T Nation

Strongman Training Exercises


I have been using strongman training methods (as outlined by Defranco) as part of my training and I am looking for more exercises that I can use.

So far I have been using farmers walk, backwards sled drag, and med ball tosses (like the keg toss, but I don't have a keg, I'm trying to get one of my buddies to let me use his) .

Here are a few others I know about:
Other types of sled drags
Tire Flips
Tire Throws (I could use a med ball for these too couldnt I?)
Sledghammer works (need to get a tire for this first)

What other exercises can I do for strongman condtioning, that don't involve getting massive tiers/kegs/other stuff. I have access to medballs up to 8kg (yea I know its small) dumbbells, plates, barbells, and a sled. My old highschool coach is really cool about letting me take stuff out of the weightroom to do this stuff so that helps. I just want some more basic strongman exercises I can do to enhance my conditioning level for the upcoming season.

Thanks fellas.


Some favorites:

Find a rock. Pick it up. Lap it and try to throw it in the air off your chest with an explosive hip movement.

Find a smaller rock and throw it for distance, either like a shot put or like a keg toss.

Zercher carries are fun, sorta like a makeshift Conan's wheel. I do recommend a little padding on the bar if you're going to walk with it, though.

You didn't mention pushing/pulling a car around. Just make sure it's in neutral first :slight_smile:

It's also a great pickup line to ask a woman if you can carry her for distance, though once your strength gets to a certain level it can get a little weird.

Those are some cheap and easy ones to play with while you find a keg and a log :slight_smile:

Have fun



Get yourself a sandbag and about 300 lbs of sand ....endless possiblities.


If you have a tire to flip, then you have a tire to hit with a hammer. I've heard of a bunch of people using the same one for both movements.

Other than that, farmer's walk are incredible (which you mentioned) and sandbags (which everyone's mentioned) are super versatile.

Another nice way to train "for" strongman is working on the olympic lifts (clean, snatch, jerk). They'll teach you the same combination of full body work, explosiveness, and raw strength.


Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. Keep them coming.

Minotaur, I don't have a tire at all but I'm working on getting one from a friend. It's a normal car tire, though. What exercises could I do with that? I have been thinking about throws from the side (like a discus) and hitting it with something. Am I missing anything?

Here are a couple others I thought off, let me know what you guys think.

  • Overhead plate/barbell carries
  • Overhead plate lunge walks
  • Carrying a plate out in front of
    with my arms straight
  • High rep cleans (or any olympic
    lifts I guess) using light weight.
    (i.e. a plate or an ez curl bar
    with some weights tacked on it)

BTW - I am a olineman who is using this stuff to help with my conidtioning levels going into camp, if that makes much of a difference.


Careful with this and your shoulders. The tire will pull your arm much differently than a discus and I've seen people injure themselves throwing tires this way. If I were you I would throw it sort of like the hammer, putting two hands on the tire to minimize shoulder strain.


Try to get a real tire to flip - find a buddy with a pickup truck or rent a U-haul for a few bucks after calling a local tire distributor. They usually give away the old ones.

Flipping a tire for time/reps/distance is a great conditioning method for being a lineman.

Keep the reps on the O-lifts on the low side, form goes to crap pretty quickly on those. Doing a lot of snatch-grip deadlifts would be a better alternative, or the tire flip once you get one.



I agree with RIT Jared, 1-armed tire throwing does have an increased risk potential. If you want to do some throws, I'd stick with 2-handed variations like between-the-legs for height or distance.

You could smack it around with an aluminum baseball bat. It wouldn't have as much grip work as a sledgehammer, but the bat would let you do some funky 1-arm striking. Again, though, with 1-arm, watch the intensity.

You could also rig a rope attachment to the tire and...poof...instant sled dragging and the joys it brings.

I don't much care for the third one, carrying a plate in front. A - it's training static strength, which probably isn't a priority. And B - your front delts will definitely be a limiting factor. It's like isolation work meets G.P.P., and that's sad. Now, talk about something like a Zercher carry (with a bar in the crook of your bent arms), and you're good to go.

The other thing to remember with any walking or carrying movement, is to not always train in straight lines. Work diagonals. Try working sidestepping or backwards. More variety is more challenging, and more challenging is more productive.