Ask Martin Vol. 10: The Winds and Entry

Question: My question is prefaced by two different wind and entry techniques. A few years ago at the NTCA, one coach spoke about keeping your shoulders facing forward in the winds and winding around your head and getting your hands down as the hammer comes to 0º, before entry into the first turn. Others at the conference felt that you should turn your shoulders to the right, catching the ball at 270º, still getting your hands down by 0º and pushing into the entry. -Bill

Normally I’m pretty open about how people start the throw, but I do not agree with keeping the shoulders fixed at the start. Keeping the shoulders fixed creates a false sense of have good balance and an axis of rotation. What actually gives you balance and a good position is having a little momentum. Momentum is how the hammer carries you into the first turn and what creates a long path for the hammer out to the left. In essence, momentum will let the hammer will turn you. The problem with keeping the shoulders fixed is that you can’t accelerate the hammer until it is at zero (which, by the way, is where the low point should be). By turning the shoulders, you can accelerate the hammer slightly on the second wind before the hammer gets to zero, thus giving it that needed momentum. Look at all of the top throwers and their starts will all be different, but they turn their shoulders in the winds.


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2 replies
  1. James
    James says:

    I have wondered why Kibwé, Sultana and several other notable throwers seem to have a very steep angles in their winds, when other world class throwers wind almost flat. Is it as simple as personal preferance?

    I have tried both and run into a contradiction where I feel more comfortable with flat winds, but have better training results with steep winds into a flat 1st spin.

    Thanks so much for your efforts. The hammer throw for me is like golf for many. Its what I do for fun and relaxation. Thanks to sources such as your blog I am testing out wether an old dog can learn new tricks and maybe get a few more meters out of my beat up old body.

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      I think the angle is a little individual If you look at top throwers, their angle of release also varies. Most fall from 38 to 42 degrees. A few factors come into play: the height of the athlete, comfort, etc. The same can be said about the start of the throw. Another important factor at the start of the throw is how fast you start. If you start fast and accelerate only minimally during the turns, then you will need to start with a steeper angle. The angle will normally increase as you go faster, so if you already start fast, you will need to start a little steeper. Also, three-turners need to start steeper.


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