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Sledgehammer Training: Get Your Swing On

Get Swinging

Last week we talked a bit about getting yourself in shape without doing too much damage to your bank account, and while the method for getting leaner and stronger that we’ll talk about this week isn’t quite free, it’s still a heck of a lot cheaper than joining a commercial gym. For about twenty-five to thirty bucks you can get yourself a good sledgehammer and that sledgehammer will improve your conditioning; help you build lean, rock hard muscle and help you torch off that excess body fat.

Using a sledgehammer as a fitness tool certainly isn’t a new concept – mixed martial artists, wrestlers, boxers, football players and a host of other professional and amateur competitive athletes have been using them for years to become more explosive, to create rotational strength and to build rock solid cores.

Sledgehammer training will help to increase the range of motion and strength in your shoulders, it will improve your work capacity and conditioning, it will work your abs and strengthen your entire core better than just about any traditional ab movement and it will absolutely torch away any extra weight that you are carrying around.

Find A Use For Those Old Tires

Or, just use a foot

Or, just use a foot

There are really only two things that you need to start performing your sledgehammer workouts – the sledgehammer itself, which is easy to find at just about any home improvement center or hardware store and something to hit with it. Most people will be able to get a great workout with an 8-10 pound sledgehammer, so you don’t need to drop fifty bucks on a twenty pounder. As far as things to hit – you can’t do much better than a used tire.

A used tire is the perfect striking surface for your sledgehammer workouts for a number of reasons – the rubber is forgiving, it will hold up to daily beatings with no trouble at all, it’s relatively quiet and if you live near a mechanic or tire shop, there’s a good chance that you can get one for free. An old tire can’t be put back on a car and auto and tire shops have to pay a service to come and get them, so if you show up with your pick up, chances are that they’ll be happy to give you all of the tires that you need for nothing.

Structuring an effective sledgehammer workout is as easy as assembling the equipment that you need to complete it. You can swing away for a pre-determined number of repetitions per set or you can shell out an extra couple bucks to get a cheap timer and swing for timed rounds.

As far as swinging is concerned, you don’t have to get into anything fancy in order to get a good workout – in fact if you just use the basic diagonal swing (like you use when chopping wood) and make sure to work both sides of your body evenly, you’ll be able to get a hell of a workout.  If you’re completely unfamiliar with swinging a hammer or an axe, here’s a video that explains the movement that you are looking for with the diagonal swing.

Set your timer for 2-3 minutes and perform 4-5 rounds with one minute rest in between rounds – you’ll get a full body strength and conditioning workout in less than twenty minutes without even having to get in your car. No driving to the gym, no waiting for machines and no forced interaction with people you don’t really want to see – just an awesome workout that will produce powerful results in minimal time.

Sledgehammer training is also a great way to beat stress, if you’ve had a fight with your girlfriend, a bad day at school or troubles at work there isn’t a much better way to get out all of that frustration than by pounding on something with a huge hammer.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good workout and you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to get fit.  You can leave the gym to the guys who have money to burn and who want to make their workout time a social event.  You can get in the best shape of your life without investing a lot of time or money if you are willing to think outside of the box and start performing some non-traditional training like a sledgehammer workout.

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About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.

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