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Sledgehammer Training 101


Anytime you can look cool and tough while training, it is a plus indeed. Another awesome accomplishment when training is getting out aggression as well. And yeah, having what you are doing actually get you into better shape is a plus too.


This is why you should give sledgehammer training a try.


Sledgehammer training has been around for quite some time. It was developed by boxing trainers decades ago to help out with conditioning, but also worked on core, forearm, and grip strength. So sledgehammer training is highly suggested and still used by many combat-based athletes still to this day because it helps so much with explosive power with the hands and arms.


With the effectiveness and simplicity of sledgehammer training comes a lot of misconceptions and misguided information as well. There are companies out there or even fitness personality that try to link up some pseudoscience behind buying a “special” or designer sledgehammer for better results. This is sadly untrue. Yes, there are tons of benefits to swinging a sledgehammer over and over again, hitting a big rubber tire, but at the end of the day remember, all you are doing is swinging a sledgehammer over and over again hitting a big rubber tire, its not necessarily a difficult concept.


So, when buying a sledgehammer, go to your local home improvement store. You can purchase one for roughly $35 if you are looking at something that is around 16 pounds. Most stores sell 8, 10, 16, and at times even 20-pound hammers, but it will be difficult to find one that big in a store. Most sledgehammers are priced at about $2 a pound. Make sure you look for one too that has a lifetime guarantee on the handle. Even though rubber is very forgiving, the repetitious banging on it can at times cause the handle to become dislodged from the head of the hammer (nothing like having 16 pounds of metal fly through the air).


Another misconception with sledgehammer training is the bigger and heavier the hammer, the better. Some people will say a 12 or 16-pound hammer is not heavy enough. This is not the case. A simple understanding of Newton’s second law of motion will clarify this confusion. Acceleration depends directly upon the net force acting upon the object, and inversely upon the mass of the object. As the mass of the object increases, its acceleration will decrease. Consequently, you can often generate more force with a lighter sledgehammer (if you have ever split wood you will understand this concept as well).


When you finally got a large tire and sledgehammer, you are ready to rock. Although several swinging variations exist, nothing beats keeping it simple. Keeping your swing vertical and diagonal is highly recommended. These are the two most effective sledgehammer swing variations.


With a diagonal swing, you will stand approximately 1 to 2 feet from the tire. The hammer starts on one side and comes across the body diagonally until striking the tire. To swing the hammer, one hand will remain stationary at the bottom of the handle. When you position yourself behind the tire, you may assume a staggered stance, with one foot slightly in front of the other.


Some workout options for sledgehammer training are:


  • Tabata Intervals
  • Timed Rounds
  • Repetition Race
  • Integrated Circuits


So, don’t sleep on basic and primitive training. Sledgehammer training looks cool, is cost effective, and works!


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