Exercise of the Week: Tire Flip

The tire flip is a part of strongman training (ak.a functional training). It improves strength, power development and conditioning.

The flip looks simple but don’t get fooled by the size of this tire – it is relatively heavy!!!
The movement should be generated from the lower body. Your arms should be slightly bent in a comfortable position, feet wide apart. Lower your bum similarly to a hack squat position, keep your chest lifted. Lock down your upper body and drive from the legs. When your hips, knees and ankles are extending flip the tire simultaneously upward and forward.

“The tire flip has become a fad exercise, unfortunately. You see coaches allowing people to flip tires using rounded backs and poor technique. The tire flip is an exercise one must earn.

What does that mean? First, you need to get strong in all areas of your body. You can approach this a number of ways, but you definitely need to be proficient at these exercises:

  • Deadlift (conventional, sumo, trap bar)
  • Clean and press (barbell, kettlebells, dumbbell, sandbag)
  • Pull-ups

Now, don’t let that list lead you to believe that you deadlift the tire to flip it, or that you use your biceps to curl it up. Neither approach will generate enough power to get a decent-sized tire up on its side. As I discuss in the video, a tire isn’t like other weights. You have to drive through it, not lift it.

Before you get excited and run outside to hunt down some rubber, understand that there are some dangers behind the tire flip. Your back and arms are at the greatest risk of injury, so keep these two tips in mind:

  • Relax your biceps to avoid curling the tire.
  • Keep your back tight to avoid rounding of the back, especially your lower back.”



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