Strongman exercises are both fun to do and fun to watch people attempt, but if not done right they can ned up in painful weightlifting fails. Don’t believe us? Check out this video.
WARNING: We’re not exaggerating about these weightlifting fails. They may be hilarious to watch, but they are definitely painful and dangerous to the people in action. If accidents make you nervous, skip this video.
(SIDE QUESTION: If you were filming yourself working out, and you had an accident like the ones in the video below, would you post it online so other people could make a compilation video that gets shared all over the internet? Asking for a friend…)
Warnings aside, some strongman exercises are awesome for working out — both at home, and at the gym, for experienced fitness buffs and beginners alike. You just need to be smart when you’re doing them. This list below contains some of the most popular options, but they’re also movements that you might want to get a spot on until you’re 100% sure you can handle it on your own.
As the sayings go, there’s no need for ego, amigo. It’s better to work out wisely and protect your body in the process.
Monster Dumbbell/Kettlebell Press
This exercise looks exactly like it sounds. You take a monster dumbbell and you press it up over your head. With a normal dumbbell, it’s perfectly fine to do this alone in your home. However, a “monster” dumbbell means you’re lifting more weight than normal — A LOT more weight. If you accidentally drop the monster dumbbell on your head, it’ll probably knock you unconscious and you’ll need to go to the hospital. Have a friend around to spot you or call for help.
Yes, this is a thing. We even found a stock photo of it, it’s that’s popular.
A log press can be done like a squat, or like a monster kettlebell press. However, in this case, you’re pressing a giant log with two arms. The same safety issues apply to the log press. If you’re doing the squat, it’s easy to lose balance or torque your knee if your form isn’t correct. Likewise, if you’re pressing overhead, you can accidentally drop it on yourself.
During a keg run, you don’t go out and buy kegs of beer and drink them. You go out, buy kegs of beer, and run home while carrying them. Since full kegs are extremely heavy, make sure to do this exercise with a friend or spotter. If you drop the keg on your toes or pull your back, someone can be there to drive you and the keg home. A spotter can also help you put the keg down gently on the ground once you’re finished so as not to foam up the beer inside.
Let’s face it — you look really bad ass when you’re doing this successfully in public. The key work there is “successfully.”
The biggest mistakes? Going too heavy on your first attempt, and not having someone there to make sure you’re using proper form. That means the first time you do a tire flip should not be in the confines of your backyard. (How did you get that big of a tire in your backyard, anyway?) Try it at a Crossfit gym with a friend or trainer who knows what they’re doing.
A farmer’s walk is when you carry two heavy objects — kettlebell, dumbbell, weight bags, etc. — one in each hand, and walk. Usually the goal is to walk to a location, turn, and come back to the starting point. A friend can keep an eye on your form (or help you bring the weights back to the starting point if you can’t make the full loop).
Key mistake beginners make? Dropping their weights when they’re done. Yes, they’re heavy, you’re exhausted, and (admit it) you kind of want people to look over and see what a bad ass you are for having done the work. But you can also damage the weights, or drop them on your feet/someone else’s feet. Be polite and show everyone you’re so strong that you can control putting them down. Everyone will know you’re a bigger badass if you have that kind of strength after a hard workout.