As we discussed in the “Physical Training Series’ one of the most effective ways to develop a physically fit body is through hard work and manual labor. With this in mind, an athlete should consider using their sledgehammer for reasons other that weight lifting like we discussed in the Sledgehammer for Strength exercise. In this drill we’ll focus on a more traditional use of a sledgehammer, we’re going to pound something in the direction of the ground.
First of all, it's important that an athlete finds the appropriate weighted sledgehammer, because there are a number of different weight options. If you are a beginner or less developed physically, start slow and start light. It is very important for a new student of physical training to focus on proper mechanics (use your lower body and core when bending down, not your back) with lighter weight and more reps.
The first time an athlete does this drill it will be hard to pick up a fork afterwards. However, like any exercise the individual will adapt over time and practice, as they will eventually be able to increase the repetition and weight being used. This drill is not a joke, and should be taken cautiously and seriously - to prevent injury.
This is a great drill for athletes ages 14 years and older and will work wonders in developing the forearm and hand endurance that is instrumental for successful athletes. The beauty of this drill is that it can be performed anytime, anywhere and all an individual needs is a sledgehammer and an object to drive toward the ground. This could be any number of things - looking through an old garage or Craigslist are viable places to locate an object to be hammered. A huge tire is a very popular choice.
Be a throwback like the athletes of yesteryear. Before players made astronomical wages they would often spend the off season working in the shipyards, lumber yards or construction sites. This was a “two birds with one stone” approach for these athletes, as the blue collar work provided additional money for their families and a complimentary training session in the process.
In the spirit of our ancestors don’t be afraid of some blood, sweat and tears. Manual labor is a great tool for athletes looking to develop character, toughness and elite physical fitness.