The shot put is a track and field event where athletes “put” (throw) a heavy spherical ball, known as the shot, as far as possible. This event has a rich history and is a staple in both indoor and outdoor track and field competitions.

## History

The origins of shot put can be traced back to ancient times when people threw stones for distance. During the Middle Ages, competitions involved throwing cannonballs. The modern shot put event was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 for men and in 1948 for women[2][4].

## Equipment

The shot is typically made of solid iron or brass. The weight of the shot varies depending on the level of competition:

– Men’s shot: 7.26 kg (16 lb)

– Women’s shot: 4 kg (8.8 lb)

– High school boys: 5.44 kg (12 lb)

– Junior competitors: 6.35 kg (14 lb)[2][4].

## Competition Rules

Competitors stand in a circle with a diameter of 2.135 meters (7 feet) and put the shot into a sector with a 34.92-degree angle. Key rules include:

– The shot must be placed against the neck and remain there until release.

– The shot must land within the designated sector.

– Competitors must not touch the top of the toe board or leave the circle before the shot lands[2][4][5].

## Techniques

There are two primary techniques used in shot put: the glide and the spin.

### The Glide

Developed by Parry O’Brien in 1951, the glide involves the athlete facing backward, rotating 180 degrees across the circle, and then putting the shot. This technique is linear and focuses on quick, powerful movements across the circle[1][2].

### The Spin

Also known as the rotational technique, the spin involves the athlete rotating more than 360 degrees before releasing the shot. This technique, developed by Viktor Alexeyev, allows for greater momentum and distance but requires precise balance and coordination[1][2].

## Records

The current world records for shot put are:

– Men’s Outdoor: Ryan Crouser, 23.37 meters (76 ft 8 in)

– Women’s Outdoor: Natalya Lisovskaya, 22.63 meters (74 ft 2.75 in)

– Men’s Indoor: Ryan Crouser, 22.82 meters (74 ft 10.25 in)

– Women’s Indoor: Helena Fibingerova, 22.50 meters (73 ft 9.75 in)[2].

## Physical Requirements and Training

Shot putters require significant strength, speed, balance, and explosive power. Training focuses on developing maximal strength, rate of force development (RFD), and technique. Strong quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus muscles are essential for generating the initial thrust needed to propel the shot[3].

## Common Injuries

Due to the explosive nature of the sport, shot putters are prone to injuries such as rotator cuff strains, pectoral strains, hand and finger injuries, knee injuries (especially for those using the spin technique), and back pain[2].

## Conclusion

Shot put is a dynamic and challenging event that combines strength, technique, and athleticism. Its long history and continued presence in major athletic competitions highlight its enduring appeal and the skill required to excel in this sport.