Have you experienced the intensity of lower body sled exercises yet? If you’re seeking a workout to push your endurance to the limit, this is an ideal choice for you!
This article from goodheathplan.com provides intriguing insights into this equipment, offering a comprehensive overview to keep you informed about this emerging trend in bodybuilding.
What exactly constitutes a sled set?
A sled, also referred to as a prowler, consists of frames with two vertical bars above and two horizontal handles below. There are designated spots to place dumbbells, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the exercises. Sled training is gaining popularity not only internationally but is gradually becoming a global trend due to its challenging nature and effectiveness in targeting the lower body.
Exercises using the sled frame serve as rigorous tests for the lower body. Initially, the glutes engage to execute the push, followed by the hamstrings and quadriceps sustaining the movement and generating momentum.
The abdominal muscles play a crucial role in safeguarding the spine and transferring power to the sled frame. Overall, they contribute to maintaining balance and absorbing the pressure generated during exercises to prevent any adverse impact on the skeletal structure.
“There are few training methods that can simultaneously challenge muscle strength and endurance like sled exercises,” asserts Patrick Jones, a professional trainer at Wright Fit Performance Lab in New York. If you’ve ever wondered how track and field athletes can sustain prolonged runs, the answer lies in the sled!
Achieving a Comprehensive Sled Training Session
If you’re new to sled training, there’s no need to immediately load up with heavy dumbbells. Instead, start with an empty frame and focus on your body position, paying attention to how your back, thighs, and abs engage during the movements.
It’s crucial to ensure that your spine remains as straight, natural, and comfortable as possible. If you experience any spinal pain during the practice, stop immediately and adjust your posture to prevent potential injuries, as spinal issues can be serious and dangerous.
Following the principle of starting with an empty frame and gradually adding weight is essential for anyone engaging in sled training. This approach is based on the practitioner’s fitness level, as the sled’s effectiveness relies entirely on individual capability. Excessive weight can hinder natural movement and have a detrimental impact on the spine.
Originally designed with soccer players in mind, sled exercises were typically performed in spacious, airy environments. As these exercises have gained popularity among bodybuilders in their daily training sessions, adjustments are often necessary to fit within gym spaces.
The preparation steps are relatively simple. Practitioners should gather a sled frame, rope, an appropriate number of weight plates based on their ability, and choose a flat surface with low friction that doesn’t create excessive noise when the sled frame is in motion, thereby avoiding disruption to others.
Additionally, ensure the practice area is free of obstructions and be mindful of maintaining a safe distance from others during your movements to prevent collisions with the sled frame.
For a complete sled workout, select 4 to 6 sled exercises and perform 3 to 4 sets of each exercise, with rest between sets as needed. Take a minute of rest after completing all sets before progressing to the next exercise. Sled exercises can be incorporated at the end of weightlifting sessions to enhance endurance.
These exercises often replicate everyday movements such as pushing and pulling, making them relatively easy for practitioners to adapt to and implement. Popular sled exercises include:
Sled Push – High and Low Exercise
- To begin, the practitioner should grasp the vertical bar if aiming to push the sled at a higher position or the horizontal bar if opting for a lower push.
- After loading the frame with an appropriate amount of weight, initiate the movement by thrusting your hips forward, mimicking the action of pushing a crate or a large cabinet.
- Ensure your back remains straight throughout the movement, and as you advance, engage your abdominal muscles to maintain stability. It’s crucial to emphasize that the pushing action should consist of short, rapid steps. Aim to complete one set within approximately 40 seconds.
Plank Pull Exercise
- Begin by securing one end of the wire to the sled frame and the opposite end to the floor.
- Assume a basic plank position, ensuring your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Hold the end of the rope that is on the floor.
- Pull the rope towards your body until the sled makes contact.
- Repeat the same motion with the other hand to complete one set.
Side Pull Exercise
- Grip the two ropes attached to the sled. Position yourself on the right side of the machine, ensuring that the left elbow is bent behind you, and the right hand is positioned in front of the abdomen. Keep both fists close to the left hip.
- Cross your left leg over to the right, simultaneously extending your right leg.
- Continue this movement for approximately 40 seconds.
- Switch sides and repeat the same sequence.
Pull Row Exercise
- Stand in front of the sled frame with the two rope handles attached to the crossbar. Position yourself far enough back so that your arms can fully extend.
- Assume a squat position and pull the sled frame towards your body. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions in each pull row set.
Bear Crawl Pull
- Secure the belt around your hips, connecting it to the sled frame. Get into a crawling position with your feet facing the sled frame, hands and knees touching the ground, and maintain a straight back.
- Lift your knees off the ground and crawl on your toes. Move your left hand simultaneously with your right leg and vice versa.
- Perform this crawling motion for 30 seconds to complete one set.
Read more: Easy Home Exercises for Belly Fat Reduction
The previous article introduced sled exercises to you. Typically, these exercises are performed in a gym setting. Nevertheless, if your goal is to enhance your health through exercise, there are alternative workout routines available.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.