01/06/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
When I refer to the strongman yoke as ‘the Swiss Army knife of fitness equipment’, I’m not exaggerating for effect. For my money, it truly is one of the most versatile investments you can make, whether you’re in a home gym, box or commercial set up.
In and of itself, a Yoke is an incredible tool, more likely than not a Yoke carry is the lift in which you have the propensity to go heavier than any other, with people routinely performing 20 metre walks with more than double their squat weights, safe in the knowledge that ‘bailing out’ only requires them to bend a few inches at the knees.
But, if you’re only marching back and forth with your yoke, you’re selling yourself short. The box section construction means you can retrofit any attachment you’d use on a similar build squat rack or rig; including j-pegs, enabling you to squat and press anywhere, before flat packing this versatile piece of kit away, taking up less floor space than half a dozen dumbbells.
Beyond carrying, squatting and pressing though, there are a litany of other movements you can throw into the mix to get the most out of your yoke, here’s 8 you may never have tried.
A parkour foundational movement, as well as an incredible scale/adaptation for the muscle-up.
odd object loads
A strongman staple with huge real world carryover.
Your best friend on the road to those first few pull-ups. The thick bar adds an additional grip building stimulus.
A gem of a move from yesteryear. Go heavy, but start hight, gradually lowering the yoke until you reach full depth.
A loaded carry that will turn your core into steel, with a strong upper back and powerful legs thrown in for good measure.
Having a horizontal bar to perform pull-ups on literally 10 x's your movements selection. Get your yoke outside for pull-ups in the sun, with the added forearm blasting stimulus of the thick bar.
Not just for loading up a max weight yoke walk, turn your loading pins inwards to unlock straight bar dips.
If having a bar to pull-up on gives you five times more movement options, then hanging rings doubles that again. Looking to be a true hybrid athlete? Combine strongman and gymnastics moves to cover all of your bases.