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Tire Flip Vs. Power Clean | Functional Exercise Comparison

Tire Flip Vs. Power Clean Featured Image With Tire Flip and Power Clean Example

If you're looking to build functional strength and power, the tire flip and power clean are two exercises worth considering, despite how different they look.

Both work multiple muscle groups, but target them in different ways.

In this article, we'll compare and contrast these two movements to help you decide which one is right for your fitness goals.

We'll cover everything from equipment needs to proper form, so let's get started!

What Are Tire Flips

Tire Flip Exercise Example

Tire flips are a functional exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the legs, back, shoulders, and arms.

The primary muscles targeted during tire flips are the quadriceps and glutes as they provide the power needed to lift the tire off the ground.

Additionally, flipping a heavy tire requires significant core stabilization which further strengthens abdominal muscles.

To perform tire flips effectively, you will need access to an appropriate-sized tractor or truck tire or a convenient tire flip machine that accomplishes the same thing. 

Incorporating Tire Flips into workouts helps build overall strength while improving cardiovascular endurance.

Tire training, similar to deadlifts, can develop explosive power and strength which is sought after by many athletes, trainees, Cross Fitters, and more.

Furthermore, it’s perfect for those looking for a change from their routine gym workout or wanting something more challenging than running on a treadmill or using resistance machines alone.

What Are Power Cleans

Power cleans are an Olympic style wight lifting exercise that works multiple muscle groups and can improve explosive power, coordination, and balance for a wide range of physical activities.

To perform a power clean, you start with a loaded barbell on the ground in front of you.

The lifter then explosively lifts the barbell up with the legs, hips, and back muscles, while simultaneously shrugging the shoulders and pulling the elbows up to flip the bar up and catch it at the upper chest or shoulder area.

This movement requires coordination, balance, and timing to execute properly.

Incorporating power cleans into workouts can provide numerous benefits such as increased strength gains in multiple muscle groups, improved explosive power for sports performance or daily activities that require lifting objects quickly off of the ground.

Additionally, they can help improve overall coordination and balance which translates well to other exercises or physical activities outside of weightlifting.

Muscles Targeted

Tire flips mostly target the lower body muscles, including glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

However, it also engages upper body muscles such as biceps and shoulders to power through the movement.

Ankle stability is crucial during tire flips to maintain proper form.

In contrast, power cleans focus on developing explosive athletic movements by targeting major muscle groups like legs (hamstrings & quadriceps), core (abdominals), back (trapezius & erector spinae) and arms (deltoids & forearms).

Athletic performance requires a lot of coordination between these muscle groups which can be enhanced with consistent training in power cleans.

Tire Flips Muscles Targeted

Tire flips utilize multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.

They are a highly athletic, compound movement, that engages your entire lower body as well as your upper body and back for stabilization.

If you're looking to build strong legs and a powerful posterior chain, tire flips are an excellent addition to your workout routine.

In comparison, power cleans primarily target the quadriceps and hamstrings but also engage muscles in the upper back and shoulders.

While they may not be as functional or overall effective at building lower body strength compared to tire flips, power cleans can still be a great option for athletes looking to improve their explosive power and Olympic lifting technique.

Power Cleans Muscles

Power cleans are an excellent exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously while testing your true strength, flexibility, and stability.

This movement works wonders for the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles, making it a staple in athletic training programs.

As you execute the power clean with proper form, your ankles will also benefit from increased mobility.

In contrast to tire flips which primarily target lower body muscles such as legs and glutes, power cleans focus on building functional strength throughout the entire body.

With consistent practice of this compound movement exercise, athletes can expect significant gains in upper-body strength while maintaining their overall athletic ability.

Benefits of Tire Flips vs Power Cleans

Tire flips are beneficial for many reasons.

They engage multiple muscle groups, including the legs, back, core and arms which can improve overall athleticism.

Power cleans on the other hand are effective for developing explosive power in the hips, quads and glutes that transfer well to sports performance.

Both exercises have unique benefits but tire flips offer more versatility as they can be done outside of a gym setting with minimal equipment.

Tire Flip Benefits

Tire flips are a beneficial full-body workout that targets multiple muscles.

The main muscles worked during tire flips include the quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, abs and upper body muscles such as shoulders and biceps.

Incorporating tire flips into your workout routine can help improve strength, power and endurance.

Additionally, tire flips offer a unique challenge to your core muscles as you have to stabilize your body and engage your abdominal muscles to maintain proper form during the movement.

This not only helps to improve your overall strength but also your balance and coordination.

It is a low-impact exercise that can be modified to suit varying fitness levels, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.

Overall, tire flips are an excellent addition to any workout routine, providing a challenging and dynamic full-body workout that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Power Clean Benefits

Power cleans are an excellent exercise for targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and training for explosive strength and power.

During power cleans, the muscles targeted include the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, trapezius, deltoids and core. This makes it a highly efficient exercise for building strength and improving athletic performance.

Incorporating power cleans into your workout routine can provide numerous benefits such as improved explosiveness, power production and overall strength gains.

