Whether you’re looking for a quick cardio burn or some extreme strength training, the sled could be your secret weapon. While at first these pieces of equipment may look a little daunting, they can take your fitness game to the next level. So, without further ado, here are five sled push exercises (plus some pulling) and why we love them.
5 Sled Push Exercises for a Full-Body Burn
1. Sled Fighting
How to do it: First of all, you need to make sure you have a decent amount of space for this activity; you need a large square or rectangle in which to do it. Load up your sled with weights of your choice — the heavier, the better for this activity.
Next, use the bars to push the sled forward a few steps, turn it 90 degrees and push it forward again. Repeat this action so you’re pushing the sled in a square shape. The key is ensuring each push is quick and energetic for the maximum effect. Think of it as a sprint.
Why we love it: Rather than merely building your leg muscles, this is a routine that will work your entire physique. The intense nature of the short, sharp bursts of exercise means you will get a serious workout.
2. Bunny Hops
How to do it: Use a medium weight for this exercise and load up the sled. Hold the bars of the sled with your arms stretched out straight. Note: to protect your core and back, you should make sure your back is straight and engaged. Crouch low with your feet hip-width apart and ensure the load of the weight is in your quads.
As the name of the exercise suggests, you need to take short hops or jumps (but not skips) forward while pushing the sled. It’s crucial you maintain a solid frame in your lower body during this exercise, which means precision is everything. As you land each jump, be sure to squat down a little to get that extra burn.
Why we love it: This exercise is intense! Bunny hops with the sled work your glutes and legs at the same time, and even a quick workout has you feeling the burn.
3. Reverse Drag
How to do it: Let’s switch it up and do a little pulling! Load the sled up with medium weight. Squat low, grab the sled bars and drag the sled backward at a quick pace. The lower you are, the greater the impact. The distance you travel will depend on your ability and the space available. Don’t be scared to start with short bursts and work your way up.
Getting this one right means ensuring each burst of exercise takes you no longer than 20 seconds to complete. Rest between these short bursts to ensure you don’t overexert yourself at any point.
Why we love it: This type of exercise crunches your hamstrings and other lower body muscles, which means it’s certain to leave you fatigued and maybe even a little sore. While it’s likely to be immensely difficult to start with, this is a sled staple that will help you tone and build your physique over time.
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4. Bear Crawl
How to do it: Here’s an exercise certain to boost your strength levels, kicking our list of sled push exercises up a notch. Load the sled to something heavy to increase the impact. You should also use a belt or vest to attach the sled to your body before you start.
Once you’re all geared up, get into a bear crawl position and begin traveling forward. Each spurt of activity should last for about 20 seconds at a time. You don’t need to be moving forward fast to ensure this one works. Instead, focus on engaging your core muscles and being exact with your movements.
Why we love it: The bear crawl is an excellent full-body burning activity, which is suitable for any skill level. Adjust the weights according to your own ability. As you progress with this one, you can increase your speed for a more intense exercise.
How to do it: Grab some ropes and tie them to the base of the sled; use the hook to loop them through and ensure they are tight and secure. Add medium weight on the sled. Lean back and hold each of the rope ends while squatting down slightly.
Start with single arm waves for 10 to 15 seconds and then follow that movement with a sharp sled pull for around 50 feet. Take a short break and repeat the action once again.
Why we love it: This is quite a tough activity, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it. When you get it right, your core will be solid during the pulling aspect of the routine, which will help improve your strength. What’s more, the varied activities involved here mean you get an extra boost each time.
Which one of these sled push exercises will you try first? Let us know in the comments section below!