#1: Prowlers and sleds can massively increase work capacity and increase muscle endurance, while at the same time building more muscle and preserving muscle, unlike other forms of traditional (and often excessive) cardio. I LOVE this about the prowler, as I want to be very athletic and conditioned as f*%k but at the same time I don ‘t want to sacrifice any strength or muscle in the process. For more on this topic, have a read of this article: Can certain types of cardio actually build muscle?
#2: Prowlers and sleds are very versatile. In general, you can use the sled for multiple goals: fat loss, conditioning, strength, power and explosiveness etc. How you use the sled for any of these goals, will depend on how much weight you choose and the distance (or time) you move the sled. Prowlers and sleds also target different muscle groups. Forward prowler sprints give you a SERIOUS glutes and hamstrings workout (Glutes on fire anyone?). Most prowlers also usually have two different handle positions that enable you to push either from a low position (more parallel to the ground) or from a high position. The lower position focuses more on the quads and is generally more difficult. The reverse sled pull (another favourite of mine!!) targets the quads and calves a lot more as well. I also find it’s an excellent addition to one’s training movement-wise, as running or shuffling backwards strengthens the opposite muscle groups of the ones that you normally work when running forward. This is GREAT for building better muscular balance and it will strengthen your calves, quads and shins to balance your legs’ muscles and strength.
#3: Heavy prowlers and sled pulls are amazing tools for building power and explosiveness. Studies show that (especially heavy prowlers) increase sprinting speed as well as dramatically improves acceleration technique…that first dash in a race, or that first bit of power output during a competition. Read more here: Heavy sled towing trumps light sled towing for acceleration
#4: You can add in more volume at lower intensity—without it becoming crushing, eccentric training that leaves you sore for days. Even on active recovery days you can stay out of that lactic environment but still get your blood pumping and your heart-rate up. This will enable you to be fresh the next day. I find that using prowlers and sleds as a lower-intensity form of cardio really enhances my recovery. And it is more joint-friendly and certainly more fun than other forms of traditional cardio.
#5: Speaking of joint friendly, because so many muscles are used in the movement and your joints go through a normal range of motion, sled training is very joint friendly. You can put in maximal effort with minimal stress on your joints. The sled is a fantastic alternative for those looking to challenge their leg muscles but aren’t necessarily able to squat or lunge for whatever reasons. It’s also an awesome strength and conditioning tool for those who don’t want to directly load the spine or perform any other potentially aggravating movements.
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