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Tire Flipping 101

Do you want explosive raw power and endurance? Then go flip a tire!

That’s right! Go flip a tire! Tire flipping has been no secret in training and has been around, well been around probably as long as tractor tires. College football programs have been using this exercise to develop explosive power in their athletes for years. This exercise closely resembles the movement and drive of a player exploding off the line of scrimmage. Lately, tire flipping has been more recognized as an event in strongman competitions. These events are often a crowd favorite as the strongmen flip these mammoth tires for distances up to 100 feet.

More gyms have also adopted this exercise tool. Tires of all sizes can be found in the back alleys and parking lots of these facilities. Not only has tiring flipping been put on the regiment of strongmen and football players but many iron athletes haves opted this training method to help with strength gains and muscle growth.

Looking for a tire? They’re not that hard to find. Tires, at least the bigger ones you’re looking for can be found lying around excavating and heavy equipment yards, waiting to be disposed. In most cases these yards pay to have them removed and would be more than happy to give you permission to get them out of there, a long as you can get them out. It might be a good idea to take a couple of friends along and a trailer to help in what sometimes can be a very stuck in the mud adventure.

What size will you get? That’s entirely up to you. It’s not easy to guess the weight of a tire even when you’ve flipped it. If you’re resourceful you can get the information right from the tire by researching the make and model. If not you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way, flip it. If you can’t, it’s too heavy! If you do load it up and still don’t know the weight, take it to a scrap metal yard or some other scale to find out. It might cost a couple bucks but it would be well worth the knowledge.

It’s often a good idea to get more than one tire for training. Just like training in the gym, you often require different weights for your routine and warm-ups, so does tire flipping. Tires you use in training can range from 300-1200 pounds. Most average size guys have no problem starting off with a tire in the 500-600 pound range. Even as you get stronger you’ll always want a lighter tire around for warm-ups before you begin your heavy flipping.

Training techniques with the tire can be as diverse as training with a dumbbellin the gym. If lifting endurance is what your after, then flipping for max distance or time would probably be your method. This style requires a tire you can flip at least 10 times. If you’re looking for some explosive power, it’s time to get out the rubber and go with a bigger tire. Train with sets of 3 to 5 flips in sets like you would do in the gym training a heavy compound movement. Other training methods could include, partner back flips or max rep flips for those heavy days. Tire flipping is the ultimate compound movement, working almost every muscle group in a single rep, quads, hams, calves, bis, tris, chest and shoulders. It’s always a good idea when you work tire flipping in your routine on a day followed by a couple days rest. After a few times out, you can be the judge of where and how it fits in. “Should”, will never be in question.

Remember to always train tires with a partner. If you slipped or put yourself in an awkward position while attempting a lift, a partner could save you from a serious injury.

How do you flip a tire? That is easier done than said, but very important to learn the proper technique. Just like any movement knowing how is the key to success and preventing injury, the tire is no different. Seems easy enough bend over and flip. But with all the weight of these tires, it would be like me pointing at a 700 lb. dead lift and say just lift it. Technique is everything and knowing this will make your tire flipping experience that much more rewarding from all standpoints.

First get a tire you know you can move or feel comfortable with, stand facing one side about a foot away. Bend down in a crouching position with feet shoulder width apart, place your hands just outside your feet and grip the underside of the tire, this should force your chest to the tire. If it doesn’t take a wider grip until it does. Now, move your feet back until you feel your weight shift to the balls of your feet and your heels begin to come of the ground. This will help force you through the tire when you lift. Picture yourself moving through the tire, like you were pushing something out of your way not lifting it up. This is so important; many guys new to tire flipping often try and lift a tire with their arms. Let me tell you this is a curl you can’t do and serious injury could result. Think of your arms as hooks moving through the weight. Now you are in the position to flip a tire. Get yourself set and explode through the tire! Momentum is everything, once you get the tire to your waist you’ll have to quickly switch hand position to the top of the tire pushing outwards until it turns over and flips. Easy enough just remember momentum is the key. Use a tire in the beginning that’s light enough for you to practice your technique. Once you get the hang of it no tire will be too big. Good luck!



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