Why You Should Grab an Old Tire for Your Workouts

By | March 9, 2021

This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.

If you’re trying to build a particular athletic skill, it pays to exercise like the athletes who exemplify it. Want to improve cardiovascular endurance? Take a page from the training manuals of elite runners and cyclists. Looking to boost explosive power? Olympic lifters can show you the way. And if you want to develop beastly, real world strength, lift like a Strongman competitor.

Yes, that includes pumping iron in traditional ways, like deadlifts and barbell presses, but Strongman also involves moving heavy objects that don’t end in “bell,” such as Atlas stones, weight sleds, sandbags, and especially, heavy old tires.

Tire training—including tire flipping—has long been a go-to training tactic of strongmen all over the world, because it’s just as hard as it looks. Tires are brutally heavy. They don’t have convenient handles with textured grips. And the ability to move them translates directly to the kind of superhero strength required in real-life emergency situations. In short, tire training is both completely functional and unquestionably badass. It’s also a great way to inject some variety into a tired routine.

Your move: If your gym has tires, it likely has a few different sizes. Start small. You’ll be surprised by the mobility it requires and number of muscles you’ll use, so begin with a lighter tire to learn proper form, and then work your way up to heavier ones to avoid soreness and minimize your risk of injury. Also, don’t limit yourself to just flipping.

Because of their size and durability, tires lend themselves to everything from box jumps to sledgehammer training. Click here for some unconventional ideas for incorporating tires into your workouts.

Looking for your own tire (or tires) to flip, roll, or smash around your yard? You can find some specialized training tires available to order online—but you might be able to luck out with something local, as long as you’re able to haul it home. Check around your local Craigslist offerings or consider calling local scrap yards or car lots to inquire if there are any old tires in your weight class they might be willing to give away for free.

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