goes


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      E J 7 years ago

      Hey there, i am a college athlete and i just switched over from playing division 1 football to focus more on throwing. I am 6'4'' 320lbs. I have thrown only for 1 semester of my life and that was the spring of 2009 where i reached 43'11'' in shotput, 138 in hammer, 131 discuss, and 142 in javelin. I bench 400lbs+, squat close to 500lbs, but have always had trouble with those powerlifts. my best power clean was a year ago and was 295lbs. My body is healthy, but the school i was at didnt do cleans and all for football. Anyway i know that i am lacking a lot in technique and that probably kills my distances, but from your view what should i do to start breaking the 50ft range in shot? i have seen a ton of guy with half my strength and power, but they throw mid 50's.

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      matt 7 years ago

      hey im a sophmore in high school and did track for the first time this year our throwers were very poor this year lets just say i threw 32.8 feet and was the furthest shot put thrower we had but id like to know how to get it further alot further i bench 210 only squat 185 and power clean 165. my 40 time is late 5 seconds. i want to win region or at least place in the top 4 to go to upper state next year but for that to happen i need to throw over 43 feet if the competetion is anything like it was this year. but we didnt have a good coach either they never helped us with anything but we are gettin a new one this season but id like to go ahead and get stronger so i can throw further i own a shot now im just wonderin what i can do to get to throw in the high 40s by my senior year

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      bryant 7 years ago

      I am a junior in high school, I have been throwing shot put and discus for 2 years. My discus is at 130 and my shot is only at 35. How do i increase my shot put explosiveness. My disc explosion is fine but my shot put is hard for me to explode. How do I help my shot explosion without hurting my discus throw? and also how do I improve my throwing technique?

    • KETTLEBELLS profile image

      KETTLEBELLS 8 years ago from Scarborough UK

      Alley, you need to work on explosive lifting (especially technique if you are new to it - I would seek a coach). With throwing - strength and power are only part of the equation, you need to drill out your technique(correctly) and work on your rythym. I feel rythym is the key to big throws providing you have all the other components.

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      alley 8 years ago

      Hey, I am only a sophomore in high school, I can hit 34' 1.5" in shot and 100' in disc, my technique is lacking in shot and severely lacking in disc. If I wanted to hit 140 in disc by the end of next spring and 42 in shot in the same amount of time, how would I train to do this? I can squat 285 bench 85 bi curl 110 and tri pull 110, I can do plyos easily and will do anything to throw farther. What type of stuff should I do? I am 5' 4.5" and built like a true thrower I am fast and explosive