Tire training isn't just tire flips and hammer slams. In fact, run though this entire workout and you won't do either of those moves. What you will do is a total-body workout for free (or very inexpensively). You can find tractor tires (or another size suited to your fitness level) at your local tire-recycling center. With just one piece of equipment, you'll have an efficient conditioning tool that can replace a stability ball, weight bench and free weights. Once you have your new training tool, check out these 14 muscle-building exercises from Amen Iseghohi, personal trainer and owner of Amenzone Fitness, which focus on functional strength, challenge your muscles in a new way and add variety to your strength-training routine.
Alternating your steps while tapping the top of a tire is an efficient -- and different -- way to increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing. It may seem like a basic exercise, but it's used at Amenzone Fitness to get classes warmed up and ready for training. HOW TO DO IT: Start with one foot on the tire and the other off. Switch your feet so that the opposite foot now rests on the tire with the other on the ground, keeping your upper body relaxed. Continue moving from one leg to the other for one to two minutes.
Related: Learn more about Amenzone Fitness
2. Squat and Press
While the squat and press is a pretty standard weightlifting exercise, using a tire instead of a barbell challenges your lower body and core in a new way by recruiting different upper-body muscles. While holding the tire above your head with two hands, you'll definitely feel the burn in your shoulders. And squatting low then standing while extending your arms overhead stretches your core, which makes this a full-body exercise. After repeating the motion of squatting down and pressing the tire above head, you'll hurt so good from head to toe. HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the tire resting on your shoulders. Bend your knees as you hinge your hips and sit back, keeping your chest forward and head up. Straighten your legs and arms simultaneously, pressing the tire above your head. Repeat for one-minute rounds, resting in between.
3. Incline Push-Ups
With the simple addition of a tire, doing push-ups can become more than just a great chest workout. Balancing your hands on the thin walls of the tire can be tough, but the added difficulty will force you to rely more on engaging your core for stability. HOW TO DO IT: With your feet shoulder-width apart, place your hands on the tire in a plank position. Lower your upper body to the tire, bending your elbows, then push back to start position. Keep at it for 30 to 45 second per set before resting.
Related: 30-Day Push-Up Challenge
4. Sit-Ups With Tire
Adding a large tire while sitting up takes core exercises to a different -- and way more challenging -- level, not only working your core stability, but your shoulders as well. The key to making it more challenging is keeping the tire away from your chest and above your head as you rise from the ground. HOW TO DO IT: Lie flat on your back with the tire raised above your chest. Keeping your legs on the ground, sit up with tire straight above head. Slowly lower back to the starting position, keeping your core tight. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.
Related: 30-Day Ab Challenge
5. Lunges With Twist
Lunges are one of the most challenging yet simple exercises that will strengthen your core, challenge your balance and work your lower body. Lunging forward on one leg tests your balance as you twist toward the same lunged leg while holding a tire. HOW TO DO IT: Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, holding the tire in front of your chest. Step forward with your right leg and twist toward your right side with the tire. Make sure that your right knee is at a 90-degree angle and that it stays directly over your right ankle. Step back to the starting position before switching sides and repeating on the left leg and twisting in opposite direction. Continue alternating sides for 30 to 60 seconds.
Related: 9 Fat-Torching Kettlebell Moves
6. Triceps Dips
It's a simple exercise, sure. But with a tire, triceps dips can provide a much greater challenge because your arms work to stabilize themselves on the tire as your lower yourself to the ground. You'll definitely feel the burn in those triceps and more! HOW TO DO IT: Start with your hands close to your hips on the tire, with legs bent in front of you. Bend your elbows and dip your lower body down. Your butt should graze but not rest on the tire. As you lower down, straighten your right leg in front of you. Lift up and lower you leg back to the start. Continue dipping down and alternating legs and kicking out as you dip each time. Keep going for 30 to 45 seconds.
7. Core In-and-Outs
This is another core exercise that, with the use of a tire, can really amp up your workout. It engages your entire core and challenges your balance. And keeping your legs off the tire as you extend them in and out will push you to work a little harder. HOW TO DO IT: Set the tire on its tread so that you can put your feet through it. Start sitting with your legs fully extended and raised off the ground so that they go through the middle of the tire. Your arms should be out to the side in a T. Bend your knees and bring them into your chest, keeping your core tight and sweeping your arms in toward the side of your body. Repeat this in-and-out motion for 30 to 45 seconds.
