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A Brief Description of the Biomechanics and Physiology of a Strongman Event: The Tire Flip

Keogh, Justin W L; Payne, Amenda L; Anderson, Brad B; Atkins, Paul J

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 1223-1228
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cc61cd
Original Article

Keogh, JWL, Payne, AL, Anderson, BB, and Atkins, PJ. A brief description of the biomechanics and physiology of a strongman event: The tire flip. J Strength Cond Res 24(5): 1223-1228, 2010-The purpose of this study was to (a) characterize the temporal aspects of a popular strongman event, the tire flip; (b) gain some insight into the temporal factors that could distinguish the slowest and fastest flips; and (c) obtain preliminary data on the physiological stress of this exercise. Five resistance-trained subjects with experience in performing the tire flip gave informed consent to participate in this study. Each subject performed 2 sets of 6 tire flips with a 232-kg tire with 3 minutes of rest between sets. Temporal variables were obtained from video cameras positioned 10 m from the tire, perpendicular to the intended direction of the tire flip. Using the “stopwatch” function in Silicon Coach, the duration of each tire flip and that of the first pull, second pull, transition, and push phases were recorded. Physiological stress was estimated via heart rate and finger-prick blood lactate response. Independent T-tests revealed that the 2 faster subjects (0.38 ± 0.17 s) had significantly (p < 0.001) shorter second pull durations than the 3 slower subjects (1.49 ± 0.92 s). Paired T-tests revealed that the duration of the second pull for each subject's fastest 3 trials (0.55 ± 0.35 s) were significantly (p = 0.007) less than their 3 slowest trials (1.69 ± 1.35 s). Relatively high heart rate (179 ± 8 bpm) and blood lactate (10.4 ± 1.3 mmol/L−1) values were found at the conclusion of the second set. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the duration of the second pull is a key determinant of tire flip performance and that this exercise provides relatively high degrees of physiological stress.

Institute of Sport and Recreation Research New Zealand, School of Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

Address correspondence to Justin Keogh,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association