Throwing is a full-body movement. Although you can't throw a shot put or disc in the gym, you can simulate those movement patterns with weight training exercises. One of my favorite tools for training throwers is tire exercises.
Throwing is a violent and explosive movement. The entire body moves in a coordinated fashion to unleash maximum power and hurl whatever is being thrown. It's simple, elegant and impressive to watch in action.
It makes sense that throwers are known as some of the strongest individuals in the weight room. They tend to have massive upper bodies with barrel-shaped chests. And of course they can Bench Press a ton of weight. Although developing strength with traditional barbells is a huge focus in their training, I've found that tire exercises combine many of the movements they perform in exercises like the Bench, Deadlift and Clean.
When you work out with a tire, you first pick it up off the ground, similar to a Deadlift. As you pick it up, you use your grip in transition, which can be equated to the Clean. Finally, you press the tire out of a quarter squat. The sequence of movements builds your lower-body power muscles, improves core rigidity and enhances the pressing power of your chest and triceps. In essence, it works the entire movement pattern and muscles involved in throwing.
Based on this assessment of the movement, I believe there's a strong case for incorporating tire exercises into a thrower's workout.
In the video above, watch a shot putter perform tire exercises.
- Perform the exercise on both knees before standing up.
- After the first progression, perform the exercises with one arm at a time.
- Keep your core tight throughout the movement, and don't rotate your hips.
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