A crossfit sledgehammer is one of those types of projectiles that can provide almost complete training of all the muscles of the body with one simple movement. If you work out at home or on the playground and there is only a hammer among the equipment, exercises with a sledgehammer and a tire can provide 70-80% of strength training. A key role in the effectiveness of training with a projectile is played by the correct choice of the hammer, taking into account the weight and design.
History of the exercise
It is not known exactly when the sledgehammer exercises first appeared. When analyzing the motor pattern, it becomes clear that it has existed for thousands of years. This is a simple movement that simulates the blows of an axe when chopping wood, working with a hammer in a forge, and even fighting with different types of weapons.
The story of the appearance in the sports field starts with the training of old-school strongmen and circus athletes. It was they who actively used the hammer in their practice, but without a tire. However, a significant difference in the development of the “old school” was the weight of the projectile. That is, instead of long sessions, athletes tried to impress with short series of blows, but with incredibly large and heavy sledgehammers.
In modern sports, working with a sledgehammer has become massively popular thanks to crossfit.
What muscles work
Even after the first approaches, athletes do not have a misunderstanding, for which athletes hit the tire. The movement loads almost all the muscles of the body. The main focus is on:
Back muscles (broadest, trapezius, lower back).
Shoulders (all bundles of deltas).
Biceps and triceps.
Cortical muscles (responsible for stabilizing the body and transmitting momentum from the legs to the upper extremities).
Chest muscles (with an emphasis on the upper, lower and outer areas).
Use: what develop sledgehammer strikes on the tire
Training with a hammer and a tire is considered to be almost the best way to develop the maximum speed of muscle contraction. The main advantages of the crossfit hammer:
Development of explosive power.
The ability to recruit the maximum number of muscle fibers in working muscles.
The development of stability( balance), a large load on the muscles of the cortex.
Pronounced grip strength training.
Development of strength endurance.
Coordination and speed training.
Build impressive musculature, with an emphasis on the upper body.
Also, the benefit of the movement is that it can be used to work out the whole body.
How to hit a tire with a sledgehammer
In training with a sledgehammer and a tire, the most important role is played by the correct swing and the translation of the projectile for the subsequent swing, that is, the creation of a continuous series of movements.
Least important technical factors:
Where to hit – you can hit both in the center of the tire, and on the edges. The shock absorption of the projectile and the recoil will be the same (but if you want to add rigidity, then hit the very edge).
Which side to hit – you can hit like a hammer head (as well as using a conventional hand hammer), you can hit flat, that is, the impact part of the projectile lies horizontally. This is not essential for this exercise.
How far to stand from the tire-the distance depends on the length of the hands, the handle, the technique and other conditions. It is important to stand so as not to create an excessive tilt in the lower back (in attempts to reach the projectile), but also not to have the risk of hitting the leg if the sledgehammer jumps off the tire.
Key and most important points in the technique:
Leg position-the position of the feet should be shoulder-width apart, in a half-turned position (that is, a neutral position between the straight and side posts). One leg is always in front of the other for stability.
The back is always straight, the slope is performed only in the lower back.
One hand (for example, for a right – hand rack-the left) is always rigidly fixed on the lower part of the handle. The second hand “slides”, depending on the position of the projectile. During the swing in the lower phase, it is closer to the head of the sledgehammer. After the projectile falls, the hand “rolls” down the handle to create maximum force.
It is also important to remember that even if you are using a front rack (standing directly to the tire without turning), you need to alternate swings from different sides. This will make all the muscles work evenly and will not lead to an imbalance of development.
Exercise with a sledgehammer in video format
Taking into account the benefits of working with a sledgehammer, the approach to training depends entirely on the goals of the athlete. For the development of explosive power, it is recommended to choose a heavy projectile with a long handle, performing short sessions (9-15 repetitions). For moderate weight, a mode of 21 repetitions per round is suitable.
For endurance training and in metcons, the spread of repetitions can be from 10 to 50, depending on the combination with other exercises. If you do clean work with a sledgehammer without other movements, then the 10*10 option is also often used (that is, 100 repetitions for 10 series).
Crossfit complexes with a sledgehammer
The sledgehammer is rarely seen in professional and competitive complexes. However, it’s great for explosive strength training, metcalls, and off-season workouts.
Examples of effective complexes.
Perform 8 series in the mode of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest with maximum intensity.
A bundle for beginners
Forehand strikes – 4*15.
Backhands – 4*15.
Blows from above with two hands – 4*15.
You can do all the movements in turn, and each separately.
Hammer blows – 21.
Mahi with a kettlebell with an extension to the chest – 15.
Tug of the tire – 20 meters (drag, hooking the head of the sledgehammer).
How to choose a sledgehammer for crossfit
This is a very unusual exercise, because it is important not only to understand how to properly hit the tire with a sledgehammer (which is important for all movements), but also to choose the projectile correctly. With the wrong hammer, it will be impossible to follow the correct technique, which in the end can lead not only to a deterioration in efficiency, but also to an increase in the risk of injury.
The first thing to start with is understanding that it is a sports sledgehammer that is needed. Technical hammers (for example, railway hammers) are most often not suitable, since they have an offset balance.
In choosing the weight, it is recommended to start with shells of 4 kg. This is optimal for athletes with low and medium levels of physical fitness. To use a 16-kg sledgehammer and technically correctly hit it on the tire, you need very serious training and experience.
The length of the handle should depend on the weight of the hammer, the height of the athlete and the style of training. The absolute minimum is 30-35 cm, such models are not used for crossfit, but are sometimes used to work in series with one hand (Donkey Kongs).