Looking for some advice on hammer exercises? Mark Dry shares his top four
1. Varied weight hammer throwing
Nothing is more specific for hammer than throwing a hammer! Throw heavy hammers to increase specific strength and give you more time each turn and it’ll give you a gentle reminder if you are out of position too. You’ll soon learn how to feel your way through it.
Also, light hammers will have a similar effect to help get comfortable at increased speeds and used to throwing any hammer further.
If you can’t throw a light hammer 60m then you probably won’t throw your normal weight that distance any time sooner either.
2. Heavy swings
Good for all-round specific strength. Can vary from a specialist hammer of 10-20kg and made up from a chain and a weights disc in a gym with a handle attached.
Try some swings in both directions for a few sets – stay strong in your stomach and move your body with the rhythm of the hammer. Some throwers are known to do this exercise with weights up to 50kg!
As with all of these exercises and drills don’t jump in at the deep end, just start with a few reps and some lighter weights and then gradually build up as you feel confident and in control. You won’t be doing any training if you are injured, as I know only too well.
3. Barbell twists
With just a normal lifting bar on your back, move well away from the rack and clear of any other throwers or lifters (joggers are fine … just joking!), squat a little and feel strong in your legs and stomach.
Using your body as a buffer or spring, gently rotate in one direction while keeping your legs and hips strong and bring the bar to a stop and squeeze it back the other way and continue this motion. The middle isn’t so important, it’s stopping and starting the movement at each side that is.
4. Kettlebell/weight throwing
It’s usually easy to get the use of a kettlebell or a “pud.” This is another throwing movement using your whole body to generate force on to a reasonably light object – usually overhead throws onto the grass or into a sandpit. These can be done one-handed, two-handed or forward.
With these throws it is important to think about how you throw them and try to relate it to the hammer. Get a good rhythm, swing the kettlebell, and as you throw make it a long movement with a gradual increase in speed rather than one big hit. This will reduce the risk of injury and keep the principle of applying force the same as the hammer.