Shot Put — Shuffle Technique — Ashton Eaton video

I attended a clinic on Feb 3th given by Harry Marra, Ashton Eaton, and Brianna Theisen. We were allowed to shadow their regular training day and ask questions at the end of each event. I plan to post a few article based on the clinic, the first being this one.

The first event was Shot Put, and if you don’t already know, Ashton and Brianna follow the very unconventional technique usually called “The Shuffle”. Purest scoff at this technique, but I’m not convinced it doesn’t have its place, especially with multi-eventers. There are at least two professional women now using this technique, both with PRs over 20m (for reference, 20.00m would have gotten you 4th at the 2012 Olympics).

Anna Avdeeva placing 3rd at EU Championship. See 0:55 second at the following video.

Petra Lammert throwing 19.22m can be seen here.

Finally, here is the video from the clinic. It’s long, uneventful, and hard to hear…but if you’re like me, then you’re still interested.  Brianna does hit 45′ on her first full throw, a PR for her.

The first thing that I noticed is that Avdeeva and Lammert drive off their left foot from the back of the ring…similar to a standard glide, just with the opposite foot.  What’s interesting is that means they are driving with their strong leg (assuming this is true, since most right handed people have stronger left legs). However, Eaton and Theisen do not. They do almost a small two step.

Since I had a pentathlon on Feb 9th, I thought I’d give all three a head-to-head try.  I dubbed the Avdeeva/Lammert style the Reverse Glide to distinguish it from the Easton/Theisen Shuffle.

For me, the Shuffle was not very natural.  I couldn’t get into a good power position…I was out of balance, perhaps leaning back to far.  However, I immediately took to the Reverse Glide.  I had no problem snapping my feet/hips around and landing in a good, balanced power position (with the right amount of forward momentum).  The only odd part was that I consistently threw towards the right sector line.  So, I moved my setup a foot left and now drive towards the left sector line…viola, my throws were landing in the center of the sector.  The Reverse Glide did not give me more distance than the regular glide; my longer throws were almost exactly the same.  But I did notice that with the Reverse Glide, I was much more consistent at hitting those long throws.  With the regular glide I occasionally landed a bit out of balance and often lost the shot (rolling too far onto my fingertips).  As a decathlete, who only gets 3 throws and really strives to make sure that first one is solid, the Reverse Glide gives me an edge.

Okay granted, I’m a 43 year old Master’s Decathlete, who isn’t nearly as strong or powerful as I used to be (my bench and clean are both barely over 200lb now-a-days).  My results are just that…”my” results.  The only thing I can say with certainty is that it’s worth giving a try.

BTW, at my pentathlon, I opted to try both regular and reverse glides.  Reverse Glide won.

Categories: Decathlon, Heptathlon, Shot Put, Throwing | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Shot Put — Shuffle Technique — Ashton Eaton video

  1. Epic write up. I am looking to more of your projects in 2014

  2. Pablo

    Hello, what’s the difference between the Regular and Revese Glide?

    Thank you very much!

    • Reverse glide is not used very often. It starts off the opposite leg than the typical glide. For example, I’m right handed and thus drive out off the back of the right off my right leg. Using the Reverse Glide, I drive out of the back of the ring with my left foot. The difference between the Reverse Glide and the shuffle is the amount of drive…in the shuffle you just step back. In the Reverse Glide you drive back.

      I included two video links in the post. Unfortunately, one seems to be dead (the better one).

      The other is here:

      I just found another. Look at time 7:56 in the following:

      • Pablo

        Thank you very much for your response!
        I will talk with my coach about this, I am having problems with my combined events shot put and I think this could save my indoors season!

        Greetings from Spain!

  3. Scott young

    I’m a decathlete from the 1970 -1980. I was primarily a high hurdler, high jumper, long jumper sprinter and later javelin thrower. I threw 49 feet with the standard glide as a decathlete. I’m now competing as a masters competitor at age 60 year in the discus, javelin and shot put. I started using the shuffle or reverse glide this year when I experienced pain in my right hip from using the standard guide for several years. I found the Ashton Eaton shuffle on YouTube. I tried it and no longer felt pain. After getting comfortable with the technique it felt easy to get into the power position and turn the right foot parallel to the front of toe board giving me longer throws. The movement now allows me to use both legs instead of the dominant right leg used in the standard guide. Training for multiple events helps build power in the left leg to help with the shuffle or reverse guide. The Shuffle feels natural with the left leg driving up and back into a block at the toe board while the right leg slides under and then drives the throw. I made a few changes to the shuffle which added distance. I start by placing the toe of the left foot adjacent to and behind the heel of the right foot at the start of the throw. The left foot is flat on the ground and the weight distributed 60% onto the left foot. I’m bent over more at the back of the ring, left arm almost touching the ground as I squat down to start the drive across the ring. I make sure my right foot is turned and parallel to front of toe board and under my upper body as it lands in the middle of the ring. I also hold the ball more under my chin and drop my elbow slightly. I have increased my distance by 3 feet and am more consistent using the technique. I would highly recommend this style of shot putt the balance is a more natural motion a jump out of a squat to start the throw, ending in a block, drive, throw to a reverse.

    • Thanks Scott! Great suggestions. I go back and forth (I’m about to turn 50). I’ll have to try your suggestions!

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