When you think of training with tires you probably envision something like the picture below:
I'm not a power lifter, don't train for maximal strength, or have any interest in trying to hoist an 800 pound tire over my head. Ever.
But I've been training with my homemade tire sled for a few years now and it works really well for me. I got the idea a while back from a YouTube Video I found and decided to make one myself.
Twenty minutes and $20 later, I had my very own functioning tire sled.
Making Your Sled
As I explain in my video below, it took me maybe fifteen or twenty minutes to make my tire sled and cost me around $20 bucks. Not too shabby for a highly useful piece of fitness equipment that can be taken anywhere and be used in hundreds of different ways!
Here's how I made my sled:
- I went to a local tire store and asked for any old tire that they were going to throw out. They had a few to choose from and I took one that was used for a mid sized car. If you're a really strong guy (or really brave), you can choose a much bigger tire but be warned; they are a bitch to move and transport.
- I then went to Lowe's and bought an eye bolt, a washer, and a nut to screw it onto the tire.
- I also bought 16 or so feet of rope (2.5 inches thick) to use as my pulley.
- I then drilled a hole in the tire and screwed the eye bolt securely in place.
- I used some Gorilla tape around the end of each side of the rope for handles. Duct tape kept falling off, so I'd avoid that.
- I also put two short 2X4's inside the tire well for support.
- I also bought a 50 pound bag of sand to put in the tire for added weight. You can use anything really as weight, but make sure it's not fabric or else it will get shredded when you drag it. If you have small children, you can sit them in the tire and give them a little ride. It's fun for them and can be pretty challenging depending on the size of your kid.
- You are done. It's super easy and you can see the demo in my video below.
Why Should You Build A Tire Sled?
There are a few reasons you should build one of these bad boys:
- They are dirt cheap to make
- They are highly functional
- They can be used almost anywhere
- You can work any and all muscles using it
- It's fun to train with them
- You look like a bad ass dragging heavy shit in a field. Someone might even mistake you for Rich Froning!
Are Tire Workouts Effective?
Tire workouts, done properly, are excellent at working all your major muscles groups (and all the minor ones too!)
I must warn you that if you are not fit, have injuries, are extremely non-limber, or have any other limitations then tire training may not be a good idea.
The reason is that you are forced to adapt to the movement of the tire and it places a high demand on your body, especially your lower body and core. It can be easy to pull something if you're not used to this type of training as well.
You must also make sure you are properly warmed up and a full dynamic warm up is recommended prior to trying tire workouts.
What I like most about them is that there are almost limitless amounts of exercises and movements you can incorporate which makes it a great change of pace from your regular routine and is a lot of fun as well.
Don't forget that your training should be enjoyable and you are much more likely to stick to a program if you actually like doing it. Training in a nasty gym with a bunch of meatheads isn't fun and can deter you from going back.
Taking your new tire sled outside and getting some fresh air and sunshine while using it can make a huge difference in the quality of your workouts and keep you motivated for longer.
How To Train With A Tire and Tire Sled
In the video below, I run through 11 exercises that incorporate a tire and a sandbag (optional). These are just some of the ones I selected because I enjoy them and they offer a full body workout as well.
Here they are in order:
- Running drag
- Triceps extension drag
- Rotational pull and drag
- Row and drag
- Backwards pull
- Overhead slams
- Plyometric pushups
- Side to side rotation against wall
- Overhead shoulder press
- Single arm farmer's carry
- Knee pull in drag