Sledgehammer Fitness

One of many extra unlikely instruments in our health tools armoury is the sledgehammer. Surprisingly the manual-labour software doubles as an outstanding whole physique muscular endurance train, a terrific energy developer, a really efficient weight administration technique and a technique to enhance each cardio and anaerobic endurance. When it comes to price, effectiveness and flexibility, sledgehammer coaching makes a terrific addition to nearly any coaching programme.

Let’s take a look at the the reason why sledgehammer coaching is so good…

1) Swinging a sledgehammer is a full physique exercise. Swinging the sledge makes use of nearly each muscle group…the muscle tissues of the forearms are utilized in gripping, the latisimus dorsi muscle tissues of the again are used within the downward section of a strike whereas the deltoid muscle tissues across the shoulders are used within the return to the overhead place. The core together with the rectus abdominus and obliques work very arduous within the downward section of sledgehammer swings alongside aspect the hip flexors. And even the legs get entangled as they should maintain you anchored to the ground. You would be arduous pressed to discover a muscle group not concerned in swinging the sledge!

2) A number of health elements will be skilled with a sledgehammer. Through the use of quite a lot of rep and set schemes (mentioned later) it’s potential to focus on energy, muscular endurance, cardiovascular health and anaerobic conditioning. No matter your aim, sledgehammer coaching will in all probability make a positive addition to your present coaching routine.

3) Sledgehammer coaching may be very price efficient. Lots of you’ll have a sledgehammer in your basement or storage however even when you must go and purchase one particularly for train they’re very fairly priced and simple to pay money for. My hammer got here from a daily DIY retailer and value $35 or about £16.00 and it is impossible it should ever put on out. As a putting floor I like to make use of and previous SUV tire I picked up free of charge from a neighborhood tire seller. Most tire sellers are solely too joyful so that you can take away an previous tire as they should pay to have them collected.

4) Coaching with a sledgehammer is enjoyable! You get to hit one thing as arduous as you’ll be able to, as usually as you want with no authorized ramifications! It is a good way to work off the frustrations of the day leaving you calm and relaxed after your exercise. It’s extremely therapeutic!

5) The methods are very straightforward to study. Swinging the sledgehammer is a pure motion which is rapidly mastered. It is a very on the spot exercise which, though easy, will be as demanding as you make it.

6) Sledgehammer coaching is nice for fats loss. Any sledgehammer coaching will burn loads of energy however in all probability one of the best ways to get probably the most of your hammer exercise is to utilise intervals. Interval coaching might be probably the most environment friendly and efficient technique for fats loss obtainable and out performs regular state cardio nearly each time in calorie expenditure checks. Due to EPOC (what we used to name Oxygen Debt) your physique is not going to solely burn plenty of power throughout a sledgehammer exercise but in addition proceed burning power at an elevated charge lengthy after your exercise has completed. It is like getting two exercises for the value of 1! Mixed with a calorie managed weight-reduction plan, sledgehammer intervals are an outstanding technique to shed a couple of kilos whereas firming and strengthening the entire physique.


Clearly, you will want a sledgehammer. You’ll be able to decide one up from a daily DIY retailer for a very reasonable worth. When it comes to what weight to purchase I counsel from 6lbs for lighter exercisers and people trying to swing at the next cadence to 15lbs for larger exercisers or for these in search of a slower cadence. I’m an skilled and pretty superior exerciser and I primarily use a 10lb hammer and have solely not too long ago began utilizing a 14lb hammer and I’ve by no means discovered my lighter hammer to supply a straightforward exercise.

For putting surfaces you might have a few selections. As beforehand talked about, an previous tire is a good goal. A tire will take up among the shock of the affect, thus lowering noise, affect on the arms/wrists in addition to making the hammer bounce barely to help in setting a very good rhythm. That is my most popular putting floor and the one you will note within the video accompanying this text. Alternatively you could select to make use of your hammer exterior the place you will have entry to a sand pit, an space of soil, an previous log stump or one thing related. There may be nothing fallacious with any of those surfaces as long as they’ve a “little bit of give” which is able to scale back the shock you will really feel once you use the hammer. I’ve used my hammer on a abandoned seaside which and that labored positive besides I ended up with a light-weight dusting of sand throughout my sweaty head!

Which ever floor you select on your sledgehammer coaching, all the time guarantee you might have loads of house round you and clearance above your head and that the floor you might be hitting has some “give” to it. Arduous surfaces like concrete or cement usually are not beneficial.

In case you are utilizing your hammer for prime reps, I additionally counsel a pair of sturdy gloves. I exploit fundamental work gloves which I purchased for about $10 to keep away from any blisters nevertheless if I am doing units of 20 strikes or much less I usually do not use my gloves and have had no in poor health results.

