By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
The resistance sled is an excellent tool for developing several different aspects of athletic performance and overall conditioning.
Below are seven great drills to try, including what you’ll be training with each exercise.
1. Reverse Sled Drag
This is a great exercise for developing strength and stamina (endurance) in the lower body muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves).
Because you are always trying to maintain a lower hip position, there is a heavy emphasis on the quadriceps muscles, which can help with knee joint health. The resistance for the reverse sled drag should be heavy so you can avoid the sled jerking forward as you drag it. The movement should be low, slow and smooth. See this infographic on isometric training for more information on this.
2. Sled March
This exercise can bring many benefits to athletes, including strength development, improved sprinting mechanics, and if done for an extended period of time, a conditioning benefit.
Notice the forward total body lean. This can promote proper acceleration mechanics for sprinting with the foot punching the ground under and behind the body, trying to push the ground backwards.
3. Sled Crossover
The sled crossover is excellent for strengthening the body in the frontal plane of motion, which basically means developing lateral strength – a critical strength for athletes who move in multiple directions, including side to side.
Below we have two different options for performing this exercise.
Single Arm Sled Crossover
Shoulder Supported Sled Crossover
4. Sled Bound
The sled bound is great for developing lower body power and again improving acceleration sprint mechanics.
5. Sled Push/Reverse Sled Drag
This is an exercise that we use as a stamina conditioning exercise, but it also develops muscular endurance.
6. Five or 10 Metre Sled Push
Excellent for acceleration mechanics, this is an all-out effort for a short distance.
We often time these and run them before doing 10, 20 or 30m sprints as a post-activation potentiation (PAP), which basically means to ramp up the nervous system with a load before trying to move explosively with a sprint or jump.
7. Sled Push to Unloaded Sprint
Here, we are working on explosive power and speed by starting with a resisted sprint, to again develop acceleration mechanics followed by a full out sprint in the opposite direction.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using sleds for developing speed, strength and stamina.
If you don’t have access to a sled, there are some less expensive ways to do some similar exercises. For example, a speed sac that comes with a waistband and strap that can be filled with sandbags for added load – a great alternative to purchasing a sled.
Questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.