Here’s Why Everyone’s Flipping Tires


You’ve probably seen tires popping up in obstacle races, outdoor bootcamps, and even at the gym. Flipping them over is a different way to work posterior-chain muscles—like your hamstrings, back, and glutes (muscles you’d engage during a deadlift, for example)—and can be especially good for people who sit a lot.

While that Goodyear could make your workout fun (and I see training time as play—it should never feel like a chore), you need to know how best to use it. Tractor tires for example can weigh anywhere from 100 to 500 lbs, and they’re not right for everyone. If you’re stepping through a series of small car tires for agility drills, that’s a different story. But lugging or flipping a 500-lb weight is definitely not for beginners.

If you’re newer to fitness or recovering from injury, you can use those tires you spot at the gym for incline push-ups, dips, or as a slightly unstable platform for step-ups. If you’ve been exercising for at least six months and have a solid strength base, it might be worth giving tire flips a try.

Here’s how to do it safely:

*Note: Practice first with a lighter tire, to perfect your form.

Keeping your weight in your heels and your arms outside your legs, squat down and scoop your hands under the tire. Next, press up (to standing position) with your legs (as you would with a squat) to raise the tire up. Lean your chest towards the tire, keeping your back straight and your spine in a neutral position. And then flip it, thrusting your hips forward as you push the tire over. Voila!

Tire flips are especially fun to do with a buddy, as you can flip the tire back and forth to each other. Just remember that tires shouldn’t replace a gym, and if you plan to flip them, you should warm up, first. Do ten minutes of bodyweight squats, lunges, and chin-ups to prep your muscles for the big flip.

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