Last week I posted a video clip of what sledgehammer training looks like as I whacked away at a log. This week’s video fitness tip features my sledgehammer, a tree stump and me. I’m the one wearing the black shirt. Regardless of what kind of shape that you’re in, sledgehammer training is a unique method of strength training and a great way to increase your fitness level.
Once again, this week’s video fitness tip features sledgehammer training – a great form of non-traditional strength training. As you can see, and this week here, the target of my sledge is a tree stump rather than a log. There are a few subtle differences in the technique used for hitting the stump versus the log. Obviously, the swing used to hit the stump has a little longer arc and puts a little more stress on the lower back. No biggie.
However, the bigger difference with hitting the stump is handling the rebound after contact and getting the sledgehammer under control and back to the start position. Handling the rebound not only puts more stress on the lower back and all the muscles of the trunk, but also puts a lot more stress on the arms, especially the forearms.
The larger range of motion, the higher speed of the swing and the level where contact occurs all contribute to make hitting the tree stump more demanding than hitting the log for every muscle in the body. It may not seem like a big difference, but over the course of 100 swings, hitting the stump is much more challenging than hitting the log.
As I mention in the clip, you should wear safety glasses when hitting stuff with your sledgehammer. If you look, you’ll see chips of wood shooting up from the stump every time I make contact, so for your own good don the specs.
With an 8- or 10-pound sledgehammer shoot for 100 contacts in about 4 minutes and rest about 2 minutes before repeating. I think the pace in the video is a little on the quick side – more like 3 minutes for 100 contacts – but it’s pretty close, and you’ll get more out of the session if you push it a little even if the pace slows during the set.
In the background of the clip you can see a barbell as well as my 20-pound sledgehammer. For you curious cats out there, check back next week and you’ll see just one of the myriad ways to pair traditional strength training with sledgehammer training, and as a result get an incredible workout in about 20 minutes.