Flipping Out Over the Tire Flip
By now, you’ve probably seen YouTube videos, outdoor boot camps, or even a local gym here in Wilmington where fitness lovers are flipping giant tires. Aside from the obvious, what makes someone want to try this? And what are the benefits?
Let’s start from the beginning. The tire flip has been a popular choice of strongman competitors for decades. Flipping tires is a great way to build muscle, burn tons of calories and get in your cardio workout, all at the same time. It also helps strengthen your core and posterior muscles–like your hamstrings, glutes, and back. While it may seem like flipping a giant, 400lb. tire would require huge biceps and upper body strength, the actual lifting action is accomplished from the muscles in the lower body.
First and foremost, we recommend working out with a partner when trying this one for the first time. One of the most common injuries is a torn bicep, which can be prevented with proper form and posture. Pinch your fingers together to put pressure on two different places of the side of the tire nearest you so that you can lift it enough to put place one foot underneath. Once the tire is lifted slightly, you can proceed with the flipping. Since not all large tires are created equally, some are easier to get a gasp on from a deep squatting position. Try moving towards the tire with your arms shoulder-width apart and your knees bent low. Place the top of your forearms against the tire and then let your shoulders and glutes flex your arm muscles to put pressure on the tire.
Get a grip and do your flip!
Now that you’ve assumed the proper position, you’re ready to give it a flip. Your arms should act as support for the flipping, but repeat after me: they should NOT be the ones doing all the work. Remember you are lifting with your lower body, so keep your grip wide and your arms straight. Make sure you are keeping good posture, with your back completely straight. This puts power into the tire, which ultimately makes it easier to flip.
Interested in trying tire flipping but nervous to get started? Personal trainer Matt Johnson can help you get started, offer techniques and help you learn proper form to prevent injury.