How Heavy Is An Olympic Hammer, Shot Put, And Discus?

By Measurement Of TeamILast update - Jun 28, 2024I6 Min Read
How Heavy Is An Olympic Hammer, Shot Put, And Discus

Ever watched those incredible athletes in throwing events in Olympics? Like in the Olympic hammer, shot put, or discus? Then you also might have wondered how heavy these objects could be. Here's a quick stroll through just about that.

Dimensions and Weight of Olympic Hammer

The Olympic hammer is not the kind of hammer we use to fix things around the house. It's a specialized sporting equipment that is used in hammer throw in track and field events.

Athletes in the Olympic Games hammer throw event throw a heavy metal ball (that's the hammer) as far as they can to win the competition.

But did you know that it wasn't a metal ball in ancient times, around 2000 BC? It was actually a chariot axle with a wheel still attached. Over time, this evolved into using a rock with a wooden handle, akin to a sledgehammer, which gained popularity in Scotland and England during the Middle Ages.

In the modern Olympics, it's a metal ball attached to a wire and handle. While throwing it, athletes stand in a circle, about 2.135m (around 7 feet) in diameter, made of cement or something like it. And they're always safe inside a cage with nets around it.


The ball, the wire, and the handle - these are the three main parts of the Olympic hammer. As mentioned, the ball is usually made of heavy metal like iron or brass. And it's attached to the wire, which is connected to the handle.

The ball's diameter usually ranges from 95mm to 110mm. This is about 3.7 to 4.3 inches. For easy conversion use our cm to inch converter.

The wire can vary in length, but it's usually between 119.4 cm and 121.3 cm. 

Finally, the handle is where the athlete grips the hammer before releasing it into the air.


About the weight, it's standardized differently for men's and women's competitors. For men, the hammer must weigh at least 7.26 kilograms (around 16 pounds), while for women, it's slightly lighter at 4 kilograms (about 8.82 pounds).

Dimensions And Weight Of Olympic Shot Put

Next, we have the shot put. It's a track and field event of throwing a heavy spherical object, known as the shot, as far as possible.

Unlike the hammer, which is flung with a long wire and handle, the shot put involves a throwing motion using just the hands. The shot, the main component of shot put, is typically made of solid metal, such as brass or iron.

The circle from where the shot is thrown is 2.135m (around 7 feet) in diameter, the same as for the hammer throw. However, it has an additional toe board, or stop board, which is 10 cm high, located at the front of the circle.


The diameter of an Olympic shot put varies depending on its weight. Typically, the standard diameter ranges from 95mm to 130mm for Olympic competitions.


Now, onto the weight. The shot put ball's weight has changed throughout time. The shot put ball was typically made of stone and had a variable weight in ancient Greece. In modern times, the wight has been standardized for the game's fairness.

Just like with the hammer, the weight of Olympic Shot Put is different for men's and women's competitions. And it's the same weight as the Olympic hammer. For men, it's 7.26 kg, while for women, it's lighter at 4 kg.

These weights are also standard for the open competitions. School, Junior, and masters level competitions often use different weights of shots, commonly below these mentioned weights.

Common Reference Objects Of Same Weight As Olympic Hammer & Shot Put

Olympic Hammer is not something that we can hold or see every day. But now that we know how weighty those Olympic hammers are, we can put their weight into perspective. To do so, we can compare them to some everyday objects you might be more familiar with.

1. Bowling Ball

Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels

A common plus similar to Olympic hammers or Shot Put, both in shape and weight, is a Bowling Ball. The weight of bowling balls ranges from 6 pounds up to 16 pounds (7.2 kg). So, if you have a chance, lift the heaviest bowling ball, and be sure that it's as heavy as an Olympic hammer.

2. Two Gallons Of Water

Image by Jude Wilson from Unsplash

The weight of Olympic hammers or Shot Put is also equivalent to two-gallon water, as each gallon of water weighs 8 pounds.

3. A House Cat

Image by Siegfried Poepperl from Pixabay

As for the women's hammer at 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), think of it as hoisting up a chubby house cat. It's roughly the same weight as a large watermelon.

Alternatively, a bag of potatoes or 4 liters of water could be good references to the weight of an Olympic Hammer or Shot.

This article is exclusively written for Measurement Of.

Dimensions And Weight Of Olympic Discus

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Another thrilling throwing event in the Olympics is the discus throw. Unlike the spherical shot put or the hammer, the discus is a flat, circular object with a raised rim. 

Athletes hold the discus at the edge and fling it using a spinning motion to achieve maximum distance. They must spin in a 2.5 m-diameter circle. Using meter to feet converter, this diameter becomes about 8.2 ft.


Now, let's talk about dimensions. The standard discus used in Olympic competitions typically has a diameter of around 219 mm to 221 mm.

The thickness of the rim (6mm from the edge) should always be 12 mm. And the thickness at the center is different, 44-46 mm for men and 37-39 mm for women in the Olympics.


Speaking of Olympic discus weight, just like with the shot put and the hammer, the weight of the discus is standardized at different values for men and women competitors.

For men, the discus must weigh 2 kg (approximately 4.4 pounds), while for women, it's slightly lighter at 1 kilogram (about 2.2 pounds). Depending on the age group, the discus weight varies in a normal game of play.

Common Reference Objects Of Same Weight As Olympic Discus

For the men's discus, weighing 2 kilograms (approximately 4.4 pounds), imagine lifting a pound cake or a bag of cat food. It's also equivalent to the weight of a hefty laptop.

Image by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels

As for the women's discus at 1 kg, you'll find many common references with that weight. For example, A 1 kg bag of flour, A 1 kg bag of salt, A 1 kg bag of sugar, or a liter of water weighs approximately one kilogram. Additionally, it's roughly the same weight as a pineapple.


From the mighty hammer to the hefty shot put and the sleek discus, each sport requires skill, strength, and technique to master it. The next time you watch the Olympics, I bet these size and weight ideas will change the way you have enjoyed these games to date!