Tire Flip Alternatives

10 Tire Flip Alternatives (That Still Develop Power)

Tire Flips are one of the most effective exercises for building explosive power. Flipping tires use the same explosive triple extension seen in Olympic lifts which are the gold standard for developing power.

However, sometimes you may find yourself needing an alternative for Tire Flips.

The most obvious reason is that you don’t have access to a giant tire to flip around whenever you like.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for an exercise to substitute for Tire Flips then you’re in the right place. I’m about to share with you 10 of my favorite Tire Flip alternatives including a few different variations and lifts using different equipment.

Alternatives to Tire Flips

The first five alternatives are all Olympic lift variations. The similarities between Tire Flips and Olympic lifts are too close to ignore. However, the variations use different equipment and vary from beginner to advanced movements. Hopefully, at least one of them is a good fit for you.

The second five alternatives are all exercises that focus on strength and power development through training triple extension, but they are not Olympic lifts. If you’re not comfortable doing any kind of Olympic lifts yet, one of these exercises may be a better fit for your training.

Power Clean

Hang Power Clean (1)

Power Cleans are probably the closest exercise to Tire Flip. In fact, they’re basically the exact same movement, just one is done with a big tire and the other is done with a barbell.

If you don’t have a tire to work with, but you have a barbell, this would be my first option (if your power clean technique is good)

How To

  • Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the barbell wider than shoulder-width.
  • Initial Pull: Slightly bend knees, keeping your chest up and back straight. Lift the bar off the ground by extending your legs.
  • Mid-Pull: As the bar passes your knees, explosively extend your hips and knees while keeping the bar close to your body.
  • High-Pull: Shrug your shoulders and pull the bar upward. Your elbows should point out to the sides.
  • Catch Phase: Drop under the bar by bending your knees, and catch it on your front shoulders. Your elbows should be pointing forward.
  • Stand Up: Straighten your legs to come to a full standing position.

Coaching Points

Power Cleans are a technical lift that requires proper coaching. While they are an amazing lift for developing power, they can lead to injury if done incorrectly.

If you do not feel comfortable with the proficiency of your power clean technique then you should avoid doing them. If that is the case, consider one of the following alternatives.

Hang Power Snatch

Hang Power Snatch

There are many advantages of substituting Hang Power Snatch for Tire Flips. It’s still an explosive hip exercise but it’s less technical and more beginner-friendly than power cleans. The catch position is much easier to learn, especially when catching in a quarter-squat power position.

The weight is lighter in a snatch which means more bar speed. It also means that the lift is much more forgiving of technical errors because the weight on the bar is less.

How To

  • Starting Position: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the barbell at hip level using a wide overhand grip.
  • Initial Bend: Slightly bend your knees while keeping your back straight and chest up.
  • Explosive Pull: Quickly extend your hips and knees, pulling the bar upward. Engage your traps with a shrug.
  • Pull Under: As the bar reaches its highest point, quickly drop under it by bending your knees.
  • Catch Phase: Catch the bar overhead with arms fully extended. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground.
  • Stand Up: Extend your knees to a full standing position, keeping the bar overhead.

Coaching Points

One of the biggest mistakes lifters make is to cut the pull short and not reach full extension. Don’t be in a rush to pull with the arms as that will cut your power short on the movement.

Clean Pull

Power Clean First Pull
Arms straight, feet flat, knees out, chest out, eyes straight ahead… great first pull.

Clean Pull is a variation of the Clean that removes the catch entirely. The lifter begins in a starting position from the floor, but never transitions to the catch. Instead, the lifter finishes the lift by aggressively triple extending the hips, knees, and ankles and shrugging the bar.

This means there is less upper body involvement than with a tire flip from the shoulder muscles, chest and biceps, but not having to catch the bar can make this lift easier to learn than power cleans.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Bar Setup: Choose a suitable weight on the barbell and position it over your mid-foot.
  • Starting Position: With feet hip-width apart, grip the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, maintaining a flat back and shoulders over the bar.
  • First Pull: Lift the bar by powerfully extending the hips and knees, keeping it close to your shins.
  • Second Pull: As the bar passes your knees, explosively extend your hips and rise onto your toes, shrugging your shoulders.
  • Peak Position: The bar should reach maximum height, with your body fully extended and shrugging upwards.
  • Lower: Control the bar back down to the starting position.

Coaching Points

*An easy way to get your grip in the right position is to place your hands one thumb length away from the start of the knurling of the bar. This width will work for 90% of lifters. Wider athletes may end up sliding their hands just a bit wider and vice versa for narrow athletes, but it’s a good starting point for anyone.

