You don’t need to keep your power-strength workouts to the confines of your local gym. Take a look around your environment or even stop by your local junkyard, farm-supply shop or hardware store, and you’ll find the materials for a fun, inventive way of building strength for your sport of choice.
In the video below, Joshua Grant, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare who works with several of the sports teams at Taylorville High School, describes four exercises using a tractor tire, sledgehammer, chain and sports utility vehicle.
Materials required: Large sledgehammer, tractor tire
To perform this exercise: Face the tire and swing straight down on top of the tire. Make sure you switch from left side to right side to strengthen both sides evenly. Lastly, make sure you have an even stance so that you are balanced throughout the whole swing.
Tips: Be sure the hammer you use is an appropriate weight for you; using a tool that is too heavy could result in injury to yourself. Make sure you control the rebound of the hammer off the tire so it does not hit you.
Athletes who could benefit from this exercise: Basketball players and wrestlers because of the way it uses your stabilizer muscles and volleyball players because it helps with strength of swing with arm motion.
Tire Pull with Chain
Materials: Heavy-duty chain, tractor tire
To perform this exercise: First, figure out the distance you should pull the tire. For example, baseball players probably should pull for 60 yards and football player probably should pull for 40. Then, set yourself by holding the chains to you by either going over your trapezius muscle or around your waist. Next, face away from the tire and sprint.
Tips: Don’t let go of the chain while sprinting to avoid injury. Try not to lean forward too much.
Athletes who could benefit from this exercise: Track and field, football and basketball athletes who want to gain power/explosion in running.
Materials: Tractor tire
To perform this exercise: Get all the way down and explode up as you flip the tire, like picking up a box and coming up as fast as you can with it. Spread your legs apart and put your arms between your legs prior to each flip.
Tips: Keep your back straight to avoid injury.
Athletes who could benefit from this exercise: Football players, especially defensive linemen or linebackers.
Materials: A vehicle and friend to steer it
To perform this exercise: Stand behind the vehicle and have your driver put it in neutral. The hardest part is to get the car moving. Once it begins moving, start pressing harder, traveling whatever distance you can manage.
Tips: Use a driver you trust to steer well.
Athletes who could benefit from this exercise: Football players, especially those who block others. This exercise provides a full-body workout (chest, legs, arms, back and especially core).