The sled push is a flexible workout that benefits both beginners and veterans alike. You can control the amount of load and resistance for each session by carefully selecting your weights and workout location. For example, moving the sled over natural vegetation and snow provides a greater amount of resistance than artificial turf and packed dirt. Furthermore, the vertical bars on the sled can hold a large number of circular weight plates for easy progression as your muscle strength develops.
Targeted Muscle Groups
Focusing too much on a particular muscle group could invite serious injuries, as the stronger areas have to compensate for the weaker ones. The push sled sessions take that scenario out of the equation by evenly targeting all of the muscles in your legs, arms, core and back to create balanced strength.
You can either push the sled by the vertical bars or pull it along using a thick strap. Each movement needs to be deliberate and calculated to avoid pulling a muscle. Start each exercise session with your dominate foot in the forward position and alternate every push to maintain balance.
Brief five to ten second pushes provide the best workout since the forward momentum of the sled will naturally reduce the required effort as speed picks up. You can also increase the challenge by slowly adding five to ten pound weights on the vertical bars. Make sure to load up the weight plates evenly to avoid straining muscles on one side of your body. Beginners should start with an empty sled, while advanced users may eventually push 100 pounds or more. If you choose a combination of heavy weights, lots of ground resistance and short pushes, your workout will likely tire you out in 20 minutes or less.
Promoting Good Form
You will receive the greatest benefits of the push sled workout by using good form. At best, bad form will not allow you to meet your workout goals. At worst, it could cause a serious injury.
To maintain good form, practice keeping your back and neck aligned without any rounding or bending. You can keep your neck straight by watching the ground just behind the sled when pushing or directly in front of you while pulling. Also, make sure your arms are stretched out straight in front of you and your feet start out planted on the floor. You should actively avoid pushing with just your toes or you could injure your calf muscle.
Creating A Workout Plan
Since the push sled can tire you out in a mere 20 minutes, it’s quite easy to work exercise sessions into your daily routine. You can perform this workout every other day of the week to give your muscles time to rest in between. Perform frequent checks to make sure your heart rate reaches the target levels for your body composition for adequate blood flow throughout your system. Take some time to warm up and cool down before each session by doing some stretches and body weight exercises.