The Tire Flip – probably one of the most recognizable movements when it comes to CrossFit and strongman events. However, it is one movement that is consistently performed incorrectly by most athletes and strength coaches.
Technique is the most important aspect of the tire flip.
Let’s begin by looking at the movement itself. The tire flip is a whole
body exercise, combining strength, power, and endurance. The tire flip is widely used by football players because it mimics the starting position of a down lineman. A staple in strongman competitions, the tire flip can be added to your workouts to
really challenge yourself and push your limits.
The two main elements that contribute to a successful tire flip is the size of the tire and technique.
Make sure to choose a tire size that will challenge you, but not
overwhelm you. At the Athletic Strength Institute, we try and match an
athlete with the proper size tire. Make sure to choose a tire that is
the right height for your body and is not too heavy so that you can’t
control the tire. Double your bodyweight is a good rule of thumb when
it comes to choosing a tire.
The tire flip is not a deadlift. If an athlete tries to deadlift the
tire, this often results in a failed lift. Proper technique is
important for success and to prevent injury.
1) Start in a four point stance that mimics a lineman in football with
your arms wide and your back slightly arched. Your butt should be down
as low as you can get it and still grip the tire.
2) Foot position will vary depending on your body composition. A good
place to start is with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width
with knees bent.
3) Make sure your ankles, knees and hips are all in alignment to
ensure the best power transfer.
4) Begin the lift by driving your chest into the tire and pushing
upwards at a 45 degree angle. Its important to NOT lift with your
arms. Generate power from your hips and legs to drive the tire up off
5) Once the tire is on its way up, you need to “jump”under the tire (similar to the “scoop” phase in cleans) and catch it.
6) Use your entire body and in a bench press motion, drive the tire
away from your chest. Make sure not to curl the tire. Watch Chris perform the movement in this short video.