sledge hammer workouts

So here it is getting to be late January and we are in the January thaw east of the Rockies.  It is about 60o here today and I hope it is warmer where you are also.  That makes us want to do outdoor workouts.  I take every chance to do my workout outdoors, and encourage you to do so also.  This keeps boredom at bay.  It keeps it fun and changing. And that is very important to being able to keep up functional fitness training for years on end.

Pictured above is the tools I used today for an outdoor workout.  I live on top of a hill with a hilly driveway.  That hilly driveway is very useful for running up and down, and for carrying fitness sandbags up and down on my shoulder.  But I do not use my sandbags for every workout.  I mix it up.  So I have an old tire, a pair of gloves, and a sledge hammer.

There are many ways to hit a tire with a sledge hammer.  All work almost every muscle in your body.  They certainly work your body's muscles together as a team.  And that is what functional fitness is all about.  The most common and probably the best sledge hammer exercises are the overhead hit and the sideways hit.  To do the overhead hit, put the left foot forward, and hold the hammer with the right hand forward from the left hand.  Swing the hammer over your right shoulder, and hit the tire as it is held upright.  Then repeat with the right foot forward, and with your left hand in front of your right hand holding the hammer.  

To do the sideways hit, think like you are making a golf swing.  You can call it the golf swing if you like.  In fact, this is probably a great exercise for golfers.  Lay the tire flat on the ground.  Swing the hammer down low like a golf swing and hit the tire on the tread.  Do first one way with the right hand leading, and then the other way with the left hand leading.  Each time you switch lead hands, hit the other side of the tire.

The third swing is probably the toughest of them all.  I will yield the best functional fitness benefits.  I call it the baseball swing.  It can also be called a sideways swing.  To do this exercise, you will have to find a way to hand the tire to about the height of your chest.  You can hang it from a tree or from a beam on your porch.  Then take the sledge hammer and swing it like you are taking a baseball swing.  Alternate between right and left handed swings. Be careful.  Be sure to hit the tire well.  

I am sure you have more ideas on how to hit a tire or other objects with a sledge hammer.  Please let me know of how you do it.  For more exercise ideas, see our sandbag workouts page.