Tire training is often used for sport-specific workouts, but it is also an effective way to exercise for gym-goers and personal training clients. Build strength, increase agility, and endurance while getting a change of pace from regular gym equipment.
Tire exercises can be done indoors or out, but will be a noisy endeavor inside. Lots of gyms have tires. If you’re looking to purchase one for a home gym, check out local tire stores, scrap yards, rummage sales, and body shops. (May even the side of a rural road?)
Tires come in a variety of sizes based on the type of tire and the diameter. New and recycled are options. Used tires will be less in price obviously, but will need lots of cleaning. Look for commercial tire cleaners and use lots of elbow grease.
For exercise purposes, there shouldn’t be a hubcap or inner tube. Having clearance in the hole allows for lots of different movements.
How heavy are they?
Industrial truck tires typically range from 100-200+ pounds. Large tractor tires are usually 300+. Car tires weigh much less at about 20-30 pounds.
As long as the tire is sturdy and can hold weight without collapsing or caving in, there are many exercises to try. Most tire workouts are advanced, although there are some low-impact movements too.
Tire Training Exercises
Tire flipping is a power move using compound muscle groups.
- Begin with the tire on its side resting on the ground.
- Squat to get a firm grip, rise up to standing, and push through the flip to engage the lower and upper body. Glutes, hamstrings, lats, traps, and biceps are a few muscles recruited for flipping tires.
- The number of times the tire should be flipped depends on the weight of the tire, the size of your client, and their strength level. Start small and build up as strength increases.
- Straddle the tire and jump with both feet to the center and back up for lateral jumps.
- Stand behind the tire and jump up with both feet landing on the outer rim for forward jumps.
- Jump over the tire landing with balanced feet.
- Jump in the tire and back out.
Planks and Pushups
Use the tire as a base for planks and pushups. Hands can be on the tire with toes on the ground or toes on the tire and hands on the ground.
Deadlifts and Squats
Standing with both feet on the opposite sides of the tire with extra room for leverage, deadlifts and squats with weights are deeper than when done on the ground. Choose a challenging weight for a more intense workout.
Work the upper body and core with sledgehammer slams on the tire. Proper technique is crucial whether you’re standing or kneeling. This is a great way to burn off steam too!
Line up or stagger smaller car tires for agility training and speed drills. Have clients run through the center of the tires for time.
• Toe touches around the tire
• Roll the tire upright
• Knee-ups stepping from the ground to the tire
Aside from the strength and agility benefits of using tires in training, there’s a mental advantage. Many gym rats find a sense of power when performing challenging tire workouts. Once again, the mind-body connection flourishes in the exercise world.