Exercises I Used During My Playing Days, Wished I Had Incorporated While Playing, & Will Continue to Use: Sled Training
Sled training is where it’s at.
The sled is a fantastic tool that can be used to improve conditioning, build strength, and test your will power.
It’s fair to say that
everybody has a major love/hate relationship with the sled. But in all honesty, I wish I had found this amazing performance tool earlier in my career. My first sled experience was definitely one of the most humbling experiences I’ve encountered in my athletic journey.
If you have ever used or heard stories about the sled then you understand what I’m talking about. There is a term called Prowler Flu (prowler is a specific type of sled) and the name speaks for itself – I’ve been hit with this bug on multiple occasions – bent over in exhaustion and heaving into a trash can. Yeah not fun.
Despite the deflating experience, sled training offers a ton of benefits that can take your performance to the next level. Here’s what you need to know:
- Easy to use – no matter your current fitness level it’s a great tool that can be implemented immediately. Load the sled with heavy weight for more strength work and use a lighter weight for work geared more to conditioning. To get started, don’t over think it, just push it for a distance that challenges you, rest, repeat.
- Single-leg training – first step acceleration. Load should be heavy and the distance short. It teaches how to apply force into the ground so that you can generate power in order to push the sled forward.
- Versatility – push it, pull it, or drag it. Stand behind it and push it, attach a rope to it and pull it, or link up a vest or belt to it drag it behind you. Whether your goal is improved athleticism and more sport specific or you’re trying to shed some unwanted fat this piece of equipment is for you.
- Injury Prevention – Being more stable and stronger will prevent more injury.
- Low impact – Unlike running, there is no plyometric or harsh foot strike into the ground during each stride. The sled, like a bike, is a great tool/option for low impact cardiovascular training.
- Work capacity – more benefits in less time. Take the time that you would run in the mile and bust out some intervals. Start with 30 seconds of work to 30 seconds of rest. If you run an 8 minute mile, hit 8 rounds.
- Active Rest – Rest days aren’t an excuse to do nothing, get out for a walk, a few hill sprints, or some longer duration sled pushes. What I love about the sled is that it’s concentric only stress, which means that you won’t be sore. Therefore, recovery from it is minimal making it a great option for athletes. I personally like a minute of work to a minute of rest for a 7-10 rounds.
*We’ve got 20 yards of turf here at Ambitious Athletics, so in this case I am doing 40yds or one lap at a time with a 1:2 work/rest ratio. So if it takes me 20 seconds to complete then I’ll take 40 seconds rest.
If you currently do any sled training or want to give it a try, stop by Ambitious Athletics sometime or tag me in a video of you getting after it, sans prowler flu 🙂
For more information on how to incorporate this into your routine, we’ll be posting dates for Lift and Learn with Lori Seminar soon – be on the look out!