Related: 16 Essential CrossFit Moves
8. Incline Push-Ups With Knee to Elbow
If standard push-ups just aren't a big enough challenge for you anymore, take on this variation. This combo move builds your upper-body strength and targets multiple other muscle groups from your shoulders to your core. HOW TO DO IT: Begin in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the tire and your feet hip-distance apart. Bring your left knee up to your left arm, balancing yourself on one leg as you lower your chest to the tire. Push off the tire and bring your left foot back to the floor to return the starting position. Alternate sides for each push-up while stabilizing yourself on the tire. Continue for 30 to 45 seconds.
9. Elevated Lunges
Lunges are a great lower-body exercise, but guess what can make them even better. That's right -- a tire. This exercise isolates your glutes and quads while increasing your stability and balance. As you lunge up and down, be sure to keep your front knee over your ankle, ensuring your weight is distributed evenly and the pressure is off your knee. HOW TO DO IT: Place your left foot behind you on a tire and your right leg forward in lunge position. Place your hands on your hips for balance and bend your knees until they're both at about a 90-degree angle and your back knee hovers above the ground. Straighten your legs back up to the starting position without locking your knees. Keep lunging up and down for 30 to 60 seconds before switching legs and repeating on the other side.
10. Tire Slams
With this exercise, you'll feel the benefits physically and mentally. Slamming a tire down is a great full-body workout that can also help you release a lot of pent-up frustration. HOW TO DO IT: From a squat position, use both hands to grab the tire. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with the tire vertically in front. With your back straight, raise the tire in front of you then over your head as you stand up. Then slam the tire on its tread with force and authority. Grab the tire once more with both hands as you squat down and repeat the process for one minute.
Related: Learn more about Amenzone Fitness
11. Decline Tire Crunches
Put your upper-body strength to the test with this variation on crunches that pushes your stability and balance to the limit. Keeping your feet on a vertical tire with your upper body declining off will certainly condition and strengthen your entire core as well. HOW TO DO IT: Place the tire vertically on its tread and start with your feet balancing on top of it and your hands on the ground. Proceed to roll the tire inward, bringing your knees to your chest, then roll outward while maintaining the plank position. Repeat for 45 to 60 seconds.
Related: The 7-Minute Workout
12. Reverse Tire Rolls
Target your hamstrings with this exercise that not only strengthens them as you roll the tire toward you, but stretches them back out as you roll the tire away from you. HOW TO DO IT: Start with your upper back on the ground and the tire vertical with the tread on the ground. Your feet should be on the tire and your arms extended out to the side. Roll the tire inward, keeping your spine straight and your shoulder blades on the ground. Then roll the tire outward. Continue for 30 to 45 seconds.
13. Side Plank With Twist
Although there is more to sculpting six-pack abs than planks and crunches, adding a twist to a side plank can increase your flexibility and add variety to your core training. It's an advanced exercise that requires both abdominal strength and aerobic conditioning. HOW TO DO IT: From the side-plank position, keep your elbow, hip and heels in a straight line with your feet on the tire. Elevate your hips and take your upper arm under your hip, reaching across your body while maintaining plank position. Engage your core to rotate your torso back to the starting side-plank position. Repeat for 30 to 45 seconds.
Related: 10 Machine-to-Free-Weight Swaps
14. Wall Sits
When executing this exercise, imagine a chair underneath you as you lean your back against the wall, keeping your legs at a 90-degree angle while holding a tire. It's a difficult static move, and you'll definitely feel it in your quads and core. HOW TO DO IT: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit against a wall. Your legs should be at 90 degrees. Hold the tire in front of your chest but away from your body. Ensure your knees are directly over your ankles and your weight is distributed evenly over the four corners of your feet. Engage your upper body and core as you hold the tire up and away from your body. Stay like this for one minute.
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What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever incorporated a tire into your strength-training routine? What moves do you like? Are there any other exercises you've tried that could be made more challenging with the addition of a tire? Is there some other odd piece of "equipment" you've worked out with? Tell us in the comments so the rest of the Livestong.com community can benefit from your experience!