When you work out, there are certain moves, routines, and pieces of equipment that make you feel invincible, downright rugged, and somewhat on par with Hollywood giants like Dwayne Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, and Joe Manganiello. A tire hits all those marks. It’s versatile enough to incorporate into your routine as a workout finisher, tough enough to torch major calories and sneak some cardio in, and badass enough to make you want to push past your comfort level.
For proof, try this rugged tire workout created by Kenny Santucci, program director at SOLACE New York gym in New York City. You can also pick and choose from the exercises and add a handful of them into your existing strength and conditioning routine.
This workout is centered around a 200-300lb tire; but it can easily be done with a smaller, lighter tire—just add plates to make it heavier. You can find tires in most CrossFit boxes and gyms like UFC across the nation. Do some research. You can even get your own from a tire dealership that has large farm tires.
1. Quick Feet
4 x 20 sec on, 10 off
How to do it: Face the tire. Transfer one foot from the top of the tire to the floor as quickly as possible, Santucci says, alternating feet as you go. This also serves as a warmup, but you should work in dynamic moves to prep your entire body.
2. Lateral High Step-Through
4 x 30 seconds on, 15 off
How to do it: Stand to the left of the tire. Keep your left foot planted on the outside, then draw your right knee toward your chest and step your foot into the middle of the tire. Now, alternate jumping from left to right (something like speed skating) while simultaneously pumping opposite hand to knee. Move as quickly as possible. Note: You’ll stay straddling the left half of the tire. You won’t come to stand on the right side of the tire, then hop back and forth. Ultimately, what side you stand on isn’t that important, so long as you’re high stepping over the tire.
3. Plyometric Single-Leg Jumps
3 x 20 reps; rest for 20 seconds b/w sets
How to do it: Stagger your feet, placing one on top of the tire and the other flat on the floor. Drop your back knee toward the floor as low as possible. Now, drive through your front foot to explosively jump up. After 10 reps, switch legs.
4. Deep Sumo Squats into High Pull
4 x 8-15 reps; rest for 30 seconds b/w sets
How to do it: Stand on top of the tire so your legs are on either side of the center, holding a 53-70lb kettlebell over it. Squat all the way down with the kettlebell dangling between your legs. Drive up as quickly as possible and high pull the kettlebell up to shoulder height.
5. Partner Tire Pushes
6 x 1min on, 20 sec off
How to do it: Stand the tire upright, then come into an athletic stance. Take turns pushing (more like shoving) the tire back and forth to your partner, placing your hands at the top so the base stays fixed to the ground. Don’t have a partner? Set the tire close to a wall and push so it bounces back to you.
6. Tire Deadlifts and Farmers Walk
10 x 50-foot walks; rest for 1 minute b/w sets
How to do it: Stand inside the tire and deadlift it up. Carry the tire 50 feet, then release. Deadlift and repeat. A 200-300lb tire is recommended for the average guy looking to boost his fitness. But, if you’re a beginner and this feels too heavy use a lighter tire.
3 x 100 tire hits with 10lb sledge hammer for time; rest for 1 minute between rounds
How to do it: Start with one hand just under the head of the hammer and the other hand near the end of the handle. When you swing, let the hand under the hammer head slide down to meet your opposite hand to get as much power and strength into every hit, giving maximal effort. Switch hands every 25 reps. Record your time, then try to beat it during the next two consecutive rounds.
8. Pushups and Hand Plank Walkups
4 x pushup to tire walkups to failure; rest 90 seconds between sets
How to do it: Do 1 pushup; walk your hands on to the top of the tire, then back down. Perform 2 pushups; then walk your hands back up to the top of the tire. Keep up this pattern until you can’t any longer. The goal is to get at least 12 pushups per round.
9. Tire Flips and Jumps
5 x: 5 flips + 10 jumps; take no rest between sets
How to do it: Flip the tire 5 times, then jump up with both feet and back down for 10 reps (or step down to make it easier on your knees). Repeat and record your final time.
10. Tire Drags
1 x failure; take no rest
How to do it: With a rope or a strap round around the tire, drag it 1 mile. If you’re indoors, drag it back and forth as many times as you can ’till failure.
11: Low Squat Pulls
3 x 60ft; rest 1 minute b/w sets
How to do it: Come into a low squat position and place your hands on the inside ring of the tire, closest to you. Tug the tire toward you (as if you were pulling a sled). Take a step back, remaining in the low squat stance, and continue pulling for 60 feet.