The sled, sometimes referred to as a prowler, is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in any gym. It can be used to push, pull, or run with a load and is a staple in many strength programs. It’s a versatile exercise because it’s both anaerobic and aerobic, and can be performed at or near your max effort for a short duration.
Sled drags and pushes are brute strength-type exercises that are fantastic for improving conditioning, joint-friendly muscle development, and mental toughness. They are also a great way to develop the specific speed and acceleration required for running and sprinting, especially when varying load and distance.
In the case of sled drags, the athlete is facing forward while pulling the sled behind them with a strap, handles, or waist strap. Unlike the pull, which is often a back-dominant movement, the sled drag is a lower-body and core dominant movement with the feet positioned to resemble the foot stance of sprinting.
Pfeiffer recommends clients perform a sled push with their hands in the high position, which helps engage the torso. This makes the movement more dynamic and allows the athletes to utilize their hips and quads to drive the sled forward. She adds that if clients are new to the sled push, they should start with lighter loads and shorter intervals. This will prevent them from getting super sore and limiting their recovery and adaptations to the movement.