**One of the biggest mistakes with Clean technique is that lifters will shoot their butt up first, locking their knees out and then they end up pulling the bar with their back instead of their legs. This is most often caused by lifters trying to rush the first pull too much. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

Dumbbell Hang Clean

Dumbbell Hang Clean

Don’t have an old tire or a barbell? The Dumbbell Hang Clean is a great Tire Flip alternative that uses dumbbells.

Dumbbells give lifters more versatility. If you’re unable to flip tires due to an injury to one arm and you are cleared to lift with the other arm then Dumbbell Hang Clean can be a perfect solution (as shown in the pic above).


  • Choose Dumbbells: Select a pair of dumbbells that you can manage effectively through the movement.
  • Starting Position: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells in front of you with palms facing your thighs.
  • Hip Hinge: Slightly bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips, lowering the dumbbells towards your knees.
  • Explosive Pull: Swiftly extend your hips and knees, pulling the dumbbells upward by driving your elbows high.
  • Catch: While the dumbbells are elevating, rotate your wrists under them and catch them at shoulder height, elbows pointing forward.
  • Return: Control the dumbbells back to the hanging position, maintaining a neutral spine.

Coaching Points

Make sure to maintain a neutral, flat back during the hinge. One of the biggest mistakes that can lead to an injury is allowing the back to round during the hinge. This puts an excessive amount of strain on the spine as the athlete begins the movement.

Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Single Arm DB Muscle Snatch

If you’re looking for an alternative that is easy to learn and helps develop power, then Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch might be a great alternative for you.

The Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch is less technical than all the other Olympic variations listed above. If you can learn how to get in a proper starting position – flat back, braced core, proper hinge – then you can do Single Arm Snatches.

How To

  • Choose Your Weight: Select a dumbbell that is appropriate for your strength and experience level.
  • Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the dumbbell in one hand, positioned between your legs.
  • Hip Hinge: Begin with a slight bend in the knees and hinge at the hips, lowering the dumbbell towards the ground.
  • Explosive Pull: Powerfully extend your hips and knees, pulling the dumbbell upwards in a straight line.
  • Transition: As the dumbbell ascends, begin to pull your elbow underneath it.
  • Catch: Fully extend your arm overhead, catching the dumbbell in a locked-out position.
  • Lower: Control the dumbbell back to the starting position, maintaining good posture.

Coaching Points

The dumbbell should travel close to the body all the up until it gets about head height, then rotate the elbow, drop the hips and catch. Don’t allow it to swing forward out away from the body.

The second technique flaw is not staying braced through the return of the dumbbell to the starting position, often times from being in too big of a hurry to knock out reps. Letting the dumbbell, especially the heavier you get, yank the shoulder down at the bottom of the rep is asking for trouble.

Horton Barbell Logo 3

Tired of coming up with your own workouts? But don’t want to pay an arm and a leg?

I post workouts 5 days a week right here. (Did I mention they’re free?)

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

As this list progresses, the exercises continue to get more and more beginner-friendly. Like all the exercises listed as Tire Flip alternatives, Kettlebell Swings focus on an explosive hip drive.

The thing that makes Kettlebell Swings somewhat unique is the portability of the Kettlebell. You can take a kettlebell out to the field and incorporate it into a circuit or even throw it in your car and take it with you on a road trip.

Step-by-Step Instruction

  • Select a Kettlebell: Choose an appropriate weight that you can swing with control.
  • Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
  • Hinge: Push your hips back, bending slightly at the knees, and lowering the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Explosive Swing: Powerfully extend your hips and knees, swinging the kettlebell forward and upward to chest height.
  • Top Position: At the peak, your body should be in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Descend: Allow the kettlebell to swing back down, hinging at the hips, and preparing for the next repetition.

Coaching Points

The kettlebell swing is a great movement to train rapid hip extension and flexion. Remember to always keep a neutral spine.

Choosing the proper kettlebell weight is important. Heavier is not always better. Because of the rapid nature of the kettlebell swing, the emphasis should be on velocity, speed, and power.

I would recommend starting light and you will be able to increase weight easily as you get more comfortable with the movement.

Med Ball Cannonballs

Medicine Balls on Field
No gym? No worries! All you need is a medicine ball and a field to get good work in.

Grab a medicine ball and throw it as high as you can. That’s essentially what a Med Ball Cannonball Throw is.

