Push and Pull Your Way To Fitness with Sled Training!
By Albert Abrego
From the football gridiron to strongman competitions, sled training has long been engrained in the athletic sports conditioning arena for years. Today, sled training is a favorite exercise activity enjoyed by the general fitness population in gyms and training centers across the World. As fitness enthusiasts look to incorporate variety into their fitness routines, sled training offers a unique element of push and pull activities that can help anyone reach their fitness goals!
Sled training is simple, very effective, easy to learn, safe for people of all conditioning and strength levels, can be done indoors or outdoors and offers a total body workout experience! It can be done as part of specific workout routine, a starter or finisher activity or it can become the entire workout for the day.
This quick and informative article will highlight what sled training is, types of push/pull sled trainers on the market and some benefits of sled training!
What is sled training and what types of push/pull sleds are available?
Sled training has been a strength, explosive speed and sports specific conditioning component amongst football programs for decades. This very basic piece of equipment, weighed down and designed to glide across a surface, when pushed or pulled by a user can offer many training benefits. Over the years, popularity of sled training has migrated from the gridiron to the commercial and residential fitness arena where users now understand that this basic fitness tool brings mounds of fitness variety to willing push and pull participants!
Push Pull sleds can come in many designs with the most common being Modular, Triangular or Four Post sleds. They each offer similar training opportunities and differ in shape, design and size, however, when used as part of a fitness training program for athletics or for general fitness conditioning, they all offer similar benefits!
The Modular Push/Pull Sled is a favorite of football programs because it allows players to mimic basic push and pull movements found on the field. A great example of a modular sled is the Legend Fitness 3400 model that is purposely designed with three horizontal tiers of pushing handles that allow the user to work on pushing movements in a high, medium or low pushing position. These horizontal push handles place the user into pushing positions that resemble common pushing angles in the field of play. The great thing about the Legend 3400 modular push/pull sled is that it can be lined with up to 6 other sleds for group training and it can also be used with a pulling harness for pulling drills!
Triangular and Three Post Sleds are very versatile units that also offer solutions for total body training. These smaller versions, such as the Legend Fitness 3262 Pro Series Push/Pull Power Sled or the Ironcompany® Three Post Sled can be used on the field or in a parking lot for heart and leg pounding training drills! By offering vertical upright hand post positions (which are also removable and act as loading points on the 3262) and lower horizontal hand grip positions, this type of triangular push/pull sled offers multi push angle positions. Add in multiple attachment points around the frame and users can snap link connect hand straps, waist belts or a shoulder harness to turn this compact pushing tool into a pulling machine for terrific exercise variety!
Four Post Push Pull Sleds are the most common type of sled on the market. As the name says, a four post sled will have two vertical posts on opposite ends. A sled like the Ironcompany® Man-Of-War Push/Pull Sled that offers mirrored ends will allow the user to push or pull the sled from either end for quick directional activity and for quick workouts with ease of use. A center weight horn can be loaded up with Olympic weight to increase the activity challenge. Four post sleds are great for single user, group settings or competitions since the sled can be accessed from any direction for quick and efficient use of everyone's time! Adorned with eyelets on each side of the frame, a four post sled can be used with ropes or a pulling harness for added exercise options.
Each of these sled versions makes a terrific addition to any fitness program and their popularity has skyrocketed! It is very common to see push/pull sled training being done at personal training studios, within athletic team training (high school, college and professional team training), in commercial fitness facilities that offer sports specific training options on artificial turf, at Crossfit box locations, in military fitness training centers and around residential garage gyms!
Benefits of Pushing and Pulling a Sports Conditioning Sled
Who would have thought that a device that is simply pushed, dragged or pulled across a surface would have health and fitness benefits? Metal frames designed to be loaded, abused and literally, pushed around, can test an athlete like no other. Working upper and lower body has never been so quick and easy to accomplish, but don't take this lighthearted, sled training can really push the physical envelope for anyone!
Simple to Use: The high performing athlete or the person who is just starting their fitness adventure can get moving with a sled! Lace up your sneakers and push or pull in any direction towards the health gains you're after!
Easy On the Joints: Sled training presents a low chance of injury to participants. This is especially good news for fitness enthusiasts who are just starting out with their training regiments. You get to task an abundance of muscle in your upper and lower body. This is especially terrific news for people who need to work the lower body but should stay away from direct spine loading activities, as push or pulling movements using a sled will allow for large muscle group work of the lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes).
Torch Calories and Rev Up Your Metabolism (Burn Fat): Since sled training requires the use of your entire body, there is no way around it, and you will send your metabolism through the roof! As you perform pushing and pulling movements with a sled you are getting the best of two worlds, caloric expenditure and fat burning! Whether you start off on a sled for your training day or if you save it for a routine finisher, you will benefit from an increase in metabolism that can last for hours long after your training event!
Build Strength and Endurance: Pull a fitness training sled forward, backward or sideways, or load up with low, medium or heavy weight and you have a recipe for strength and endurance. Period! Sled training targets your entire body. The beauty here is that you work large and small muscles along with stabilizer tendons and ligaments all while increasing your physical output and endurance!
You Choose Your Weight, Position and Pace: Sleds can be used by people of all ages and all sizes. Load up a fitness training sled with the weight appropriate for your conditioning level, grab a hold of the sled for your push movement or line up properly for your pulling movement and pick the pace at which you complete your activity. No matter the speed, fast or slow, no matter the direction, push or pull, load a sled down and get moving toward fitness!
Great For Circuit Training: With a push/pull sled and a few training aids you can create a total body circuit for a single user or a group of participants. For instance, with a push/pull sled positioned for use in between, create an "active" Point A and an "active" Point B, which are about 15 yards apart. At these "active" points you can place a slam ball and a weighted curl bar at Point A and a pair of dumbbells and an exercise mat at Point B. In this simple circuit a participant can start at "active" Point A doing slam ball strikes towards the ground for time or repetitions, followed by a sled push toward "active" Point B where they will do Side Lateral Raises with the pair of dumbbells, followed by a sled push back toward Point A where they will do Biceps Curl, followed by a final push back toward Point B where they finish up with Abdominal Crunches. Using a sled as an integral part of any circuit training program can be easy and quick and the results one can obtain can be outstanding and long lasting!
Finding a Push Pull Sled That Is Ideal for Training
Adding a push pull sled to your garage gym or government and commercial fitness training facility is easy. These days all you have to do is spend a little time online educating yourself and your staff about the available options. At Ironcompany.com® there is no shortage of push pull sleds for review and plenty of information to help you make the best informed buying decision. With so many sled options available, you'll certainly find a push pull sled to get you tugging in the right direction here!
Every day we work with residential consumers, military and government entities, schools and universities, as well as training centers of all sizes. Our number one goal is to provide fitness equipment solutions that offer our clients long lasting results! With over 8000 categorized products to explore, you're just a click away from finding your next piece of fitness equipment.
USA-Made Push Pull Sleds can be purchased from Ironcompany on GSA Contract GS-07F-0104M and CMAS Contract 4-12-78-0066A.
Let us help you with your fitness equipment education and your next purchasing decision. Contact an Ironcompany fitness equipment sales specialist by calling 888-758-7527 or email quotes@Ironcompany.com to get more information on a push pull sled that is perfect for you or your facility guests!
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