As some of you know, I enjoy using less traditional equipment to exercise with and I’d say a sledgehammer fits that designation pretty well. When I first saw a sledge used for fitness I couldn’t imagine that swinging a long-handled hammer could be much of a challenge … oh yeah, I was sooooo wrong about that.
Any of you who have had to use a sledge know that it gets pretty heavy pretty quickly and learn how to use its momentum correctly to get the most out of each strike. Have you ever tried to swing that sledge from the “wrong” side? Far harder, isn’t it? Hmmm, why make things harder? Well, exercise (as opposed to working at demolition) is about getting the body to work as hard as possible to produce a desired effect – in this case, rotational and diagonal trunk strength, increased forearm and wrist strength, increased cardiovascular endurance. Hey, that’s not a bad list of benefits.
If the “wrong” side swing doesn’t get you, try this one: bring the sledge over head and behind your back in a two-handed triceps extension style hand grip. Now bring that sucker back overhead and straight down. BTW, I hit an old truck tire I keep in the backyard (the wife balked at a tractor tire since it would fill about half our patio area … go figure).
Even a light sledge (10 pounds) is challenging but a 16 pounder would surely kick my butt after a relatively short time. Check with me in a couple of months or so and see if I’ve “graduated”. Hate traditional cardio (running, rowing and the like) but want a workout that builds strength and stamina? Bypass the sporting goods store, do not go to the gym, head directly to the hardware store and choose your sledge. Swing away, my friend; swing away.