What Strongman exercises will offer you next to pure strength is a better grip. When you are in a WOD and your engine is easily able to to a lot more of Pull Ups, Cleans or Swings there is not much more annoying than a grip that does not allow you to to this.
5. Farmers Carry
Probably one of the safest exercises you can do with weight is the “Farmer Carry” and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do them. Developing powerful legs and hips, strength through the core, a strong and stable back, and of course, phenomenal grip strength, to name just a few benefits. The key is going heavy. Grab two real heavy weights – dumbbells, kettlebells, sacks of concrete, or whatever else you can find.
To pick the weight up off the ground safely, half squat-half deadlift yourself to them with a flat back. Take a big belly brace and press your legs through the ground and to extension. The weight will now be at your sides with your palms facing towards your hips. Pin back your shoulder blades, make your spine as long as possible and walk as far as you can. Make sure you keep your belly braced throughout your walk.
Go for a heavier load if you made it more than 200 meters.
4. Atlas Stones
As with all strongman-style implements and exercises, Atlas Stoneswill help you develop a solid, constantly improving level of strength. They are fantastic for developing hip extension, explosive starting strength , as well as developing tremendous crushing (isometric) strength. Lifting an Atlas stone engages your erectors, lats, rhomboids, shoulders, and pecs. But to lift that stone at all you need an enormous grip strenght!
What makes Dead Ball training so effective and necessary is that unlike the normal well balanced and symmetrically loaded gym training systems , Dead Balls present as an awry, pliable, shape changing and awkward training tool that shifts the weight and load around your body. This purposefully mis-loads your lifting planes of motion, making your job harder but far more effective at developing real world strength.
- Load up 100kg on a bar, and high bar squat as deep as possible as many repetitions that you are capable of. Most strong guys will complete 20 to 30 repetitions comfortably. This is the symmetrical model that most of you are used to with normal training systems.
- Now take a break and rest until you are fully recovered to be able to do the same squat test again.
- This time instead of using a nicely balanced bar with equal weight on either side across your shoulders, you will lift an 85kg Dead Ball from ground to shoulder, and whilst holding the Dead Ball securely on one shoulder (severely mis-loading the weight to one side of your body) brace and flex your core and squat deeply as possible for maximum repetition as you had just done with the high bar squats. This is an example of the non symmetrical model that Dead Balls present.
2. Sled Pull
Sled pulls are a brutal functional exercise that hits the upper body, developing both aerobic and anaerobic capacity and targeting the back, shoulders, biceps and grip muscles.
How to do Sled Pulls
- Secure the weight plates onto the sled with the rope attached to it. Hold the other end of the stretched rope as far from the sled as possible.
- Face the sled, standing either side of the rope, gripping tightly. You should be bent at the hips and knees with legs well spaced apart for stability.
- Pull the sled toward you with a hand-over-hand action at speed, until the sled is up close to you and you’re out of rope.
1. Sled Push
Sled Pushes can be used for Speed, Power and Strenght Training by changing weight and moving distance
Load your pushing sled with the desired weight.
Take an athletic posture, leaning into the sled with your arms fully extended, grasping the handles. Push the sled as fast as possible, focusing on extending your hips and knees to strengthen your posterior chain.
Sled Pushes for Speed Training
The goal of using Sled Pushes for speed training is to apply more force into the ground quickly. This is done by loading up the sled with a weight light enough that you can push it at a fast speed while also placing more force into the ground.
Distance: 10-20 yards
Rest: 45-60 seconds between sets
Sled Pushes for Power Training
By increasing the weight of the sled and trying to move it as fast as possible, you can work on power development. Similar to speed development, you are trying to put force into the ground as quickly as possible.
Percent Body Weight: 75-100
Just like with speed, the shorter distance is good for developing short explosive power. As you increase the distance, you will work on increasing power-endurance.
Rest: 60-90 seconds between sets
Sled Pushes for Strength Training
Pushing a heavy sled can do wonders for developing single-leg strength and leg drive, as well as building one’s confidence. Nothing looks better than a sled loaded up with a mountain of weight.
Percent Body Weight: 150-200
When choosing weight, go with how strong you’re feeling. Unlike with speed and power, you don’t need to move the sled with blazing speed. Just try to get it from point A to B in a reasonable amount of time.
Distance: 25-50 yards
If you are going real heavy, keep the distance to 25 yards. If not so heavy, go 50 yards.
Rest: 60-90 seconds between sets
Lucas Parker Crossfit athlete farmer's carries weights outside by the sea ©