Additionally, this compound movement can enhance coordination between different muscle groups resulting in better stability during other exercises.

To achieve optimal results from a power clean exercise requires proper execution technique.

To do so effectively involves generating explosive force through the legs while maintaining a neutral spine position with shoulders pulled back throughout the lift to prevent injury or strain on lower back muscles.

Perfecting your form is key to maximizing the benefits of this powerful movement in your workouts.

Equipment Required

Tire Flips

To perform tire flips, you'll need a large tractor or truck tire or an indoor tire flip machine.

These come in various types, sizes, weights, and price points, but mostly all do the same things to a certain extent.

Power Cleans

For power cleans, you'll need a barbell with weight plates and proper footwear for optimal stability.

Optionally, in some gyms or home facilities, a platform, weight lifting belt, hand chalk, and other equipment is used to increase performance of this competitive movement.

How To

The bio mechanical movements of the tire flip are actually quite similar to the power clean.

We'll take you through the simple steps of each, and you can see for yourself how similar they actually are.

How To Do Tire Flips

Proper technique and form are crucial when performing tire flips to ensure maximum effectiveness and minimize the risk of injury.

  1. Start by standing behind the tire, feet shoulder-width apart, with a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Reach down to grab the bottom of the tire with both hands, keeping your back straight and core engaged.
  3. With one explosive movement, lift the tire up while simultaneously jumping forward to catch it at chest height.
  4. From there, use your legs and hips to push upward until you can flip it over onto its other side.
  5. Repeat

Safety precautions are essential before attempting any physical activity involving weights or heavy objects like tires since they may pose significant risks if not handled properly; wearing appropriate shoes or gloves will prevent accidents due to slipping grips on slippery ground surfaces.


  • Keep an eye on how much weight you're lifting so that you don't strain yourself unnecessarily.
  • Make sure there's enough space around where you'll be flipping tires so others aren't put at risk.
  • Warm-up thoroughly before attempting any exercise routine involving high-intensity movements or resistance training workouts
  • Always brace your core, and keep your spine in a straight alignment.

How To Do Power Cleans

Correct Form for Power Cleans:

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell on the ground, hands just outside of your knees
  2. Keep your back straight and chest up as you lift the bar with explosive force from your legs. The initial part of the power clean and
  3. tire flip is similar to the deadlift
  4. .
  • As you stand up, shrug your shoulders and pull the bar up to chest level while keeping it close to your body. This part is a triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips, which exerts maximal power through the movement.
  • Drop under the bar by bending at the hips and knees, catching it in a front squat position before standing back up.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Power Cleans:

  • Rounding or arching your back during any part of the movement can lead to injury
  • Not using enough leg drive or pulling too much with arms instead can limit results
  • Swinging or jerking motion instead of controlled movements which puts unnecessary stress on joints

Tire Flip Vs. Power Clean | Who Should Do Them?

As you can see, the tire flip and the power clean are actually somewhat similar, despite a few large differences.

Tire flips are a functional way to train for many different types of people. Athletes, Cross Fitters, general fitness enthusiast all can benefit from training with a large tire or similar tire flip machine.

Power Cleans are an intense weight lift exercise that similarly trains explosive strength of the full body, but differs in the technique, level of skill, and difficulty of the movement.

Who Should Do Tire Flips?

Tire flips are a great exercise for athletes or general trainees who want to improve their explosive power with a fun / unique exercise.

This unconventional workout is also perfect for strength enthusiasts who are looking to challenge themselves with something new and exciting.

Many people can benefit from the tire flip as it is simple and relatively easy to learn to compared to complex lifts.

Additionally, individuals who want to add some variety to their routine can benefit from tire flips as they engage multiple muscle groups and provide a full-body workout.

Also note, some people use tire flips solely as a cardio exercise, which differs from power cleans being largly a strength movement.

Who Should Do Power Cleans?

Weightlifters and athletes training for explosive movements can benefit greatly from incorporating power cleans into their routines.

This exercise targets several muscle groups, including the back, legs, and shoulders, which are essential for generating power in explosive movements like jumping or sprinting.

Additionally, those looking to increase full-body strength and muscle mass should consider adding power cleans to their workouts.

The movement engages multiple muscles simultaneously, making it an efficient exercise for building overall strength and size.

Lastly, people seeking a challenging high-intensity exercise should try power cleans.

The complex nature of the lift requires focus on technique while also pushing your limits physically.

It’s a demanding exercise that can provide both physical and mental benefits when performed correctly with proper form.


When it comes to functional fitness, tire flips and power cleans are two surprisingly similar exercises that provide unique benefits.

Tire flips focus on full-body explosiveness and HIIT cardio, while power cleans largly target the entire body with emphasis on technique and form to do the complex movement.

When choosing between the two, factors such as your fitness experience, available equipment, and personal preferences should be considered.

Ultimately, whether you choose tire flips or power cleans depends on what you want to achieve with your workouts.

If you're looking to improve overall physical conditioning and build endurance through a challenging full-body exercise, tire flips may be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you want to focus on explosive strength and performance in a particular sport or activity area like weightlifting - then power cleans might suit your needs better.

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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.