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Glide Shot Put Technique

glide shot put

Shot Put and Discus Throw Technique

The Glide Shot Put

The purpose of the glide shot put is to enable the thrower to get in an optimal power position and delivery position with more velocity directed into the shot than from a standing put. Gains of 10% to 20% from the standing throw are expected with an effective technical glide.

Glide Shot Put Technique Start

The thrower faces the rear of the ring in an upright position with the knees together; the left foot is placed slightly behind the right foot at the starting position. Most of the bodyweight will be on the right leg, with minimal weight on the left foot to maintain balance in the starting position.

Both arms are elevated overhead in the starting position; then, the shot is placed above the right shoulder. The wrist is bent facing upward, with the shot resting on the base of the fingers. The shot is then lowered to the neck and placed near the centerline of the body under the jaw with the elbow down.

The left arm is dropped down and extended out away from the body as the upper body bends over slightly, directing the shot over the right foot.

From the preparation position, the thrower can use simple to more complex starting movements to generate momentum.

The glide shot put technique is a linear event; keeping the shot near the center of mass will help eliminate unnecessary rotational movements associated with technical errors in the glide technique.

Glide Shot Put Starting Position

The upper body drops down from the preparation position as the lower body falls back or unseats from the waist. Next, the left leg extends and stretches across the ring as the upper body stays low. The left leg is aggressively extended while staying low, aiming for the top of the toeboard. The right leg falls down from the hip, rolling onto the heel of the foot during the extension of the left. After the left leg is extended, the right leg is actively driven toward the middle of the ring. The upper body and torso drop down during the unseating of the hips and extension of the left leg. The shot remains back over the right leg to create a long path of acceleration during the delivery phase.

The unseating action of the hips into the middle and the left leg drive will create velocity during the glide.

Coaching Note: the basic glide technique is characterized by dropping and driving from the back of the circle.

Shot Path

The shot starts low in the back of the circle and moves upward across the ring into the power position, when the shot-putter is ready to execute the finish, the shot is lifted up and driven out.

Glide Shot Put Technique

Crouch Start

After setting up the preparation position, the crouch start is established by extending the left to the middle of the ring as the upper body is dropped over a bent right leg. The shot is lowered to just above the plane of the hips; the upper body will have a concaved curvature to set up unseating of the hips and keep the shot low in the back of the circle.

The throw is initiated by the left knee moving toward the right knee as the upper body is crouched downward, with the shot dropping below the hips. From the crouch position, the shot putter unseats, driving the left leg forcefully toward the toeboard. The left leg remains low as it moves straight back toward the front of the ring. The right leg drops and extends, the heel of the feet comes off the back of the ring last as the thrower stretches across the ring. The upper body is passive, allowing the legs to do the work.

Coaching Note: the crouch start glide technique features bunching up and shooting out of the starting position to get across the ring into the power position.

Dynamic Start

After the thrower establishes the preparation position, the left foot is placed in the middle of the ring position as the left is raised high above the head to set up the dynamic glide starting position.

The dynamic glide is initiated when the knees are brought together as the thrower rises on the toes.  The thrower aggressively drops the upper body and hips down onto the right heel as the left leg drives low and fast to the front of the ring. The left arm is swept down and back to add momentum to the glide, but then it is extended away toward the back of the circle as the thrower prepares to land in the power position. The shot remains down and back over the right foot during the glide motion.

The dynamic glide technique involves rising, dropping down, and extending as the thrower reaches the power position.

Coaching Note: the dynamic glide is a more complex skill. Still, many top gliders use this method because the shot has a longer path of acceleration, creating additional velocity that can be added during the delivery phase.

Once the athlete starts the glide across the ring, the thrower must keep the ball moving in a linear path, accelerating the implement from the back of the circle to near the middle of the circle, building momentum into the power position.

Across The Ring

After the glide motion is activated by unseating the hips and the extension of the left leg, the right leg is actively picked up and placed near the center of the ring, landing on the ball of the foot. The extended left leg is placed down near the toeboard after the right foot is actively planted on the ball of the right foot. The upper body remains passive, and back, the left arm is out away from the body and behind the right leg until the left leg is braced firmly on the ground at the front of the circle. In the power position, the feet will be slightly staggered slightly between the right foot and left foot with a heel to toe split, allowing the hips to open up during the putting action.

Glide Shot Put Power Position

There are two main styles to deliver the shot from the power position; the long-short style and the short-long style. Regardless of which glide style is used, the coach must find what technical model best works for each thrower.

Technique Variations: Long-Short and Short-Long

Long-Short Power Position

The long-short technique has a long glide phase and a narrower power position. In the long-short technique, the right foot lands in the middle of the circle turned at a 90-degree angle from the throw. The upper body is turned back, with the shoulders parallel to the toeboard.  The thrower aggressively turns the right hip as the upper body stays back, creating torque prior to the release. The left leg braces with a blocking action, as the left arm opens to the middle of the throwing sector. 

Short-Long Power Position 

The short-long style utilizes a larger throwing stance, the glide is shorter, and the power position is wider. In the short-long style, the right leg plants behind the middle of the circle with the foot turned at 100-140 degrees from the throwing area. The upper body is passive; the shot stays down with the right elbow down near or below the same level as the right hip. The throwing action starts with a lifting action of the right side as the bodyweight shifts forward.

The stance's width depends on the thrower's height; however, most short-long style gliders use 55-60% of the ring for the throwing base.


The delivery phase starts when the thrower lands in the power position. The width of the power position varies based on the technique employed by the thrower.

In the long-short style, the thrower focuses on turning and lifting the right side together from the middle to the finish.

In the short-long style, the thrower focuses on lifting the shot from the middle of the circle into the release; minimal attention is given to the rotational aspects of the throw before the release. 

Throwing and Recovery

During the throwing action, the left leg braces and straightens, creating a solid block. The right arm extends during the throwing action with a high arm strike with the elbow up near the ear. The left arm opens to the center of the sector then pulls in toward the left shoulder as the chest lifts up; essentially, the chest and left arm meet during the blocking action.


The reverse is part of the recovery phase after the release of the shot to ensure a fair throw. The right leg extends upward and then is driven forward against the toe board. The right foot is planted flat and parallel throwing area. If the shot putter is having trouble staying in the ring from this position, the center of gravity can be lowered for added stability and balance after the release of the shot. 

Go to Rotational Shot Put Technique

Go to Discus Throw Technique

Bonus x3 Glide Shot Put Errors and Corrections

Error: Pulling the left arm in toward the body during the glide.

Correction: Teach the thrower to have a long, loose left arm at the back of the circle: shake the arm gently before the glide; this will help remind the thrower to use the legs to get across the ring and to keep the upper body passive.

Concept: The thrower needs a long and straight path of acceleration.

Error: Toe hopping across the ring during the glide.

Correction: As a drill, start with the toe elevated and the heel on the ground to emphasize the unseating action. Use a weight plate or shoe under the right toe at the start of the glide. Another option is a simplified dynamic start stressing the right heel drop from the toe.

Concept: Unseat the hips downward and drive the left leg low across the circle to set up an active power position.

Error: Popping up with the upper body as the thrower moves across the circle.

Correction: The thrower should focus on keeping the upper body down, landing with the shot behind the thigh in the power position. One technical option is to set up the thrower with the shoulders rolled down slightly with the hips up to keep the ball lower at the start.

Concept: The upper body should stay down and be passive during the glide movement to set up the proper shot path during the final phases of the throw.





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