How to Implement Video Analysis for Technique Correction in Hammer Throw?

Welcome, scholars of sports science and coaches of hammer throw. In our relentless pursuit of technical perfection and heightened performance, we delve into an essential tool that has grown to prominence in recent years: video analysis. The application of video analysis within training regimes enables athletes to optimize their techniques, fine-tune their performance and maximize their throwing speed. In this article, we will focus primarily on hammer throw, analyzing from the initial phase of the throw to its release, discussing the various parameters that define a successful throw and how video analysis can be effectively implemented for technique correction.

Understanding The Basics of Hammer Throw

Before we delve into the biomechanical intricacies of hammer throw, let’s reintroduce ourselves to the basic premise of this discipline. In hammer throw, throwers are challenged to hurl a heavy metal ball (the ‘hammer’) attached to a grip by a steel wire, as far as possible. The hammer gets its speed from the athlete’s body rotation, and the release angle of the hammer is a critical determinant of the throw’s distance and success.

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The hammer throw technique involves three crucial phases: the winds, the turns, and the release. Each phase has its unique biomechanical variables that impact the throw’s overall performance. For instance, in the winds phase, the thrower establishes initial momentum. In the turns phase, the thrower increases the hammer’s speed via body rotations. Finally, in the release phase, the thrower lets go of the hammer at an optimal release angle and speed.

Parameters Influencing The Hammer Throw

Identifying the key parameters that influence the hammer throw is crucial for training and performance enhancement. These parameters form the basis for video analysis, providing coaches and athletes with the necessary criteria to evaluate and improve technique.

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The release angle is one of the most crucial parameters. A high release angle may result in a higher throw but may also decrease the horizontal distance. Therefore, finding the correct balance is essential. The speed of the throw is another major factor. A higher speed at the time of release usually results in a longer throw, provided the release angle and other parameters are optimal.

The athlete’s shoulder position throughout the throw is another vital parameter. The shoulder must be kept high, with the athlete ‘sitting’ under the hammer. The duration of the single and double support phases during the turns also influences the throw’s effectiveness. These parameters can be closely examined through video analysis.

Implementing Video Analysis for Technique Correction

Video analysis has emerged as an invaluable tool for technique correction in hammer throw, allowing coaches to break down throws frame by frame. By recording athletes during training and competitions, we can observe the minutiae of the technique, identify errors, and devise strategies for correction.

Firstly, ensure the video captures the athlete’s entire body from a side view to accurately analyze the shoulder position, release angle, and speed. Slow-motion playback helps identify any technical flaws during the winds, turns, and release phases. For example, if the athlete’s shoulder is dropping during the turns or the release angle is too high or too low.

Using video analysis software, you can measure the release speed and angle digitally. These software also allow you to draw lines and angles on the video for better visualization. By comparing the parameters of successful throws with those where the performance was sub-optimal, you can identify the areas that need correction.

Training with Video Feedback

Incorporating video feedback in training sessions is an effective way to enhance athletes’ understanding of their movement mechanics and technique. Seeing one’s performance on video can be an eye-opener for many athletes, highlighting discrepancies between perceived and actual performance.

Video feedback should be used immediately following training throws to provide throwers with immediate visual cues. This aids in enhancing their kinesthetic awareness and accelerates technique correction. For instance, if an athlete consistently releases the hammer with a low release angle, video feedback can help them visualize the issue and understand what a correct release angle should look like.

It’s important to remember that video feedback should never replace a coach’s guidance. Use it as an additional tool to reinforce coaching points and provide a clearer picture of what’s happening during the throw.

Advanced Biomechanical Analysis

For a deeper understanding of the throw and advanced technique correction, consider using biomechanical analysis software that offers features like the automatic calculation of joint angles, speeds, and flight paths, and the production of "stick figure" models for a simplified view of the athlete’s movements.

These tools allow you to examine the discus thrower’s movements in greater detail, providing a more thorough analysis compared to basic video review. However, they require more time and resources, making them more suited for research or elite-level coaching.

In conclusion, video analysis is a powerful tool for technique correction in hammer throw. By understanding the key parameters of a successful throw and using video feedback and biomechanical analysis, coaches can help athletes refine their technique, optimize their performance, and potentially achieve new personal bests.

Analyzing the Support Phase through Video Analysis

Delving deeper into the mechanics of hammer throw, the support phase plays a crucial role in the delivery of a successful throw. This phase is characterized by two stages: single support and double support.

In the single support phase, the thrower stands on one leg while the other swings to generate momentum. This phase requires balance and coordination, as the thrower needs to maintain their balance while rotating on one leg. In the double support phase, both feet are on the ground, and the thrower is rotating, building up speed and angular velocity for the hammer.

Video analysis provides a unique opportunity to study these phases in detail. It allows to assess the duration of the single and double support phases, the positioning of the feet, and the degree of body rotation. It is necessary to maintain a long double support phase and a short single support phase for a successful throw.

Moreover, video analysis can help evaluate the separation angle – the angle between the shoulder and hip axis during the throw. A larger separation angle is associated with a higher release velocity and thus, a longer throwing distance.

Incorporating video analysis into your training can help identify any imbalance or inefficiencies in the support phases and the separation angle. Therefore, it can provide valuable insights for technique correction and performance enhancement in hammer throw.

Integrating Biomechanical Analysis in Hammer Throw

A more advanced tool for technique correction in hammer throw is biomechanical analysis. This tool goes beyond basic video analysis and dives into the complex dynamics of hammer throwing in finer detail.

Biomechanical analysis can calculate joint angles, speeds, and flight paths automatically. It can also produce "stick figure" models for a simplified view of the athlete’s movements. Such intricate details can provide valuable insights into the thrower’s technique.

For instance, biomechanical analysis can detect fluctuations in the thrower’s angular velocity – the rate at which the thrower and the hammer rotate. Any inconsistency in angular velocity can affect the release velocity and ultimately, the throwing distance.

Using such advanced tools, coaches and athletes can pinpoint the exact areas of improvement, whether it’s in the athlete’s strength conditioning, the timing of the release angle, or the body’s angular velocity during the turns.

However, it’s important to note that such detailed analysis requires more time and resources. Therefore, it may be more suited for research or elite-level coaching.


Video analysis and biomechanical analysis offer powerful tools for technique correction in hammer throw. Understanding the biomechanics of hammer throw, including the significance of the support phase, the separation angle, and angular velocity, can greatly enhance the athletes’ performance.

By identifying the key parameters that influence the hammer throw, such as release velocity and throwing distance, coaches can devise effective training strategies and provide constructive feedback.

Furthermore, integrating video feedback into training sessions can significantly improve the athletes’ kinesthetic awareness, helping them visualize and correct their technique.

While advanced tools like biomechanical analysis provide more detailed insights, they should be used in parallel with a coach’s guidance and traditional training methods to ensure comprehensive development of the athletes.

As the world of track and field evolves, so should our approach to training and performance enhancement. By embracing technology and scientific research in training regimes, we can elevate the standards of hammer throwing and other throwing events for the betterment of the sport and public health. In this endeavor, we must make full use of resources such as Google Scholar for the latest sports science research and continue to push the boundaries of our understanding. Let’s continue to throw farther, faster, and with unparalleled technique!

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