Throwing in the Snow

It might surprise people, but we get surprisingly little snow in Zurich. The winter months remind me more of overcast Seattle than the snowy alps nearby. Just this week we received our first snowfall of the year. Many people go inside to throw the weight at the first sign of snow. But it is important to throw the hammer in the winter. It isn’t that hard either.

I may not be from the midwest, but I’ve learned a few tricks that make throwing in the snow very easy. And, if that fails, you can check back in a few weeks for some ideas on building an indoor throwing cage.


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9 replies
  1. James Findlay
    James Findlay says:

    No major snow yet in Ottawa, Ontario, but its -9 degrees C today. I can only train at night from a lit parking lot so I paint my training hammers flurescent orange with an under coat of white. Helps a bit with finding them.

    In snow I use oversize rubber boots, the overshoe type with front zipper. Slide into them to retrieve and slide off to throw. Keeps feet warmer and drier. Also boat grease on the swivel to keep it spinning. I’ll try that tip for tape on the handle. Thanks.

  2. michael bomba
    michael bomba says:

    These are great tips Martin, just a shame health and safety stop us throwing when it gets bad, even though I’ve been throwing 10years and never had any accidents. Going to try the bags on my feet tonight, and hopefully go home with dry socks! 🙂

    • Martin
      Martin says:

      It’s a little bit different feeling and I personally don’t like it that much (I also normally have wet feet because of rain so I don’t mind them being wet and a little colder). Give it a try though since I know lots of people that like it.

  3. Joe Pascone
    Joe Pascone says:

    Throwing in snow will increase the activity of Brown Adipose Tissue and burn off fats at a higher rate. Current research demonstrates this uptick in activity of BAT as one of the contributing factors why people in colder climes live longer. Being of high neural and cortical demand, fats go first into the fire for hammer throwers. An extra shot of fish oil or some chia in your pre-throw breakfast should help stave of the ferocity of hunger that will rear it’s head 12 throws in.

  4. Drew Loftin
    Drew Loftin says:

    I enjoyed reading your post on throwing in the snow.  I’ve had to do that several times already this year.  I have developed a system that works pretty well.  For the ring – I purchased a 10×12′ tarp – I place the bottom part of a hurdle upside down in the middle of the ring and place the tarp on top.  I attach the corners of the tarp to the throwing cage with bungee cables.  It takes about 60 seconds to set up.  For retrieving the hammer, I approach it a little differently.  Instead of spending an hour shoveling paths through the snow, I will shovel one path to a chair I have next to the ring about 15 feet away, where I have my snowshoes waiting for me.  It takes about 30 seconds to strap on the snowshoes and about 20 seconds to remove them after I retrieve the hammers, but makes walking out to the hammers very easy and much faster without having to worry about pulling your groin.  I throw 3 hammers each time and use little red flags for distance markers.  I can take about 20 throws in about an hour timeframe.

    • james findlay
      james findlay says:


      Nice post. I’ve thought about trying snow shoes. I have no experience with them. Any tips on model or features that make a quick on/off easy?

  5. TB
    TB says:

    When I’m back in snow country for Christmas, I’ll carry a sheet of plywood out of the barn and lay it on the snow. Slick shoes don’t hold any snow, so the plywood stays dry during practice. Fluorescent nylon strapping tied to the handle helps track hammers and doesn’t tear off like plastic ribbon does.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] it gets old. Fast. First is the physical element. I put together some tips for throwing the snow last year, and while it makes things better the weather still drags on you. Walking to retrieve the […]

  2. […] thing. Throwing outside is the best option since you can get more feedback from your results, and I posted some tips for doing that last month. But it isn’t possible for everyone. In some places the winter is just too extreme to have a […]

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