Sled – an essential piece of equipment for your gym

Have you seen any of the CF Games competitions? If you have then you must have noticed that ever since 2011 they use the Sled in at least one Games event. Sled exercises are a good test of fitness.

The Sleds come in different shapes and sizes and there are many different exercises that you can do with them. You can pull or push them and combine your strength, cardio, and endurance training in one exercise. You can usually add weight to them, by stacking bumpers or something similar, and make training even harder. Training with a sled will reveal your weaknesses and at the same time help your physical fitness.

How did sled go from transport to a piece of equipment?

Let us break down some history facts for you.

It all started with the lumberjacks in Scandinavia. All those trees they cut down had to be transferred from the forest. Since they hadn’t had many options they dragged the logs by themselves. They used a form of sleds for that. Their leg an lower back strength was tremendous. Maybe it is not just a coincidence that the Finnish Weightlifters are still one of the top athletes in their discipline.

Gradually pulling (sled) started appearing in training sports – it is common for Rugby and American Football players, sprinters and of course CF Athletes to train their explosiveness and endurance this way. A lot has changed in the design of the sled equipment. Most common is the prowler sled that can be pushed or pulled.

 

What are the benefits? There are many:

Explosiveness/better acceleration

If the athlete is forced to push against a heavy sled, every step is harder, he has to activate the muscles and try harder to keep his speed. Research has shown that our nervous system that controls our muscles remembers and adapts and uses the same force of acceleration even if the athlete does the same exercise without the sled.

More strength

Doing sled exercises is a great way to work on your coordination and stabilizing your core.

Diversity

Even though crosstraining by its nature uses a great variety of exercises, it can still happen that working with weights and a pull-up bar every day can become a little boring. Using a different piece of equipment like a sled can break the pattern and bring some diversity to your WODs.

A great piece of equipment to use in your rehabilitation training

What is the difference between a back squat and a sled pull? We can divide the squat into two parts. First part is when we squat down, weights on our back, that is the easy part. The second part is standing back up. The second part is when we use most of our muscle strength and it is also the most dangerous part of the exercise if you are recovering from an injury. There is less chance of injury or straining when doing sled push. But that doesn’t mean that the exercise is easier, rather the opposite. 

improving your physical fitness

Have you tried running a few sprints with a pull sled strapped around your waist? A great way to work on your endurance, but we wish you luck, walking the next day.

 

A few useful sled exercises:

Sled Rows

Pull- Throughs

Bear Crawls

Sled sprint

Prowler squat to row

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