Written by: Elsie Velazquez cert. personal trainer at Prescription Fitness (Cleveland, Ohio)
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive equipment to get results. Even with a basic tire, you can reap serious physical benefits because they offer a ton of workout variations. Plus, tires can be acquired rather easily and are great for challenging your power, strength, and conditioning.
Once you have decided you’d like to try a tire workout, you need to choose a weight that is appropriate for you. I would suggest anywhere from 100-300 pounds for women. This will vary depending on your strength, fitness level, and goals. For men, 300-500 pounds is good weight in my opinion. Safety is most important so don’t pick a size that is not realistic for you.
Below are some of my favorite and/or most popular exercises for you to try:
Lay your tire flat on its side then face the tire with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down slightly, and leap onto the tire. Both feet should land softly on the tire.
Tire jumps are a functional exercise that can help improve your explosiveness for running and increase your vertical jump.
Facing away from the tire, place your arms behind you. Rest the palms of your hands on the tire with your arms fully extended. Place your feet approximately half of your body length in front of the tire. Bend at the elbows into a 90-degree angle while lowering your body slowly until your bottom almost touches the ground. Return to a straight-arm position.
This exercise is the same as a bench dip to work your triceps.
This exercise turns floor push-ups from beginner to advanced. Facing away from the tire, place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place both of your feet on the tire behind you and raise yourself up into a plank position. Keeping your body straight, lower your upper body toward the floor, then push up until your arms are fully extended again.
This exercise will work the upper pectoral muscles, in addition to the lower pecs and core.
Begin by standing upright and parallel to the tire. Squat down slightly, then jump sideways (laterally) onto the tire, and land in a half-squat position. You want to land softly to lessen impact. I suggest stepping down from the tire to lessen risk of injury but you can jump down if you prefer.
Lateral movements are a great way to develop power and agility while improving strength in your lower body and stability in your ankles, hips, and knees.
Stand in the center of your tire. Bend your knees slightly and hop upward to land on the tire in a squat position with both feet on opposite sides of the tire. Hop upward again, returning to a standing position in the center of the tire.
Pop squats target your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Do these at a relatively fast pace and you’ll also get cardiovascular benefits.
The one arm sledgehammer slam is a total-body exercise that utilizes almost all muscles in your body. Position a tire flat on the ground in front of you and stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and a sledgehammer in one hand. In one smooth, controlled motion, bring the sledgehammer up and over the top of your head and slam it onto the top of the tire.
Last but not least…
Start with the tire flat on the ground. Place your fingers under the tire while it is in this position. Your hands and feet should be shoulder width apart. Squat down, bending at the knees. As you return to a standing position, pull the tire up. Make sure to use your whole body—especially your legs—to avoid lifting primarily with your back. Use the momentum you create to change your hand position from a pull to a push. At this point, push the tire forward.
Tire flips are a favorite because they work your entire body: your core, back, legs, arms, and shoulders. Just be very careful! You can risk serious injury if you are bending at the hips and using your back instead of bending at the knees and using your full body and engaging your core to lift and push.
I suggest you do a five to 10-minute warm-up of light cardio before your workout to prepare your muscles for these demanding exercises. Tire exercises, as with other strength-training exercises, can be dangerous so focus on using proper stance and maintain your form throughout each exercise to prevent injury.