Road To The Olympic Games

Shrink that spare tire by swinging a real one

All you need for this workout routine is an old car tire. Try the health, fitness and challenge levels to get the maximum benefit.

Take Adam Kreek's workout challenge

Using a spare tire as a workout tool can help you get rid of that spare tire around your belly. (Adam Kreek/CBC Sports)

As your friendly neighbourhood Olympic has-been, I'm often asked to share my favourite exercise routines. My first suggestion is always the same: pursue joy in movement, and joy in effort. The more you look for these two sources of joy, the fitter you will become. Plus, you're much more likely to stick with a joyful exercise routine, than a boring one.

All you need for this routine is an old car tire. (That spare one around your waist doesn't count.) 

I love this workout because it brings me back to playing with old tires as a kid. Adults would discourage me. "You'll get dirty. That's trash," they would say. And I'm sure that a rolling tire came dangerously close to traffic more than a couple times. Now that I'm an adult, I can pick a clean tire and can control my tire rolls.


Tyler Goodale, one of Canada's best strength and conditioning coaches, was crucial in the design of this exercise program. He helped train my rowing team on our path to Olympic gold and currently works with Olympic athletes and hopefuls at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. He's helped me design these workouts to be accessible to athletes of all abilities.

There are three levels to this workout: Health, Fitness and Challenge. Get started with the Health level and work yourself up to Challenge. Start with the warm up. Do the workout. Cool down.

You will need an interval timer for this workout. 

Warm Up (5 minutes)

Lay the tire down on its side and side-step in and out of it. Focus on your movement and how your body is feeling; gradually build up the speed of the movement as you feel yourself warming up. Break a light sweat by the end of the warm-up.

Workout - Health (5 to 25 minutes)

Jumping jacks (30 seconds)

  • Leave the tire on the ground for this one. Do jumping jacks for 30 seconds.

Wide leg tire swings (30 seconds)

  • Pick up the tire and swing it between your legs up to the height of your chest.

Push-up (30 seconds)

  • Lay the tire down again and do inclined push-ups on the tire. The instability of the tire wall strengthens your stabilizer muscles and core.

Tire row (30 seconds)

  • Bend over an upright tire and lift it up to your stomach.

Ab roll (30 seconds)

  • Get on your knees and roll the tire away from you as far as you can without falling on your face. Then roll it back again.

Repeat these five moves for the set time and then, when you're ready, move on to...

Workout - Fitness

Tire Jacks (45 Seconds)

  • Stick your head through the tire with your hands grasping the edge. Lift the tire when you jump your legs apart.

Wide leg tire swings (45 Seconds)

  • Grab the upright tire with both hands. Swing it through your legs and then lift it over your head by driving from your hips. Rotate the tire while swinging to get a better grip. Throw the tire away from you, and down on the ground if you lose grip or balance.  

Push-ups with hand-walking (45 Seconds)

  • Start in pushup position with one hand on the ground and one hand on the edge of the tire. Do a push-up, then walk both hands onto the tire. Do another push-up, then walk your outside hand onto the other side of the tire. Keep alternating between push-ups and hand-walking on and off the tire.

Tire row (45 seconds)

  • Tire should be resting flat on the ground. Bend over tire, grab inside rim and lift it up to your stomach.

Ab roll (45 Seconds)

  • Get on your knees and roll the tire away from you as far as you can without falling on your face. Then roll it back again.

Workout - Challenge

Extreme tire jacks (60 Seconds)

  • Stick your head through the tire with your hands grasping the edge. Lift the tire over your head, and then toss it into the air, when you jump your legs apart. Catch the tire, or bat it away if your release makes catching awkward.

Extreme wide leg tire swings (60 Seconds)

  • Grab the tire with both hands. Swing it through your legs and then lift it over your head, and let go, by driving your hips. Rotate the tire while swinging if you need to get a better grip. Catch the tire and repeat. If you become tired, let the tire bounce onto the ground and catching after one bounce. 

Extreme tire push up (60 Seconds)

  • Balance your legs on the upright tire while doing push-ups. Move the tire back and forth with your feet as you go.

Extreme tire row (60 Seconds)

  • Rest tire flat on the ground. Place rocks, chains, Olympic gold medals or other heavy objects inside the tire. Bend over tire, grab inside rims and lift it up to your stomach.

Extreme ab roll (60 Seconds)

  • Squat and roll the tire away from you until you're on your toes. Then roll it back again.

Cool down (5 to 10 minutes)


How are your tire workout skills? Send a picture or a message to @adamkreek and let him know how you're doing. You can also find more tips to get physical on the Don't Change Much website.
 

About the Author

Adam Kreek

Olympic rower

Adam Kreek was towed to gold in men's eights rowing at the Beijing Olympics mostly due to his incredible teammates. Now a father and working stiff, he aims to inspire adult men to take small measures to improve their health every day. He's a corporate speaker and trainer as well as a champion for the Canadian Men's Health Foundation.