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Spinning Technique: Right Leg Over Rotation

The spin in shot put and discus is a very complex movement with many variables impacting the success or failure of a particular throw. Being unable to hit a certain position or movement in the spin can be a result of inadequate strength or mobility, but more often than not the problem occurs because of a technical issue earlier in the throw. The right leg over rotating in the middle of the circle is an example of one of these technical issues.

To start, let’s always remember that the goal of the throw is to reach the “power” position or standing throw position, while being able to maintain the momentum generated throughout the rest of the throw, transferring that energy into the implement upon release. A proper power position has the heel of the right foot in line with the toe of the left foot for right handed throwers. Right to left, the right foot should be directly in the center of the circle, or slightly to the right side. Front to back, the right foot should be be slightly shifted towards the toe board, however the exact distance can change depending on the height of the thrower.

The goal in the full throw is to get the right foot to the power position location. The right leg is over rotated whenever the right foot lands beyond that point, either too far to the left of the circle, or too far across the circle (as shown in the picture). An over rotated right foot that does not land in the power position correctly will throw off the mechanics at the front of the circle. One possible breakdown at the front is that the left foot will be unable to rotate far enough around, preventing the hips from opening up towards the sector on the finish, often referred to as being blocked off.

There are three main actions in the back of the circle that might cause the right foot to over rotate. The first is if the left side (shoulder and hip) is pulled out of the back. This occurs when rotation of the hips and torso occurs prior to the body weight shifting over the left foot and base of support. With the majority of the body weight too far away from the base of support, the body has no option but to travel too far to the left side of the circle. Cues to think about include pushing the weight over the left before rotating the upper body, push the left knee and shoulder over the left foot, and push the right leg wide outside the left foot.