Build Muscle and Boost Sports Performance With Tire Training

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Tire Flip

Want a new workout to build muscle and enhance speed, agility and endurance? If your answer is yes, don't go to the gym. Instead, head to your local tire store.

Once you're there, grab a used tractor or truck tire and three smaller car tires. (You should be able to get them for free or very cheap. If you are unable to locate tires, you can use plates or med balls for some of the exercises.) Next, get a 20-foot long thick rope from a hardware store. You will be all set for an intense tire training workout.

Although tire workouts are often done by athletes at sports performance facilities, the nine tire drills described below can be performed in a nearby park, on a basketball court, on a quiet street or in your own backyard—if you have the space. All of them can help you build muscle and promote general athleticism.

Before you start the workout, warm up your muscles first. Hold a car tire at chest level with arms extended and do a Walking Lunge for 50 yards. Then begin your workout.

1. Walking Lunges With Car Tire Raises Lunge forward and raise a car tire from navel to shoulder level. Lower the tire as you continue to Lunge, then raise it. Do 10 Lunges with raises to strengthen your legs, arms and shoulders.

2. Side Lunge and Twist with Car Tire Lunge laterally and simultaneously twist your core, holding the tire at chest level. Do five Lunges with twists on one side; turn and do five Lunges with twists on the other side. This strengthens the core and upper- and lower-body muscles.

3. Tractor Tire Flips With Explosive Push-Ups Stand an inch away from a tractor tire. Bend your knees and keep your back straight as you flip the tire over five times. Then immediately perform Explosive Push-Ups on the tire rim. Tire Flips work leg, hip, arm and back muscles, while Explosive Push-Ups are a terrific sport-specific exercise for football players and wrestlers, because these athletes use their upper-body muscles to quickly and forcefully push away their opponents.

4. Tractor Tire Pulls and Squats Use long, thick rope to tie a knot that loops around the tire. Stand three feet away from the tire and grasp the two ends of the rope. Facing the tire, Squat and explosively pull the tire toward you (think of it as a Squat and Row exercise). Walk backward three feet, Squat and pull again. Continue Squatting, walking and pulling the tire for about 30 yards. This exercise adds muscle to the legs, hips, arms and back. The pulling movement is also great for football players who must tackle opponents; wrestlers who hold and pull their opponents; and basketball players who pull down rebounds.

5. Walking Lunges and Sprints With Tractor Tire Tie two ends of the rope around your waist (your tractor tire should still have the rope connected to it) and do a Walking Lunge while dragging the tire for 10 yards. Sprint for 10 yards, then Lunge another 10 yards and finish with a 20-yard sprint. This is an excellent exercise to improve speed, endurance and upper- and lower-body power applicable for many sports—e.g., track, soccer, hockey, football, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, wrestling, basketball and cross country.

6. Car Tire Jumps and Sprints Arrange three car tires side by side and jump laterally through each one back and forth three times. Next, arrange the tires in a straight line and jump forward through each one. Turn around and repeat three more times. Rest 30 to 45 seconds and then jump through each tire and sprint 40 yards. Backpedal to the tires and repeat twice more. These jumps and sprints enhance agility, endurance and speed, benefiting track, soccer, football and basketball athletes.

7. Single-Leg Squats With Car Tire Overhead Perform a Single-Leg Squat holding a car tire overhead for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other leg. This enhances your balance and strengthens leg and shoulder muscles.

8. Feet-Elevated Push-Ups, Planks and Sit-Ups on Car Tires Stack three car tires and place a mat in front of them. Go into a Push-Up position with your feet placed on top of the tires and hands on the mat. Do 10 Push-Ups, then go on your forearms and hold that position for 30 to 60 seconds. Next, lie on your back with knees slightly bent and feet on top of the tires. Do 10 to 20 Sit-Ups. The Push-Ups build chest, shoulder and arm muscles; the Planks and Sit-Ups strengthen core muscles.

9. Side Lunges and Overhead Presses With Car Tire Lunge laterally and press the tire overhead. Do 10 Lunges and Overhead Presses. This exercise builds leg and shoulder muscles.


Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock