So you have been developing your technique, honing in your movement in the circle, and taking throws upon throws, and yet your distances aren't improving as fast as you would like. You know you could get stronger in the weightroom but you don't know where to start! Building lower body strength is the first step to getting your body in shape physically so that you can start tossing the shot put and breaking PRs.
What are the primary lifts you should focus on to build absolute leg strength? Do these lifts really transfer to throwing farther, or can you throw just as far by only doing medball drills? Yes, if you want to throw far you need to develop your absolute leg strength (the maximum weight you can lift with a given exercise). Medball throws and technique work is crucial, but only a piece of the puzzle. Watch how Joe Kovacs, Ryan Crouser, and Tom Walsh train (the best shot putters in the world). If you want to get better, train like the best! See what exercises the best shot putters in the world train with by reading on.
5. Single Leg Squat
Whether you are a spinner or a glider, there is a significant portion of time during the throw when you are developing force when only on one leg. Being able to have control and the ability to produce as much power as possible in this position is crucial to accelerating the throw. Single leg squats are one of the most challenging exercises for beginners to execute, mainly because they struggle to maintain balance while attempting to produce force. That is exactly what is needed in the throw!
To start, complete 4-5 sets of 6 reps on each leg. As you get more comfortable with the movement, don't be afraid to push the weight heavier with sets of 3 on each leg. If you don't have a roller, you can use dumbells and put your back foot on a bench.
4. Reverse Hyper
Throwers do a ton of exercises that load up the back, compress the spine, and put a lot of stress on the body over time. Keeping the body healthy is essential to throwing far as throwers are notorious for getting injured and having to take crucial time away from training. The reverse hyper not only decompresses the spine, but develops strength in the glutes, spinal erectors, and hamstrings. Isolating the posterior chain while still having good activation through the core will keep you moving well and reduce the risk of injury.
Use reverse hypers at the end of your workout with sets of 3-4 of 15 reps. If you don't have a reverse hyper machine, you can substitute the exercise with the glute ham, back extension (roman chair), or good mornings.