Strongman Exercises

Olympics involve a variety of sports. Powerlifting and powerbuilding, or anything to do with the Cold Iron Bar discussed here.

Strongman Exercises

Postby Canuck Singh » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:57 pm

Tire flipping
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If there ever was an exercise that trains the entire body from “the rooter to the tooter,” it’s tire flipping.

Getting your hands on a 300-, 400-, or 700-lb tire is a lot easier than most people think. Also, the best part of this piece of equipment is that it’s free! All you need to do is look in your phone book for a tire company in your city.

Car push
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It’s as simple as it sounds—push a car. That’s it. But make no mistake, this exercise is not only fun and brutal, it’s actually very useful. When pushing a car, it’s essential that you lean forward, which creates a “positive knee angle.” This develops the quads, which are the dominant muscles being activated during short sprints and change of direction.

This is probably the most practical exercise to perform from an equipment stand point. All you need is an automobile and the bigger the better.

Farmers’ carries
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I’m often asked, “What are the best overall exercises for strength and conditioning?” My answer without hesitation is always farmers’ carries. There is nothing that this exercise doesn’t do. Besides a killer conditioner, farmers’ carries train the arms, legs, core, shoulders, neck, grip, eye lids, eyebrows, and ear lobes like nothing that I’ve ever discovered.

Sand bag carry
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This is another exercise that is easy to put together. In fact, when I first started training athletes at a local park, this is all I had to use. I simply went to Home Depot (there may be one in your city), bought a few 80-lb bags of pea gravel, threw them into contractor bags, and duct taped them shut. After a while, I noticed that we needed heavier bags so I bought a few large army duffle bags and tossed the smaller bags into it. Now, I’ve got bags from 40 lbs to almost 300 lbs!

Keg clean and press
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We’ve all used or taught someone to use the famous Olympic lifts, in particular the power clean and press. And for good reason. They train the whole body, and they produce faster and stronger athletes. But I do them a bit differently.


Sled dragging
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First, upright forward sled dragging is a great posterior chain builder. Nothing gets those lazy glutes into tip-top shape like sled drags.
Second, backward sled drags do for the quads what forward dragging does for the glutes—fries them! Third, when done for distances greater than 50 yards or with short rest intervals, this is one of my favorite work capacity/conditioning exercises. Finally, because your legs are always moving in a concentric fashion, there is minimal soreness associated with doing this exercise. You can drag today and max effort squat tomorrow.

Keg carries
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A thick, strong, and powerful upper back is paramount for building upper body strength that lasts. Everything from an increased bench press to decreased risk of shoulder injuries is associated with having a strong set of traps, rhomboids, and rear delts.

Nothing builds a strong upper back in conjunction with leg strength and agility like keg carries. Carrying kegs weighing between 50 and 300 lbs for short distances is one of my favorite ways to train generally weak and unathletic athletes to build endurance, strength, and mental toughness.

Keg or sand bag loading
Want to increase speed and jumping capacity? Keg, sandbag, or stone loading And we all know that a strong set of glutes is synonymous with explosive hip extension and speed.

- Elliott Hulse
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