Dad Movement Monday: Sledge Hammer Strike

I am gonna use my man Eka as an example on this one. What you see in the video below is a beautifully executed sledge hammer strike. I am not going to go as far as to say that using a sledgehammer is only a male thing, because it is not. But it is a skill that I believe every man should have in his tool belt. It ranks right up there with changing a tire, baiting a hook, and building a fire. There are just certain things as humans we should know, survival type things.

Imparting force with an external object is part of human existence. The motion allows us to apply much more force than just pushing on something. This is a huge advantage when it comes to accomplishing work, aka chopping down a tree, or just beating on an old tire. Generating force from the floor, translating that force through your trunk, down your arms, to a sledge hammer can be a bit more challenging than it may seem. Your heart rate will begin to race quickly, so you get in some sneaky cardio. You also rotate, extend and flex your trunk with is hugely beneficial for your structural development. Just make sure you use both sides. Training should encompass all planes of motion, and this will cash you in on some you may have missed on other days. 

Start with your feet squared to the tire. One hand is on the end of the handle, the other hand is choked up right to the head of the hammer. The swing starts with a backswing below your hips. This is where you should feel your feet firmly on the floor, very similar as you would feel if someone was trying to push you over. You butt will be back a tad, and you will feel pressure to the outside of your feet. As the hammer continues upward through an arching motion, it reaches the top of the arch, and your hand near the head starts to slide down the neck of the handle. Your hands end up together at the bottom of the handle, and this is where you contract abs to bring your sternum closer to your belt buckle. The movement down starts with your trunk, moves to your lats which pull your arms down, and finished with the whip of the sledge hammer down to the target. Staying connected from the floor to the head of the hammer is very important to the success of this movement. Reps upon reps can be done, but maintaining your stability is going to ensure you remain safe. After all no one wants to be off balance while swinging a 10lb sledge. Bad deal right there. 

Moving is tremendously valuable. Moving happens in all different ways. I briefly mentioned planes of movement earlier, and I suggest you try to cover all of them. Frontal, Sagittal, and Transverse are all avenues of betterment. Throw some manly stuff in your training. Chop wood, carry heavy things, use a sledge hammer. Being a man has many facets. Being useful is one of these. Get some!