How Heavy Is a Shot Put?

Masakazu Watanabe/Aflo/Score by Aflo/Getty Images

The metal ball used in adult men’s shot put competition weighs 16 pounds, or 7.25 kilograms, while the ball used in women’s competition typically weighs 8.8 pounds, or four kilograms. Shot putters tend to throw the balls with either the “glide” or the “spin” technique.

The shot put has been a part of the world Olympics since 1896, with women’s competition beginning in 1948. American Randy Barnes holds the men’s world record with a throw of 75 feet, 10 inches in 1990. The Soviet Union’s Natalya Lisovskaya holds the women’s record with her throw of 74 feet, 2 3/4 inches in 1987.