One of the exercises currently very much in fashion is the tyre flip. Tyres can now be encountered anywhere from gyms and bootcamps to obstacle courses. The World’s Strongest Man competition has a lot to answer for!

However, with tractor tyres weighing anything from 100 to 500 lbs, tyre flipping isn’t suitable for everybody, and certainly not beginners. Firstly, you need a good foundation of strength training and secondly, you need to use the right technique.

For those who want to have a go, here’s Fit Hire’s quick guide to the dos and don’ts of tyre flipping.

Start small and work up

If you start by trying to flip one of the 500 lb monsters, you’re likely to do yourself an injury (assuming you can move the thing!). Start off with smaller tyres and work up to the ‘big-uns’ as you gain strength. That way, you can perfect your technique before moving on to the heavy stuff.

Warm up first

Tyre flipping is an intensive activity that works the muscles of the back, the hamstrings and glutes. It also involves the arms. It is NOT an exercise to be performed cold. Warm up thoroughly beforehand; eg, with some light deadlifts or shoulder presses.

Do it early

If you’re performing tyre flips as part of an exercise routine, do them early in your workout. Regard them as your main lift, as they require maximum effort. Don’t wear yourself out with heavy squats and deadlifts beforehand.

The approach

Walk up to the tyre with your feet roughly shoulder width apart. Squat down with your hips pushed back and your back flat. DO NOT lift with a rounded back, as this is a common cause of injury. Scoop your hands under the tyre and grasp it with an underhand grip. Don’t place your fingers in the gaps between the treads, as this could lead to injury.

The lift

Keeping your core muscles engaged and your back straight, drive up through your legs and hips, as you would with a squat. This is an explosive movement, but you want to perform it with control. Keep close to the tyre and thrust your hips forward as it gets towards the vertical. A tyre flip is NOT a curl! Don’t try and curl the tyre with your arms, or you’ll risk tearing your biceps.

The catch

As soon as the tyre is nearly vertical, catch it with an overhand grip and push it over. Should you find the tyre coming back at you before you get it vertical, don’t try to resist it unless you are certain you can control it. It’s better to step aside and let it fall, especially if you’re tiring.

Tyre flips can be great fun, but they require a combination of strength and skill. However, by following a few simple principles, we can enjoy the activity with minimal risk of injury.

Fit Hire offers tractor tyres for hire in sizes ranging from around 100 lbs to 230 lbs. If you’re not sure of your strength, why not begin with the lightest in the range?