Build Your Own Slosh Tube

But not with alcohol (save that for after the workout). Nope, I’m talking about working out with a slosh tube.

A slosh tube is a large PVC pipe filled with water and capped on the ends. It’s a surprisingly effective workout tool. Best of all, you can build one yourself for less than twenty bucks.

How to Do It

  1. Go to your local hardware store and buy a PVC pipe. You’ll want one at least 4 inches in diameter and 9-10 feet long. Buy caps for both ends. Make sure at least one of the caps is removable and rubber.
  2. Fill your pipe at least 1/2 full of water. It’s advised that you have one of the caps on at this point, unless you’re looking for the toughest exercise possible: one in futility.
  3. Cap it and get sloshed!

Building the thing is the easy part. Actually working out with it is deceptively difficult. You see, although the slosh tube only weighs about 40 pounds, those 40 pounds of water will be sloshing around inside the 10 foot long tube. Watch this video:

Note how easy the woman carries the tube upright when gravity’s keeping the water resting at the bottom. But when she tries to hold it horizontally she needs help just getting it to her shoulders. And therein lies the beauty of the slosh tube – the slightest imbalance sends the water sloshing to the opposite end of the tube. Weight isn’t just mass/poundage; it’s also based on momentum. Correcting that imbalance, fighting that momentum, is incredibly taxing on your core.

To look at the slosh tube from a Primal perspective, imagine you’ve just slain a huge anaconda. Dinner for a week. As you sling it over your shoulder for the trek back home, the thing starts going into death spasms. You’re trying to hold it while this huge muscular tube is whipping around. The weight’s being transferred back and forth. The thing finally dies, but you’ve just done a number on your abs. That’s (however inconceivable and unrealistic the scenario might be) what the slosh tube is trying to emulate.

Try just pressing it overhead and holding it. Inevitably, you’ll sway a bit and the water will start to slosh around. It sounds easy, but try holding it steady. Bet you can’t (on your first try).

Or, try a Zercher walk:

It sounds simple enough. Hold the pipe up to your chest and walk. Walk as far as you possibly can. And if you want added (unnecessary) challenge, walk on an uneven surface or up a hill. Try to make it at least twenty paces.

Use the slosh tube as a barbell. Try the bench press, deadlifts, squats, or even bicep curls. I guarantee exasperated sighs, furrowed brows, and the sorest muscles you’ve ever felt as you battle the laws of physics.

The slosh tube makes simple movements difficult. It makes you work hard for motions that you take for granted as a Primal fitness head. Even better, using a slosh tube doesn’t quite feel like a traditional workout. It’s fun and different. And isn’t that what effective workouts are all about? Tricking your body into performing hard work, and enjoying it?

Try experimenting with different sized slosh tubes. Maybe fill it 2/3 full of water, or make two 4 foot one-handed slosh tubes instead of one big one. Let’s hear from you guys. Any good slosh tube ideas? Any new workouts you’ve discovered using a slosh tube?

prizepony Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

The Prison Workout

Kettlebellin’ for Strength


The Sandbag Workout

Medicine Ball Workout

Hat Tip to Caveman Power


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