When the weather is reasonable and the neighbors aren’t asleep I like to drag my sled for general warm up as well as other applications. Here are ten reasons I love a dragging sled.
Great for knee strength and rehabilitation. Instead of isolation movements sled dragging allows you to perform highly function (overloaded) gait patterns.
A sub for running. Everyone should be able to run but the upper limit is probably 10 miles per week. When $hit hits the fan, being able to sprint is where it is at. Sleds allow intensity at lower impact levels.
Can be a substitute for training on inclines. I’ve used mine for intervals while preparing for climbing fourteeners in Colorado. (Five minutes on at threshold one minute rest)
Allows novices athletes to feel how the glutes (hip extension) should feel.
No eccentric loading. Muscle soreness is largely related to the eccentric phase of training.
Deloads the spine and any potential negative impact associated with running.
Can be used moving forward, backward and to the side working multiple muscle groups in one session. (Lunges variants are a favorite of mine)
Significant midline stabilization. I’ve actually made my abs sore from dragging the sled!
You can work upper body movements into sled dragging. Advanced trainees only.
Tactical athletes and Firefighters use them to simulate dragging people from harm's way. You won’t likely need this quality but you never know.
From a programming perspective, I start newbies off with 20% of their body weight on the sled. Teach them a bit of lean and to drive out of the heals. Depending on the objective for the day and the size of the athlete, the loading can eventually reach 300 pounds.
As a 200 pound master's male, I rarely reach beyond 200 additional pounds and focus on on normalizing stride with big emphasis on hip extension and as mentioned previously intervals to simulate the plodding experienced on fourteener events.
My dream sled allows dragging and pushing and is neighbor friendly. (Look for a follow up this Spring)
If you have plates all you need is a sled with straps and they are sold everywhere on the internet and will not break the bank. Now let’s get to dragging.