What Is A Sled Push Workout?
Maybe it’s been staring at you from the corner of the gym. Maybe you’ve stared at somebody else while they’ve used it. You know what the sled push is, but you still don’t quite understand it…much less how you start using one. Don’t sweat it—we’re here to help.
The weighted sled push is quickly growing in popularity at gyms across America. The multifunctional workout technique is practically unbeatable for a total-body workout. As you push a sled across turf, you work practically every muscle, from upper body to lower body The sled exercise can also help you develop better coordination, speed, and power.
Although pushing something heavy may not sound like the most exhilarating of workouts, you’ll quickly be thrilled by the results. If you want to join the latest fitness trend (or maybe just show off at the gym tomorrow), read on for insider tips on how to master the mighty sled push exercise.
How to Do a Sled Push Exercise
From resistance training to muscle strengthening, the sled push is one of the best turf workouts that can be beneficial for many muscle groups. But although it may seem fairly straightforward, a great sled push involves a tiny bit more than meets the eye. While, yes, basically all you’re doing is getting behind the sled and pushing, proper technique can help you make the most of your time at the gym.
Here’s what you need to know before you push a sled for the first time:
- Maintain a neutral spine – You don’t want your back rounded while pushing. But you don’t want it overextended, either.
- Keep it natural – Run like you would without a heavy sled. Nothing fancy.
- Focus on your core – Your core is what transfers the energy from your feet through your arms to the sled. Your push will only be as good as your core strength. If you’re just getting started, do a few pushes without any weights on the sled can help you focus on engaging your core while running.
- Angle your body – Position your body at an angle toward the ground for the best results. Beginners should start with their body angled about 45 degrees forward. If you’re more advanced, you can angle your body forward at 90 degrees (almost parallel to the floor).
- Think about your arms – Your arm position is important in this sled workout since you’ll be using your arms and upper body to push. A general rule of thumb is to keep your arms straight when you want to go fast. Bend your arms when you’re pushing a ton of weight.
- Warm up – Before jumping into an intense sled push workout, spend about 15 minutes making sure that your muscles are ready to go.
- Rest – Take a break between each of your pushes. And remember to cool down with light dynamic stretching at the end of your workout.
- Take it easy – If you’re just getting behind a sled for the first time, begin by pushing the sled without any added weight. You’ll get a feel for how the sled moves so you can nail down perfect form before you set bigger goals.
Depending on your fitness goals, you can change your sled workout format for different results.
Sled Push For Speed
If you’re pushing the sled to develop strength and build muscle, you’re going to want a heavier weight load. But if you’re working on your speed, aim for a lighter load. Here’s how to perform a sled push for speed:
- Load the sled with 25% of your maximum load.
- Push 10 to 20 yards.
- Rest for one minute.
- Repeat six times.
If you don’t know your maximum load, start at about 70% of your body weight. You can adjust from there.
Sled Push For Power
When you’re training for power, you’ll want to load up your sled with a heavier weight. Follow these steps to perform a sled push for power:
- Load the sled with a heavy weight (about 70% of your maximum load).
- Push for 25 yards.
- Rest for one minute.
- Repeat six times.
What Are the Benefits of a Sled Push Workout?
Incorporating a new piece of equipment into your routine can be intimidating, but there’s good reason to give a sled push workout a try. Working with the sled push (or “prowler sled”) at your local gym can help you meet your loftiest fitness goals, including:1
- Hypertrophy (muscle development)
- Fat loss
- Whole-body conditioning
- Functional training
- Calorie burning
- Speed training
Plus, pushing a heavy load sled may be easier on your body than picking up that super-heavy dumbbell. When you’re pushing the prowler sled, you don’t have to worry about gravity ripping a too-heavy weight from your hands.
Do Sled Pushes Build Muscle?
The sled push is a workout that has the unique distinction of helping practically every muscle from head to toe. Once you start regularly strength training with the sled push, you can expect to see developments in these muscle groups:2
- Hip flexors
Learn Proper Sled Push Technique With Chuze Fitness
As you begin adding the sled push to your training regimen, remember to take it slow. Beginners should start with a sled push workout only two or three times per week. As you learn your way around the sled, you can increase that to four times per week, adding weights as you adjust the sled training to your body’s limits and abilities.
If you’re looking for professional guidance to get you to the next level, head to your nearest Chuze Fitness. Our supportive and knowledgeable fitness experts will make sure that you’re executing the perfect sled push technique, and even help you tailor your workout to your goals.
You can also join us for in-person fitness classes or work out with Chuze in your living room with our streaming iChuze classes. We’ll give you the push you need to handle the sled like a pro.
Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- Runner’s World. Prowler Sled Workouts Can Boost Your Speed, Power, and Strength. https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a36422108/prowler-sled-push-workouts/
- Healthline. How to Use a Sled Push to Build Power, Speed, and Endurance. https://www.healthline.com/health/sled-push