Car Flip

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Why The Car Flip Is Used In Strongman Events

The Car Flip is a spectacular strongman even used within many different competitions. This event is as good as it sounds, with spectators on the edge of their seats watching these huge men try to flip a car. In the late 1980s there was a strongman even called “The Car Turn Over Race”, this was similar to what we know now as The Car Flip. This event was like a 100-meter dash, but the strongmen competitors had to flip three cars over before they could cross the finish line. This event was amazing to watch as these strongmen flipped over three cars like an averaged sized guy would flip over a computer desk, bearing in mind that these cars used were older and lighter than they are these days, but still weighed an astonishing 700kgs! Although these events were spectacular to watch, unfortunately this Car Turn Over Race is no longer used in the WSM or any other strongmen competitions. However, The Car Flip came around and was continued as an event which was carried on for many years after.

Unfortunately, at the 1998 World’s Strongest Man, Mark Philippi was severely injured during The Car Flip event where he ruptured his patella tendon and also partially tore his biceps tendon when the car rolled back on him! Since this major injury took place, The Car Flip was not used as often and instead things such as The Tyre Flip or The Car Carry took its place within certain events.

The Car Flip theme was used again in Pro Strongman Championships in 2002 which was incorporated to make an event called “Car Flip Medley” in this event the strongman had to flip a couple of cars but also push some cars, which they had done by using the wheelbarrow technique, by picking up the back of the cars which sat on a steel frame and carrying then over a certain distance.
The Car Flip was still lurking in the shadows of the strongman sport as in 2015 at the UK’s Strongest Man event, the great Eddie Hall along with other strongmen, competed in an event to flip a car twice. This event was incredible to watch, as most people can’t relate to the weight of an Atlas Stone or A Frame Carry, because when spectators watch, they see a concrete ball or a wooden frame being carried. But when spectators see a car being flipped, almost every person knows how heavy a car is! So this makes the spectators much more surprised and amazed by this great event.

About The Car Flip

The Car Flip is not the most common event, especially as it requires someone to sacrifice a car for the benefit of this event. But as the name suggests, the strongman must flip a car (yes, an actual car). Depending on the weight it may be timed for a certain number of flips or simply one flip. Within these events the size and weight of the car can be and mostly is different.

There are many strongman events around now that test the strongman’s strength and abilities in a more standardised way, which set rules, weights and tasks, making it easy to find official records of who is the best within different events. Although The Car Flip is not one of these events that you can evenly match everything perfectly to start off with and come out with accurate information regarding the winners (it would use too many cars!). This event is great to watch and allows the general public to appreciate the weight involved far more than a deadlift or squat with standard weight plates on the bars.

Training for The Car Flip: Training for The Car Flip is becoming expendable for many people as The Car Flip event as we know it is not as often used these days due to injury that can occur and also the amount of cars that need to be used within this event, let alone training for it! The great thing is, if you still want or need to train for this event, there are many other ways in which you can similarly replicate this form of flipping a car, without having to apologise to your neighbour that their car is now sat on its roof! The Tyre Flip event, although it is slightly different in which the way you have to hold and lift the object (a huge tyre being more awkward to lift due to the wide grip needed). This can replicate some of the technique and form needed e.g. lifting it from the floor, having to swap your hold at the 45-degree angle and then pressing it up to turn it over.

Although these events can be similarly used to gain the technique and build the muscles needed for the flips. Starting by flipping heavy objects is not recommended for beginners. Compound exercises are the best way in which to train the body ready for the strain that is taken from lifting and flipping these large objects. Exercises such as; deadlifts, squats, bench press and military presses are advised to start with to be able to build that overall power needed for these intensive events. Even once your body is tolerating heavy loads within these compound exercises, you should start by flipping lighter objects. This will prepare you and train your body in these techniques to be able to go through the steps in which to flip a big heavy object which we mentioned within the technique or The Tyre Flip. Although starting with lighter objects first is always the best way, do not take this as indication that you can go and flip over your nan’s mobility scooter, as I’m sure this will not please anybody (especially your nan!). Once you have the strength and technique nailed to achieve and flip such heavy objects. Maybe you will be lucky enough to find a scrap yard that will let you practice on some of their old used cars that they do not care about!


Without any standardised or accepted rules for which cars are to be flipped, there aren’t any records of any real meaning for this event. But we don’t think that matters too much as it’s still great to watch. This is why The Car Flip has continued to pop up over the decades, due to it becoming too thrilling to watch and also to show the spectators the true power of these strongmen! Although there are no official records, we have attached a few car flip videos below to show again how great this event actually is!
Here is the clip from the 1989 World’s Strongest Man that was held in San Sebastian, Spain. This was The Car Turn Over event which we talked about earlier:

Also, here is the other clip that we mentioned, showing the great Eddie Hall in the 2015 UK’s Strongest Man competition, where the strongmen had to flip a car twice. Although they use VW Polos as the car of choice, you can still imagine the strain these guys were under flipping these cars:

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