Training Talk With Sergej Litvinov Jr.

As I mentioned last month, I will be posting some question and answers sessions with some of the world’s top throwers and coaches over the next few months. The first is with Sergej Litvinov Jr. Litvinov just threw a personal best of 79.76m last month. After starting the hammer relatively late, he placed 5th at the last world championships at the age of 23. He is trained by his father, the former Olympic champion and world record holder of the same name.

Like many hammer throwers, Sergej is refreshingly outspoken and shared some ideas about why hammer throw technique is not as good as it once was and how the hammer throw can win back fans. He also shared some thoughts on training and technique. I first met Sergej in 2004 when I visited Minsk for a 10 day training camp. It was then that I first began to understand how vastly different the Russian approach to training is and have kept studying it since. While every coach has different points of focus, it is reassuring to read that the main elements of his training match mine. Now I just need to find that extra 10 meters.

Martin: You’ve said before that most of the current world class hammer throwers do not have good technique. Why do you think technique was better twenty years ago?


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13 replies
  1. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Great article but it does leave me with some questions. My biggest being what’s wrong with the orbits of people who aren’t doing it correctly and how do you fix it?

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      It is hard to explain in writing since it is a very visual concept. I think Kibwe does a good job of describing it on his most recent post, thanks to a video with Tikhon. You can view that here.

      I think the basic concept is that the hammer should be on the same plane every turn. The only difference is that the ball will get a little steeper. Any time that path is altered, you are doing something wrong. You are pulling the hammer or reduce the radius in some other way. My throw starts doing this in the first turn and you can tell it just by watching the rhythm. Like Litvinov says, you don’t need to be an expert. Fans with no experience of the event can see when the orbi (and consequently rhythm) are affected.

      For me, I have the most success when I start to feel the hammer turning me around, rather than me turning the hammer. If the hammer is doing the work, then it will find its own orbit. If I am doing the work, that means I have already destroyed its orbit.

  2. Bill
    Bill says:

    Hey Martin, Dr. B. doesn’t advocate low intensity throws does he? You guys generally throw high intensity throughout the workout, right?

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      Bondarchuk rarely comments on our intensity. He just turns says how many attempts, but I think intensity is a little less important since we typically take only 150 throws per week. When you are taking 250 throws, you have to be taking easier throws.

  3. Sergej Litvinov Jr.
    Sergej Litvinov Jr. says:


    This is easy, if you can do 50 throws in a sesion in a high intensity and keep the right technique than you can do it. But i don’t know this man who can. 🙂

    I will try to do a few examples today.

  4. Hammerpop
    Hammerpop says:

    I agree….

    The practice is about maximizing good position and orbit with rhythm and relative speed so a baseline distance can be maintained. Not too many hard throws with any given hammer.

    A question for Sergej; In the winter and early spring, do you throw more light hammers than normal and heavy?

    Thank you!


    • Sergej Litvinov Jr.
      Sergej Litvinov Jr. says:

      In Winter and early Spring I throw only the light hammers. Now i throw the 6.7kg and the 5.8kg. I don’t Throw heavy hammers, i think this is individual. Some throwers needs sometimes the heavy hammer but this is dangerous, it can the destroid the feelings.

      I want to do a example video for the right orbit and bad orbit i need just a litle bit time.

      • Sergej Litvinov Jr.
        Sergej Litvinov Jr. says:

        Now just the 6.700kg and the 5.800kg and in May and until the end of Summer i guess i will throw just the 7.26kg

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