Swinging Strategies…

Swinging the hammer is not technically demanding however it does require some coordination. It is vital to have sound method earlier than going loopy along with your hammer in any other case there’s a risk of significant self-inflicted harm. There are a couple of “colleges of thought” with regards to hammer swinging – all of which work effectively and it is actually a matter of private choice as to which one you choose. Within the accompanying video you will see the next swinging methods…left hand lead, proper hand lead, alternating arms and “no choke” the place each arms are stored close to the top of the hammer deal with. As well as you will additionally see me stood on the bottom and in addition on prime of the tire which gives a singular problem for extra superior exercisers… 


Listed below are a couple of prompt strategies for getting probably the most out of your hammer coaching. Be ready to scale the exercises listed to fit your particular person wants and objectives. Be sure you heat up totally earlier than your exercise and in addition begin slowly, increase quantity and depth regularly in order to keep away from any pointless soreness or potential accidents.

Timed intervals Determine on a piece to relaxation ratio (e.g. 2 minutes of labor, 1 minute of relaxation) and repeat for the specified variety of units. One in every of my favorite interval schemes is Three minutes of putting (left hand on prime) relaxation 1 minute, Three minutes of putting (proper hand on prime) relaxation one minute, Three minutes of alternating hand on prime. This scheme gives a terrific end to a daily exercise or is a pleasant stand-alone mini session when time is brief. It doesn’t matter what set/rep scheme you choose simply be sure you work actually arduous through the “on” durations and you will find interval coaching a really efficient, time environment friendly coaching technique.

The length of your work/relaxation intervals may be very a lot aim dependent…

  • Shorter units e.g. lower than 20 seconds are glorious for growing most power and subsequently rising muscle energy
  • Medium size units are ultimate e.g. 45 – 90 seconds are perfect for enhancing muscular endurance and anaerobic conditioning
  • Longer units e.g. 2 minutes and above are finest suited to the event of cardio health and muscular endurance.

Tabata intervals The Tabata Methodology is called after Dr. Izumi Tabata – a sports activities scientist from the Nationwide Institute of Health and Sports activities in Tokyo, Japan and is a Excessive Depth Interval Coaching (HIIT) protocol which has been efficiently utilized by the Japanese Olympic pace skating group amongst others to enhance cardio and anaerobic conditioning utilizing very transient exercises.

Throughout his 1997 examine Dr Tabata in contrast the results of longer, decrease depth train with bouts of quick very excessive depth train. Utilizing a singular interval coaching technique the athletes taking part within the examine elevated their cardio health by 14% and anaerobic health by 28% in simply Eight weeks! It is value noting that the themes Dr Tabata used for testing have been already completed sportsmen and never simply rookies which make this examine much more astounding. Much more unimaginable is the truth that the whole precise coaching time per week was an unbelievable 30 minutes.

The Tabata technique entails performing 8 – 10 units of 20 seconds very excessive depth train separated with 10 second restoration durations giving a complete coaching time = 4 – 5 minutes. The caveat of the Tabata Methodology is that each one the intervals should be executed at 100% depth – an absolute flat out effort. You need to try to carry out as a lot work in every 20 second interval as potential and attempt to keep that work charge for the 8 – 10 units. The previous adage that you would be able to prepare lengthy and simple, or quick and arduous has by no means been more true than when describing the Tabata Methodology! As with every sort of train, Tabata Methodology must be preceded by an acceptable heat up of 5 – 10 minutes and adopted by a calm down of comparable length. All in all of the session might take as little as 15 minutes…good for anybody who is brief on time however nonetheless desires nice outcomes from their coaching.

Repetition intervals With this technique, as an alternative of utilizing time as our measure of labor, you will be utilizing repetitions as an alternative. For instance you could do 20 strikes after which relaxation 30 seconds and repeat for as many units as desired. One other one in all my favorite classes entails doing 20 strikes each minute for 10 – 15 minutes. Every set takes between 35 – 45 seconds leaving 15 – 25 seconds to relaxation earlier than I begin the subsequent set. The fantastic thing about units beginning on the minute is that you just simply want to have the ability to see the sweep hand of a clock so there isn’t any must push buttons or programme intervals right into a cease watch.

Timed density blocks Allocate a time block e.g. 5 or 10 minutes and purpose to carry out as many strikes as potential within the allotted time. Each time this exercise is repeated it’s best to try do extra reps than the final time

Timed repetitions Merely set your self a repetition aim and attempt to full it as quick a time as potential e.g. 300 swings, 500 swings and even 1000 swings. Everytime you repeat this exercise it’s best to try to do it faster than earlier than.

Hammer & callisthenic mixtures Alternate hammer swings with free-standing body weight workouts equivalent to squats or lunges as seen within the later a part of the video. This ensures the decrease physique will get a very good exercise together with the higher physique and is a good way of getting rather a lot executed in a short while.

As I am positive you’ll be able to see, sledgehammer coaching is a really versatile coaching technique that may go well with numerous coaching objectives so why not give it a go – I am positive you will discover it each enjoyable and an efficient exercise.

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