Adam Nelson of the USA in the men's Shot Put in Olympia (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Biomechanical factors of competitive success with the rotational shot put technique

By Severin Lipovsek, Branko Skof, Stanko Stuhec, Milan Coh

The aim of this study was to determine the biomechanical parameters in the rotational technique that have the greatest impact on the distance achieved and thereby on competitive success in the shot put. The sample consisted of 10 top-level putters competing at the 2008 European Cup Winter Throwing in Split, Croatia; the best throw by each of the subjects was selected for examination.

A 3D kinematic analysis was made from recordings by two high-frequency cameras and APAS software was used to obtain values for selected parameters. The results confirmed a high correlation between the distance achieved and key release parameters, i.e. shot velocity, angle of release and release height.

The analysis also showed the importance of parameters that consider the putter's activity in preceding phases of the movement, i.e. foot placement at the beginning of the 2nd double-support phase and parameters calculated from the angular velocity of the shoulder, hip and knee joints.  Using linear regression, the authors can explain 94.7% of competitive success from the studied parameters.

The results indicate that release velocity alone is not enough to explain the effective process of acceleration, and that the momentum of the whole-body movement must also be considered.