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Tire Flip Vs. Deadlift | Uncovering the Truth

Tire Flip Vs. Deadlift Featured Image With Tire Flip and deadlift example

You've probably heard of the tire flip by now if you're into fitness, athletic training, or thing similar. 

A common question we see asked on the internet places the tire flip exercise up against the time test powerlifting exercise, the deadlift. 

Both exercises have distinct benefits and drawbacks, making it difficult for individuals to decide which one to incorporate into their workout routines.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between tire flips and deadlifts, their unique advantages, and how to determine the most suitable exercise for you.

Tire Flip Vs Deadlift

When it comes to functional strength training exercises, tire flips and deadlifts are two popular choices that target multiple muscle groups.

The deadlift is performed with a barbell and weight plates, while the tire flip is perform with a large tractor tire, or a tire flip machine

These exercises share certain similarities but also exhibit obvious differences in their execution and performance requirements.


Tire flips target multiple muscles similar to the deadlift.

They target primary muscles such as glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back, while also engaging secondary muscles like the calves, forearms, and core.

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts incorporate both exercises in their workouts to increase overall strength, power, and conditioning.

Tire flips and deadlifts are also regularly used in strongman and CrossFit competitions due to their ability to challenge competitors' strength and endurance.


Although they share some similarities, tire flips and deadlifts differ significantly in certain aspects.

The most noticeable difference lies in the equipment used and the movement patterns involved.

Tire flips require a large tire, similar to those used for tractors or heavy machinery, while deadlifts necessitate a barbell and weight plates.

In terms of the movement pattern, tire flips are quite similar to the deadlift.

The power generated during a tire flip comes primarily from the lower body, with the arms merely serving to hold onto the tire.

Conversely, deadlifts involve lifting a barbell from the ground using a combination of upper and lower body strength.

One of the many benefits of tire flipping is the cardiovascular component which  traditional deadlifts may lack most of the time.

This adds an additional conditioning aspect to tire flipping, making it an excellent choice for improving endurance and overall physical performance.

As for injury risk, both exercises require proper technique and execution to avoid injuries, especially to the lower back.

It is essential to prioritize form and control in both the tire flip and deadlift to ensure safe and effective training sessions.

Technique and Form

When engaging in strength and conditioning exercises, understanding the appropriate technique and form is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the workout and prevent injuries.

The tire flip and deadlift are two popular exercises, each with its own set of key guidelines that support proper form and technique.

Tire Flip Technique

Tire flipping offers a unique challenge to an individual's entire body, combining strength, endurance, and agility. To execute a tire flip properly, follow these steps:

  1. Stand in front of the tire with feet hip-width apart, positioning your chest against the tire.
  2. Lean forward, pushing your chest into the tire, and assume a four-point stance similar to a football player.
  3. Place your arms outside the legs, with hands gripping the underside of the tire and fingers spread wide apart, providing a stable and secure grip.
  4. Lower your hips, keeping the back flat and butt down, as you prepare to lift the tire.
  5. Initiate the lift by driving your hips forward, maintaining a tall spine posture, and using your leg and hip strength to power the tire off the ground.
  6. As the tire begins to lift, flex your biceps to help guide it into the flip motion, continuing the movement until the tire is flipped over completely.

Proper tire flip technique involves engaging the hips, legs, and core muscles, rather than relying solely on bicep strength.

Deadlift Technique

Deadlifts are a staple exercise in many strength training programs, focusing on the engagement and development of the back, hips, and legs. To perform a deadlift with proper technique, follow these instructions:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, positioned mid-way under the barbell, with toes pointed slightly outwards.
  2. Bend at the hips and knees, reaching down to grip the barbell with both hands, either using an overhand grip or a mixed grip (one hand over, one hand under).
  3. Maintain a neutral spine by keeping your chest up, shoulders back, and lower back slightly arched, as you begin to lift the barbell off the floor.
  4. Engage your leg and hip muscles to drive the lift, straightening your knees and hips simultaneously, while keeping the weight close to your body throughout the entire movement.
  5. Continue the lift until you achieve full hip and knee extension, standing tall with the barbell resting against the thighs.
  6. Lower the barbell back to the floor in a controlled manner, following the same pattern of movement in reverse.

Practicing proper deadlift technique ensures that the focus remains on the targeted muscle groups while minimizing the risk of injury.

Strength and Conditioning

When comparing tire flips and deadlifts, it's important to analyze their benefits in the context of strength and conditioning exercises.

Both tire flips and deadlifts are widely used and have unique advantages and drawbacks. This section will explore their effects on strength levels, hypertrophy, cardio, and programming.

Strength Levels

Tire flips and deadlifts target different muscle groups and have distinct effects on individual strength levels.

Deadlifts primarily engage the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and traps. In contrast, tire flips, similar to a hack squat, rely mostly on lower body strength with minimal arm involvement to execute the movement.

Developing proficiency in both exercises can lead to well-rounded strength gains.

Tire flipping may improve explosiveness and functional strength, while deadlifts build raw pulling power and overall muscle mass.

However, mastering tire flips usually requires more practice and learning proper technique to minimize the risk of injury.


In terms of hypertrophy, deadlifts are considered more effective in stimulating muscle growth due to their ability to engage a larger number of muscle groups.

Additionally, deadlifts can be easily integrated into a progressive overload program, allowing for consistent strength and muscle gains.

