Sledgehammer Training for Fitness
Sledgehammer training is a superb compliment to any fitness and strength training program. I have been using sledgehammers for several years now ranging from very light to very heavy! All have their own place and can be used to train the forearms and grip strength to developing fitness and strength levels (all whilst having fun)
One of the most common types of sledgehammer training is hitting or slamming a tire (tyre if your from the UK) with your chosen sledgehammer, letting it rebound and then repeating. This method of training is a favourite of MMA fighters and athletes that are up for a challenge as it is superb for all round conditioning of the body and will quickly wind even some of the fittest people.
There are many styles that can be employed when hitting a tyre, for efficiency I use the 'snatch style' which is similar to the kettlebell snatch movement (and can be used as a compliment to the kettlebell snatch). Check out the video below.
Other method involve, 'heaving' the hammer aloft by anchoring the hammer on the hip and then forcing the hammer into the tyre. Another way would be to swing the hammer out and behind the body and then over the head and onto the tire. See video below
When training with the sledgehammer it is advisable to set off and find where you're at before throwing yourself into a long session. Get to know the technique that best suits you and work up to 1 minute of constant striking before you stop for a break.
In the video above I did 960 strikes in 1 hour. I worked up to this over a period of months. If you want to see how i structured my reps for this challenge ten check out my Sledgehammer Training schedule.
My recommended dose for sledgehammer training would be 10 minutes of striking (total) in your first workout until you get a feel for how it is going to effect your handss, back and body in general!
Sledgehammer Levering for Forearm Strength
The sledgehammer can also be used to develop awesome forearm strength through levering and is also an 'Oldtime Strongman Feat'
Be careful with this as you will be lowering the hammer head towards your face and away again, so there is a certain amount of danger in that you could slam yourself in the face if your not careful (be warned)
Check out the video below on how this is done