A Different Perspective on Short and Heavy Hammers

bartonietz_KEMy thoughts on short hammers sparked a lively discussion over the weekend. One comment by Tony Dziepak sparked my interest by touching on the science of both heavy and short hammers. Dziepak noted that in order to replicate the body’s counter against the competition hammer, the weight and length should be adjusted proportionally. He also noted that when throwing a short implement, the hammer is closer to the thrower’s body and the transfer of kinetic energy to the hammer therefore happens faster. This latter point is important to me since I find it harder to develop patience with these shorter hammers for this exact reason.

These comments had me thinking of a 1994 article from the Australian journal Modern Athlete and Coach. In the article, German coach and biomechanist Dr. Klaus Bartonietz provided some scientific insight into throwing light, heavy, and short hammers. He noted a few things:


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3 replies
  1. Mohamad Saatara
    Mohamad Saatara says:

    Hi Martin,

    thanks again for the great information. I wanted to share my experience with varied weight and length hammers. For the last 6 years I have used regular length hammers exclusively with exceptional results. From looking at my experience this is what I have found:
    1) shorter length competition to heavy hammers are favorable for throwing techniques in which the thrower generated velocity with the hammer with the use of the lower body and hips running in front of the hammer. “Pulling” technique
    2) use of regular length hammers is very good for a technique with which the hammer is used to help accelerate the thrower. “Pushing” technique
    So if I have a discus thrower who is also a hammer thrower I would use the shorter heavy hammers because it will help develop good pulling power which will also help with the discus, conversely if I have a true hammer thrower I would use regular length hammers exclusively.

    long throws and greatest success


  2. Michael Hofer
    Michael Hofer says:

    I think to heavy hammers destroy the technic. I use heavy hammers with short wire for one turn throwing, as exercice for special strengh and to work on a better block. For beginners is and for learning very fast turns i use also short hammer (1,10m-75cm) an a half ore one kilo over the competition weight.



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  1. […] to look into this topic for a 1994 article from the Australian journal Modern Athlete and Coach, which I have highlighted here in the past. He concluded that light hammers are good for developing high-speed movement patterns, that kinetic […]

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