How to Properly Swing a Sledgehammer to Break up Concrete

broken concrete pieces with sledgehammer next to them
What You'll Need
Work gloves
Work boots, or other heavy shoes with good traction

Using a sledgehammer for the first time may seem daunting, but it is by far the most straightforward tool for breaking up concrete and a variety of other materials. With these simple instructions, you will be swinging easy in no time at all.

Step 1 - Find Your Grip

Put on your work gloves, then grasp the handle with the hammer in the hand you favor, about halfway to three quarters of the way up the handle. Place your other hand on the handle close to the edge farther from the head (for the remainder of these instructions, we will assume a right-handed swing for simplicity).

Step 2 - Make a Test Swing

Form a stance with your legs about a foot and a half from one another, forming near a 90-degree angle. Move your left hand up the shaft of the handle until it sits below your right. Raise the hammer above your head on your right side. Swing diagonally toward the left side of your body, sliding your left hand down the handle as you swing to control force.

Step 3 - Strike the Concrete

When you are comfortable with your swing, begin striking the concrete with the sledgehammer. Look for structural weak points and increase the force behind your swing as you become more comfortable.