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Throwing Hammer Parts Ben Hawkes

Throwing Hammer Parts: The Influence of the Items

BY BEN HAWKES

As we know, the main elements that determine how far we throw the hammer are velocity, height and angle of release. But what’s interesting is how the hammer itself contributes to those metrics, how changing parts of the hammer influences each one of them, and how that influences the technique an athlete uses, consciously or otherwise.

THE HAMMER THROW BALL

Hammer Throw Equipment List

First, let’s start with the hammer ball. The size of it, to be specific. In a purely mechanical sense, a bigger ball size means more air resistance and, consequently, a shorter throw. Similarly, a longer wire length will cause the ball to follow a longer radial path around the athlete and reach a higher velocity, increasing the distance of a throw. A smaller ball size will allow for a longer wire, achieving double the benefit. Hammer handles can do the same, though your handle is more a matter of personal preference.

This is where waters can get muddied when we speak of absolutes.  Personal preference and having something suit an athlete is more important than a theoretical ‘better’.  We all have to conform to a maximum hammer length, but how we get to that point is up to the athlete.  Ideally we do look to make a hammer which is as close to optimal as possible, but if this is done without proper preparation and exposure we can run into issues.

HAMMER WIRE LENGTH

Hammer Wire Length

Take, for example, wire length. If we consider the throw through a constraints-led lens as an interaction between athlete, task and environment, a change of wire length is a considerable alteration to the task constraints of the throw. Throwing a shorter hammer will feel very different to throwing a longer hammer, and if we train with a shorter wire and compete with a long one we might run into some issues with consistency and ‘finding our throw’.

The same goes for ball size, hammerhead centre of mass, and handle size / shape.

Here, though, are some other reasons to use parts that don’t align to competition implements:

BIG HAMMER BALL SIZES

Hammer Throw Rules

INCREASE AWARENESS OF BALL POSITION

Allows athletes to react to the ball better, with better timing.

SHORTER HAMMER WIRE LENGTH

Length of Hammer Throw

ALLOWS FOR GREATER BALL WEIGHTS TO BE USED

Increases specific strength.

LONGER HAMMER WIRE LENGTH

Hammer Length in Cm

REQUIRES MORE "PATIENCE"

Can create a longer radial path.

Hopefully this helps give you more of an idea about why we might use different types of ball, wire or handle!

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HAMMER THROW EQUIPMENT @ NEUFF

Hammer Throw Equipment Measurement

All Neuff hammers are sold complete with hammer and wire, fully made up and ready to throw. These will always be made up with a wire that brings the combined length to just short of the competition maximum. This is to allow for stretch in the wire and also minor inaccuracies in measuring methods at competitions.

If you require a shorter or longer wire, please put a note at checkout. This might be for a shorter athlete whose technique is impaired by a too-long wire or for specific training purposes, as above.

ABOUT BEN HAWKES

Ben Hawkes Hammer Thrower

Ben is a hammer thrower who competes internationally for Great Britain and Northern Ireland and is also a sport massage therapist and strength and conditioning coach.

He has been writing content and producing videos for us for over a year, and his content focuses on hammer throwing tips and strength & conditioning guides for your athletic training!

View his World Athletics profile here.

Instagram: @benhawkes1

Twitter: @ben_hawkes1

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