Sled training is not only very simple, it is also very effective and almost anyone can do it. Sled training does not require complex movement patterns. As a result, the risk of injury is relatively low. But this training tool offers many more advantages. You can read them all in this blog.
When thinking of strengthening the lower body, people often think of the (back) squat. This exercise has been considered the best exercise for training the legs for years. However, due to back problems, many people are unable to perform this exercise (properly), because the strain exacerbates the symptoms. That's why they choose machines like leg press, leg extension, and leg curl in an effort to build leg strength. However, these exercises are rarely as effective as they do not require stabilization. The stabilizing muscles are the muscles that literally keep your body upright. Strong stabilizing muscles mean correct posture and alignment, which means less pain and risk of injury.
So what is a good alternative? A study by Athletics Performance Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, has shown that training with a sled significantly increases lower body strength without causing back pain. But that's not the only advantage. Training with a sled has many more advantages.
Sled training: the benefits
1. You can burn fat fast
Sled training is ideal for performing anaerobic (interval) training. That's good news if fat loss is your primary goal. Compared to aerobic training, anaerobic training protocols are significantly more effective for reducing body fat. Anaerobic training is particularly effective for reducing subcutaneous fat, the fat layer just under the skin.
2. The chance of muscle pain is small
Sled training is mainly concentric. That means very little eccentric stress, which in turn results in less muscle soreness and fatigue.
3. You can train both indoors and outdoors
The increasing popularity of sled training has led to the introduction of many types of sleds. Think of the sleds that can be pushed and pulled on so-called sprint tracks and sleds with wheels that can be used both indoors and outdoors on hard surfaces.
4. Improves Upper Body Strength
The sled is also a fantastic tool for building upper body strength. Attaching ropes to the sled allows one to perform exercises such as face pulls and horizontal presses to increase the pulling and pushing power of the upper body. For face pulls, a typical session might look like this: 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps (or meters), rest 90 seconds.
5. Improves core strength
Another benefit of sled sprints is the challenge it offers to the core. To keep the sled in a straight line, a constant tension must be kept on the abdomen and back muscles.
6. Improves Hip and Ankle Mobility
When performing sled exercises, you should aim for full hip extension with every step. By doing this, you are able to dynamically stretch the hip flexors as well as the calves and Achilles tendon.
7. Improves Lateral Speed
Pulling the sled sideways is an effective way to dynamically train muscles, such as the adductors of the legs. The adductor muscles produce rapid lateral movements. Because this exercise is performed in a standing position, side sled drags are considered a more "functional" way to train the adductors than the seated adductor machines you see in many gyms. If you want to superset an upper body exercise with a side sled pull, you can do the following series:
Pull sideways on the sled, 3 x 15 reps (or meters) rest 30 seconds
Sled Face Pull, 3 x 15 reps, rest 30 seconds
8. Suitable for all levels
Pushing and pulling the sled develops a lot of strength in the glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads and core. This ensures that you become stronger, but also that your condition improves. When the exercise is done properly, it is quite intense! The sled is suitable for all levels, because the difficulty is easy to adjust. For example, if you push it over a Sprinttrack, it slides much easier than on a surface like concrete.
The second way to modify the workout is by adding weights to the sled. Start with a light sled and gradually build up when the body is used to the movement.
With such versatility, sled training offers great value for money as a training tool. This tool fits into any workout designed to improve physical fitness, athletic performance and overall quality of life. Would you like to try one of our sleds? Then make an appointment to visit our showroom in Rotterdam.