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Want the conditioning benefits of stance motion and hand fighting with the power-building benefits of strongman training? Throw in the added bonus of “socially distanced scrapping” and you have this tough drill: the "Tire Fight."
Get as heavy of a tire as you and a partner can flip. Flip it once each, and then “pass” it back and forth for 1 minute. Perform stance motion in between passes.
Squat down into a sumo deadlift position. Grab underneath the tire and pull explosively as you stand up. Once the tire is moving and about halfway up, drop and change levels as you catch the tire in a front squat position. Take a single step as you push through the tire, flipping it to the ground in front of you.
Why You Should Do It
Besides this just being a tough conditioning drill, it is also great for speed, power development, and reaction time.
In wrestling (and other non-straight-line speed sports), much of an athlete's quickness and power depends on being able to rapidly absorb force and accelerate in a different direction. Common plyometrics such as depth jumps or single leg lateral hops are used in this manner to develop speed. As your muscles contract eccentrically on the landing, energy is stored to then contract concentrically as you jump. The faster you can “switch gears,” the better. This is the same principle behind the tire fight except for your entire body. As you come out of your stance to catch the tire, the faster your body can absorb the impact, the more powerful your push will be.
Another aspect I like about this drill is that unlike actual hand fighting or other drills like tug of war, you don’t need athletes of the same size, strength, or skill level for it to be effective. As long as both are strong enough to flip the tire, the size differential shouldn’t matter. I weigh 165 and Kollin is roughly 225 right now and we matched up well on this. Actually hand fighting? Probably not so well . . .
Coach Myers is the strength coach for the Ohio Regional Training Center at The Ohio State University. With the Ohio RTC since 2012, he served as Ohio State Wrestling’s primary strength coach from 2014-18, helping the Buckeyes win three Big Ten titles, their first-ever team NCAA championship, and two runner-up finishes.
A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Coach Myers owns the Old School Gym in Pataskala, OH, and is a founding partner of top supplement company Max Effort Muscle. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook, and learn more about his strength and conditioning programs for wrestlers of all ages here.