Tire Flips (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)


How To Do Tire Flips

If you have the right tire, Tire Flips can be an amazing addition to your workout program. They’re a total body movement that very closely mimics the same qualities as an Olympic lift like Power Clean.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Tire Flips, including important coaching tips and a few alternative exercises if you don’t have a giant tire at your disposal.


How To Do Tire Flips


Equipment Needed

  • Tire

Muscles Worked

  • Tire Flips are a true total body movement. Almost every major muscle group is at work at some point during Tire Flips.

How To

  • Make sure you have plenty of space to be able to safely flip the tire.
  • Start with the tire laying on the ground on its side.
  • Stand with toes almost against the tire, feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Drop the hips and reach under the tire.
  • Once you have a good grip under the tire flatten your back and brace your core.
  • Drive the feet through the ground and aggressively begin to extend the hips.
  • If the tire is heavy, you can slide one knee under the tire to help with leverage once the tire is high enough.
  • When the tire gets above stomach height, flip your hands around so you can begin to push the tire.
  • Push the tire forcefully forward – extending with both your arms and legs.
  • The tire should land on its side. Repeat for the designated amount of distance or reps.

Coaching Points

The biggest key to Tire Flips is perhaps in finding the right tire.

Every school I’ve ever worked at had big tires that were used for Tire Flips. However, the size and weight of these tires have all been drastically different. They’ve ranged from tires that were barely heavy enough to be worth using to tires that took two and sometimes even three football players to flip.

Just like with Deadlifts and Power Clean, it’s extremely important to drop the hips, use the legs and keep the back flat. Once fatigue starts to set in I generally see athletes resort to using more back than legs. If form reaches this point then it’s time to stop flipping the tire.


Tire Flip Alternatives


Don’t have a giant tire laying around that you can use for Tire Flips? Here are a few alternatives you may be able to substitute instead. Want even more options? Here are my 10 favorite Tire Flip alternatives.

Power Clean

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

I’ve already mentioned Power Clean twice, so it’s probably not a surprise to see them listed here as an alternative.

They are very similar exercises though. Both have a very similar starting position, both demand a powerful hip extension and both are total body movements. If you don’t have a tire and you’re Power Clean technique is good it’s a pretty easy swap.

Trap Bar Deadlift

Trap Bar Deadlift Setup

If you’re not comfortable with your Olympic lifting technique then you may be able to use Trap Bar Deadlift to replace Tire Flips.

The upper body isn’t as involved (although the back has to be braced and is very much involved), but it is another hip-dominant exercise. And, a trap bar (also called a hex bar) can add the much-needed variety that Tire Flips generally provide.

Pro Tip: Hex Bars can vary quite a lot in weight. Keep this in mind if you’re lifting on a hex bar that you’re unfamiliar with.


More Links and Info


Looking for more exercises to build lower body strength? Check out the Lower Body Lifts section of our Exercise Library. It’s filled with dozens of exercises for developing the quads, hamstrings and glutes – all with complete detailed instructions.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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