Sled Dragging for Strength, Conditioning and Recovery and all-around Awesomeness
Pull forward, backward, sideways, high or low.
Before you can pursue weak points and an increase in volume of weight training you need to raise your ability to do more work. Sled dragging is a perfect way to accomplish this goal. This is referred to as general physical preparedness (GPP). If your goal is to lift more weight for a longer period of time, increase your muscle mass and/or strength, you would benefit greatly from sled work.
The benefits of dragging a sled are many:
Strengthening common weak areas like the hamstrings, upper back, hips, glutes. Increased work capacity
Flexibility and mobility.
Restorative work for shoulder, knee, back, hip pain.
Reduce risk of injury.
Add variety to training.
Get outdoors and use your body in a different way.
· Easy to use and doesn't require a special trip to the gym.
A Variety of Pulls
There are many different ways to pull the sled. Here are some variations
Pull sled with straps attached to the harness from behind. Take long powerful strides with upright body. This pull works the hips, glutes, hamstrings.
With straps behind the back and below knees and torso bent over, take long strides forward. This pull is great for the hamstrings and posterior chain.
Walk backward with strap attached around the front of your belt. This is great for quads and the front of hips.
Press- Walk forward with strap behind you, pressing like you would on a bench.
Rows- Walk backward with strap in your hands in front of you. As you step back row the sled towards you, pulling your shoulders back and squeezing your lats.
Rear raises, front raises. Use the strap as if it was a pulley and perform rear and front raises for shoulder health, strength, and recovery.
How many? How long? How often? How much weight?
Beginners use six trips of 200 feet each pull. Don't over think this or get out the measuring tape. It's just a loose recommendation.
Add weight, start light. Have 1-3 sessions a week, each session a different weight, and use the taper method, heavier than lower.
Use the rule of 60%: Start heavy on day 1 and reduce the weight each day for 3 consecutive days. Then go back to a heavy weight the fourth day. Example- 90 lbs., 70 lbs., 50 lbs., 90 lbs. each weight representing one day.
You could also do light weight and sprints to work on speed and explosive power. There are endless ways to use the sled, get creative.
Summary/What to expect
Sled dragging can improve overall physical fitness level. Squats and deadlift will benefitted from the lower body work and recovery time to improve when you use the sled one to three times a week. The sessions don’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes to a half hour and it’s definitely worth it.
If you are a beginner I would advise to take it easy with conditioning on top of your strength training program. That’s not to say you can’t try it out and still make good progress with your program, but it may slow things down if you do too much.
Choose one of our three weight sled packages for conditioning and fitness here: