Functional exercises are an excellent approach to increasing strength for everyday use. A sled pull is one of the most effective workouts that you can undertake in this area. This painful yet basic exercise is doable by virtually anybody. This is only one of the several benefits of a good sled training routine. In this post, we’ll go over the great benefits of this exercise and how to do sled pulls correctly.
What Are the Benefits of Sled Pulling?
The sled pull increases power, strength, and muscle hypertrophy. The reason for this is that the sled pull stimulates your muscles to contract for extended periods of time. This workout also strengthens your back, shoulders, biceps, and grip muscles. This workout will cause your muscles to contract for at least 30 seconds. Depending on how hard you work, longer contraction durations might result in higher hypertrophy or strength gains. As challenging as this workout is, it could be beneficial for recovery. This may seem crazy, but there is a lot of science behind it. Simply explained, unlike exercising with barbells and dumbbells, a sled pull causes the lengthening portion of your muscular contraction to be very short. This means that more oxygen-rich blood will be pushed into your muscles.
If you’re a lifter concerned about being injured, this workout will set your mind at ease. In terms of injuries, sled pulls have a rather minimal risk factor. This is due to the fact that the exercise allows lifters to choose how much stress they apply to their body. Also, the exercise’s simplicity makes it intrinsically safe, especially compared to heavier exercises such as a deadlift or squat.
Those of you who enjoy cardio or running will be pleased to know that this workout can help you increase your acceleration. By decreasing the sled’s weight and using special harnesses, runners will have to apply more power to lift off. The amount of force a runner uses after training will remain, allowing them to accelerate quicker under normal conditions.
How To Do Sled Pulls?
Now that you’ve seen all of the benefits of performing sled work let’s go through the step-by-step process. It is critical to warm up with some modest aerobic exercises before beginning this workout. Stair climbing, running, or even a few rounds of jumping jacks can get your heart rate up and prepare you ready for sled pulls. In addition, if your gym includes a Jacob’s Ladder, this is an excellent way to warm up. Whatever you choose for your warm-up, we recommend performing it for 10 minutes and then stretching. When you’ve completed your warm-up, it’s time to get the weight sled and some weights. Ensure you have adequate space to drag the sled a reasonable distance. Put the weights that work for you on the sled, then position yourself to face the sled’s handles or rope.
- It’s time to take your proper stance. While performing a traditional sled pull while standing, assume a squat stance with your knees bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Straighten your back and tighten your core. This should maintain you parallel to the sled.
- Now, firmly grab the sled’s handles and double-check your posture to ensure it’s perfect.
- Shift your hips back, and don’t be scared to lean back a little.
- It’s time to start pulling the sled in. Pull with one arm at a time to do this. You’ll want to get into the habit of walking hand in hand. Continue doing this until you can pull the sled close to you.
- Just push the sled back to its starting position once you’ve gotten it to you. Or you can just turn it over and begin pulling again for another rep!
How Do You Make the Most of Your Sled Pulls?
Here are some additional techniques to help you improve your sled pulls. Alternatively, you could see some new tips if you’re a more experienced lifter. Before loading a ton of weight on and crushing PRs, it’s essential to thoroughly perfect the form with any exercise. The sled pull is no different; you’ll want to start slowly until you know the proper form. You can then begin adding weight plates. Even though the sled pull is a low-risk workout, certain lifters may wish to take precautions. This is especially true if you have past injuries and are scared of aggravating them. Wrist wraps, or straps, knee sleeves, and a back brace are all great options for injury prevention. Some can wear a weightlifting belt, which is not required for a sled pull.
While practicing how to do sled pulls, one of the most important pieces of advice we can give is to remain moving. You’ll be shocked at how much more difficult this exercise gets when continuously starting and stopping. For some reason, the continual movement makes dragging the weight over the floor simpler. It can be much simpler to use small motions or pulls rather than one large one that requires much effort. Little movements can help maintain momentum and keep your body aligned throughout the activity.
Regarding body alignment, it’s critical to keep your body aligned throughout sled pulls. This is something that comes as standard with any workout. Keeping your body aligned ensures that your core muscles perform properly and that the appropriate muscles are activated.
Sled Pull Variations
If the sled pull isn’t enough for you, here are several variations on the exercise you could incorporate into a sled workout program.
Lateral Sled Push: This sled pull variant will strain your core. Start incorporating this exercise when you train your abs to strengthen them and make them pop. You must keep your shoulders locked to activate your core instead of your shoulders.
Overhead Sled Drags: This sled drag variant resembles conventional sled drag. The difference here is that you’ll be holding the sled’s handles or rope far above your head, hence the name. If you’re searching for a great tricep exercise, this version is for you. Most of the stress will be felt in your triceps and shoulders as you draw the sled with your arms fully extended above your head.
Sled Walking Lunge: If you want to truly make your legs burn, this is the variant to try. It’s similar to a sled drag; instead of walking with the sled, you’ll make lunges. It’s wonderful for shifting focus to your legs.
At the end of the day, if you have access to one, the sled pull is one of the greatest conditioning workouts you can do. It will not only get your heart rate up, but it will also help you build functional strength and muscle throughout your entire body. Sled pulls are a great way to help your muscles recover if they are sore! This exercise also has several variations that can target various portions of your body.