Conversely, tire flips primarily target the lower body and are less versatile in promoting overall hypertrophy.

However, they can still contribute to well-rounded muscle development when integrated as a complementary exercise in a comprehensive training program.


Cardiovascular benefits differ between tire flips and deadlifts.

Tire flips, especially when performed in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style, can lead to improved cardiovascular endurance and increased calorie burn.

The explosive nature of tire flips, as well as the full body exertion required, can elevate heart rates and provide an effective cardio workout.

On the other hand, deadlifts primarily focus on building strength and are not designed for cardiovascular conditioning.

However, incorporating them into circuit training or using lighter weights and higher reps can still offer some cardio benefits.


Including both tire flips and deadlifts in a well-rounded training program can lead to maximum benefits. When programming these exercises, it's crucial to consider the following factors:

  • Prerequisites: Ensure proficiency in deadlifts and related movements, such as cleans and presses, before attempting tire flips. Establish a solid foundation of strength and body control.
  • Flexibility: Proper mobility and flexibility are essential for executing tire flips and deadlifts effectively and safely.
  • Variety: Balance your workouts and vary your exercises to avoid overemphasis on specific muscle groups and to prevent boredom or plateaus.
  • Warm-Up: Engage in a thorough warm-up before performing tire flips or deadlifts to minimize the risk of injury and ensure optimal muscle activation.
  • Stability: Developing strong core stability is crucial for maintaining proper technique and preventing injuries during tire flips and deadlifts.

In conclusion, while tire flips and deadlifts have differing impacts on strength levels, hypertrophy, cardiovascular conditioning, and exercise programming, integrating both exercises into your training regimen can lead to well-rounded strength and conditioning improvements.

Proper Execution

Starting Position

To perform tire flips and deadlifts with proper form, it is crucial to begin in the correct starting position. For tire flips, grip the bottom of the tire on the tread and position your feet slightly back. Your chest should meet the tire, creating a driving force. Ensure your arms are shoulder-width apart, spread your fingers wide, and wrap them under the tire.

For deadlifts, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. The barbell should be positioned over the middle of your feet. Bend at the hips and knees, grabbing the barbell with a mixed grip (one palm facing you and the other palm facing away). They should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your back is straight and your chest is up.

Drive Forward

When performing a tire flip, drive forward by extending through the hips, knees, and ankles. Engage your core and maintain a tall posture to effectively transfer power from your lower body to the tire. As the tire reaches a 45-degree angle, step forward and drive a knee into the tire to complete the flip.

In deadlifts, initiate the lift by contracting your lats to keep the barbell close to your lower extremities. Drive through your heels, extending your hips and knees to bring the barbell upward. As the barbell passes your knees, fully extend your hips and stand upright. Avoid excessive arching of the lower back throughout the movement.

Functional Movement

Both tire flips and deadlifts target the functional movements of the body, involving multiple muscle groups working in unison. Tire flips require explosive strength and power, utilizing the legs, core, and upper body to execute a full-body movement.

  • Hips: Engage the hips during both exercises for optimal hip extension.
  • Weight: Select an appropriate weight or tire size to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  • Grip: Proper grip is essential for tire flips and effective power transfer in deadlifts.
  • Squat: In both movements, maintain a squat-like posture.
  • Strength and Conditioning: Incorporate these exercises into your strength and conditioning routine for overall performance improvement.
  • Cardio Workout: Tire flips make for an excellent cardio workout, offering both strength training and cardiovascular benefits.

Mastering the technique of both tire flips and deadlifts can enhance your overall strength, functional movement, and conditioning. 

 Tire Flip to Deadlift Ratio

A lot of people wonder what the tire flip to deadlift ratio is. As in for ever every every lb of deadlift you can do, how much should you be able to tire flip? And vice versa. 

Well that's a tough one because the tire flip requires explosive power and full-body strength, while the deadlift focuses more on lower body strength and proper form.

The deadlift is often performed in low rep ranges, or even a single rep to measure the strength of the lift. The tire flip is often performed in higher rep ranges for a test of muscular endurance and cardio. 

As a rough estimate, the ratio of weight on the deadlift compared to reps of a tire flip can be expressed as a 3:1 ratio. If you can perform a 300 lb. deadlift for 1 rep, you could flip a 300 lb. tire at least 3 times if not more. 

If you can perform a 600 lb. deadlift once, its safe to say you could flip a 300 lb. tire at least 6 times, and so on. 

Tire Flip Vs. Deadlift Conclusion

In conclusion, both tire flips and deadlifts are popular functional strength training exercises that offer distinct benefits and drawbacks.

While tire flips require explosive power and full-body strength, deadlifts focus more on lower body strength and proper form.

Both exercises are compound movements that work multiple muscle groups and provide an effective and efficient workout.

Incorporating both tire flips and deadlifts into a well-rounded training program can lead to maximum benefits, and proper technique and form are crucial to ensure safe and effective training sessions.

Understanding the unique advantages of each exercise and programming them appropriately can lead to improved overall strength, hypertrophy, cardiovascular conditioning, and functional movement.

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About The Author

Matt Gemkow, the author of this content section at Select Fitness USA, boasts more than 15 years of fitness experience. He started out in sports and athletic training for many years and has since 2014 transitioned into heavy-weight training and bodybuilding. As a result, he has become one of the most experienced fitness equipment experts out there, and a valuable source of information.