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Teaching the Tire Flip by Kurtis Bowler - CrossFit Journal

Teaching the Tire Flip

By Kurtis Bowler

In Sports Applications, Videos

January 18, 2010

Video Article

Flipping a tire is often less about lifting and more about pushing.

Comparing the movement to a hitting a blocking sled on a football field, Kurtis Bowler of Rainier CrossFit says it’s important to push through the tire, driving it up and over rather than just picking it up.

The movement still has some of the characteristics of a deadlift, but Bowler recommends having the feet behind your hips and using a grip width that’s close to what you might use for a snatch. After the tire is up, you can drive one leg into it to finish the flip, or you can use a movement similar to a clean to pop the tire up a bit while you drop under. Bowler doesn’t recommend the latter because it puts a great deal of strain on one Achilles tendon while the other is mostly unloaded.

The most important part, of course, is making sure all roaming kiddies are out of the way before pushing a big tire over.

6min 14sec

Additional reading: It’s in the Bag by Josh Henkin, published July 2, 2009.

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18 Comments on “Teaching the Tire Flip”


wrote …

The video isnt working on Quicktime for me...


wrote …

try i phone worked fine for me


wrote …

not working here either


wrote …

sweet, I wish I had one of these to flip at the Globo I crossfit at. I have everything except for rings, a tire and a rope to climb.


wrote …

The Windows Media video worked for me, after I tried the Quicktime version a few times and it just kept loading and loading...and loading.

Cool video! I was just talking with a guy, wondering how this was done. I was imagining it to be mainly a squat at first, but I guess it's more of a driving deadlift, followed by a clean with supporting knee push.


wrote …

The link should be working better now.


wrote …

This is a great video! I just acquired my tire last month and I can't wait to get some killer workouts in with it. Does anyone out have suggestions for group tire exercises? My tire isn't as big as the one she is flipping in the video, but still a pretty heavy...


replied to comment from Glenn Hyzak

Glenn - what size tire do you have? I've been looking around for one, but I'm not sure what size to get. Thanks.


wrote …

Jim - I have not been able to get it to a wiegh scale yet. I acquired at Wilson Tires in NorCal for free :) I'll look at the tire size and get back to you. I believe it came off of a Heavy Duty Fork Lift. I hope this helps. I'll get back asap.


replied to comment from Glenn Hyzak

Try what we call 'Astras.' Drop into a burpee, come out of that jumping (like a box jump) onto the tire, hop down, and flip it.
Our tire is smaller than the one in the video as well, but large enough to make a set of 10 or 15 pretty hurtful for the boys. Two guys can alternate pretty easily. If you have three or more, especially customers who might need to combine forces to handle the tire, they have to burp, jump, and flip in unison.

This was the one exercise that made our teammate Astra sit down and hang her head. Naturally, we had to name them after her when she transferred out.


replied to comment from Glenn Hyzak

at Team CrossFit, we have a tire-flipping WOD consisting of a team work-out, where we break into teams and combine force to flip the tire down the alley (~12 flips) after each flip we execute a plyo jump onto tire. At the end of alley fresh team-members flip the tire back to the beginning, allowing a rest interval. We trade-off like this for 5 rounds. (We also have a heavy and light tire.)After the tire-flipping, we run 1 mile, then execute KB swings in a team format (prescribed reps divided by team-members). Bascially, the TF's fatigue the legs prior to the run, then the run fatigues the cardio prior to the KB swings. Works great!


wrote …

This video has got me wanting to do "Road Rage" At Crossfit Orillia. 100 Tire Flips for time! Get Some!


replied to comment from Jim Martineck

Jim - Here is all the information I could take off of my tire: 13.00 - 24 TG TITAN SUPER RIGGER 49L333 12 PLY RATING NYLON TUBELESS MADE IN USA


wrote …

You have to think Kurt Bowler's student athlete is a pretty good sport. She shows up at the gym and Kurt says "Here, flip this tire", or "Put this stone on the shelf" or "Carry this 1000 pound rack" and she does. Without any fuss. Of course Kurt teaches how to do these lifts pretty clearly and simply. makes me wonder what is next.


replied to comment from Glenn Hyzak

Glenn - thanks for taking the time to get that info. I greatly appreciate it.


wrote …

Tire stores who deal in big, industrial tires have to pay to have them sent away and recycled. Please don't pay for one of these big tires, you'll need a pick-up and a couple of friends but you should be able to find someplace near you that would LOVE to have you take one (or more!) off of their hands. It may take a little sleuthing but start with a call to your local tire shop to find out who near you deals with commercial or agricultural tires. Phone calls and a road trip should result in free tires for you.



Jeremy Stecker wrote …

Fun Video. I really enjoyed cheering that gal on. Nice work!


wrote …

This girl is tough! And I like all the videos kurtis has been getting lately.

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