However, it’s a great tool to use not only as an exercise to develop power but as a teaching tool to begin to learn body positioning for Tire Flipping (and Olympic lifting). One can learn how to set the back, how to hinge, brace and drive – all components of a Tire Flip – but with much less risk with a medicine ball.

How To

  • First, make sure your gym has enough ceiling height to be able to do Cannonballs. I recommend doing them outside to avoid this issue altogether.
  • Grab the ball with both hands cradling under the ball. Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the shoulder blades back, engage the lats and core, slightly bend the knees and hinge forward at the hips.
  • Allow the medicine ball to fall in between the shins.
  • You should now be in a good athletic position that looks very similar to the starting position of a Hang Clean.
  • From here, explosively drive the feet through the ground and aggressively extend the hips and throw the ball as high as possible*.
  • Allow the ball to hit the ground, grab it, then reset and repeat.

Coaching Points

Do NOT try to catch the ball directly out of the air. This is a great way to jam a wrist or a finger. Allow the ball to hit the ground first before grabbing it for the next rep.

*Cannonball Throws can either be done straight up in the air or behind you to a partner. If working with a partner, stand facing away from them and throw the ball at about a 45-degree angle. The goal is to throw the ball as far as possible in the air.

Box Jumps

Weighted Box Jump

Almost every athlete’s favorite plyometric drill, Box Jumps, can also be used as a Tire Flip alternative.

Box Jumps use your own body weight (instead of a tire) as resistance to help develop the ability to generate force. For added resistance, throw on a weighted vest for your Box Jumps.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Select a box or platform that is a challenging, yet safe height.
  • Stand facing the box, feet shoulder-width apart, and a few feet away from it.
  • Begin by slightly bending your knees and hips, arms back, readying for the jump.
  • Powerfully extend your hips and knees, swinging your arms forward and propelling your body upward.
  • Aim to land softly on the box with both of your feet fully on it, knees slightly bent.
  • Stand straight, stabilizing yourself on the box.
  • Carefully step back down to the starting position, one foot at a time.

Coaching Points

Pick a box that is an appropriate height. You should land on the box in roughly a quarter-squat position. All too often I see athletes do Box Jumps on a box that is way too high, causing them to have to land in a full squat position.

This is wrong for two reasons. First, picking your feet higher so you can land in a full squat doesn’t actually mean you jump any higher. Second, having to land in a full squat to make it onto the box eliminates any room for error. If you jump perhaps even an inch not high enough you could end up missing the box.

Trap Bar Deadlifts

Trap Bar Deadlift

Trap Bar Deadlifts aren’t designed to be as explosive as the other exercises listed above, but they will help develop lower body strength, especially through the posterior chain.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Bar Setup: Load the trap bar with the desired weight and stand inside it.
  • Starting Position: Stand with feet hip-width apart, aligned with the bar’s handles.
  • Grip: Bend at the hips and knees to grab the handles, palms facing your body.
  • Brace Core: Take a deep breath and brace your core, keeping your back flat.
  • Initial Lift: Push through your heels while extending your hips and knees to lift the bar.
  • Lockout: Fully extend your hips and knees, standing upright with the bar.
  • Descending Phase: Reverse the movement, lowering the bar back to the starting position.

Coaching Points

Easily the most common mistake for deadlifts of any kind is allowing the upper or lower back to round, placing unnecessary stress on the back. Keep the back flat throughout the movement and the core braced.

Do not bounce the bar off the floor between reps. Yes, bouncing the plates off the floor into the next rep may make the lift easier to do, but it’s also a good way to allow your technique to break down. Reset for each rep.

Hill Sprints

Hill Sprints

This last exercise may be a bit outside the box, but Hill Sprints can make an excellent alternative for Tire Flips.

The angle of the sprint changes the angle of the leg when it strikes the ground. This angle is very similar to the starting position of a Tire Flip. And both exercises emphasize explosive triple extension.

Finally, what makes Hill Sprints a particularly great substitution is that they require zero equipment. All, you need to find is an upslope to sprint on.

free daily workouts
Horton Barbell Logo 3

Get Shredded… For Free

Get a free workout Monday through Friday, posted right here on Horton Barbell. These workouts are designed to help you get strong, in shape and look great at the beach!

Final Thoughts

Tire Flips are an excellent exercise for developing power and explosiveness, but sometimes Tire Flips just aren’t an option. You may not have a big tire available to you, you may not be comfortable with the technique, or at other times you might just be looking to add some variety to your training program.

In these situations, you’ll need a Tire Flip alternative exercise and I hope that at least one of the exercises I’ve listed here fits what you were looking for.

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *