In my last article, I discussed life lessons learned from the Prowler. In this article, I’ll share with you a routine that has helped my clients, both men and women, get better at tire flipping.
I’ll put forth a disclaimer first. This routine may not be suitable for everybody. If you have joint issues of any kind, especially low back issues, I suggest using a smaller, lighter tire. With that being said, let’s continue. Tire flips are by far one of the most challenging and rewarding exercises you can do. They build strength as well as conditioning. They also boost your deadlift and squat rather quickly and who doesn’t want a bigger squat or deadlift?
The routine below is designed to be performed for a period of six weeks. This routine was also designed to address all the muscles involved in the process of flipping tires. On day one (if you have attempted tire flipping before), you will flip the tire for 3–4 sets of 3–5 reps with a rest period of 3–4 minutes between sets. This allows your system to fully recover at least long enough for you to go back and find your lungs. After you have done this, you will move on to the body weight movements—inverted rows, dips, walking lunges, push-ups, and front/side planks. The reasoning for this is simple. Your central nervous system will be shot from doing all those flips and lifting weights will be almost impossible.
Day two is an off day for you to rest and eat to prepare for day three, which will consist of upper body movements. You’re probably wondering what the upper body has to do with a posterior chain dominant exercise such as the tire flip. Well, when looking at the top half of the movement, once the tire is off the ground, the lats, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and chest are all involved when pushing the tire over. If any of these muscles are ill prepared, it will make the process that much harder. The exercises that will be done on day three include bench presses, bent over rows (this simulates the rowing action that takes place as the tire is being lifted off the ground), face pulls, corner barbell presses, and ab wheel rollouts for abdominal stability.
Day four is an off day for obvious reasons. Recovery is key. Day five addresses the lower body. If you’re wondering why there is so much space between the tire flips and your lower body movements, there’s a simple explanation for this. Due to the fact that the lower body takes the brunt of the work on the tire flip, it needs more time to recover fully from the abuse. The glutes, quads, and hamstrings are fairly large muscles and will require an adequate amount of rest in between tire flipping sessions to recover fully. The movements that will be performed are squats or deadlifts, glute ham raises, Cossack squats (video included), Bulgarian split squats, and reverse hyper extensions with the reverse hyper machine. I’ve included some video of some of the exercises as well as some videos of my clients flipping tires for your enjoyment. By all means, let me know what you think of the routine.
- 3–4 sets X 3–5 tire flips (rest intervals should be between three and four minutes) using a 600-lb and 350-lb (ladies) tire
- Inverted rows using either a barbell or blast straps, 3 set total reps (rest intervals 90 seconds)
- Dips, 3 sets total (rest 90 seconds)
- Walking lunges, 2–3 rotations for 25 yards (rest 1–2 minutes in between rotations)
- Push-ups, 3 sets total (as many reps as possible)
- Side planks/front, 2–3 times for 30 seconds
Day 2: Off
Day 3: Upper body exercises using the horizontal push/pull method
- Incline or flat bench presses, 10, 8, 6; use 60 to 85 percent of your max
- Bent over row or dumbbell rows, 4 sets X 10–12 reps (1–2 minutes rest)
- Face pulls with bands or cable attachment, 3 sets X 15 reps (60 seconds rest between sets)
- Corner barbell press, 4 sets X 10–12 reps, 1–2 minutes rest (video included)
- Swiss ball or ab wheel roll outs (ab extension is the main focus here) 3 X AMRAP
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Lower body work
- Squats or deadlifts, 10, 8, 6; use 70–85 percent of your max (rest 3 minutes between each set)
- Glute ham raises or Swiss ball leg curls, 3 sets X 12–15 reps (rest 2 minutes between each set)
- Cossack squats, 3 sets X 12–15 reps (rest 60 seconds between sets)
- Bulgarian split squats, 4 sets X 8 per leg (2 minutes rest between sets)
- Reverse hyper extensions, 3 X AMRAP
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Off