Tis the season for holiday weight gain, am I right? This may mean that we’re hitting the ground running extra hard this new year and we have some tricks up our sleeve for you! Some are fanatics and some simply despise it: it’s the infamous aerobic exercise that we refer to as running or jogging. Those who love it, keep up the great work! For those who hate running, we have the perfect exercise for you to get started with!
THE Sled. An Aerobic exercise that is becoming increasingly popular in the personal training world. Why? It’s low impact, minimal wear and tear on the joints and a great aerobic conditioning exercise to throw into your workout routine. Not only is this a great exercise for the majority of athletes, it’s especially superior for athletes with any lower body injuries or past injuries. In a recent article on Stack.com, they discuss the benefits of incorporating the sled into your training program to amp up your endurance. “Another big benefit of sled training is that it doesn’t take away from your strength work in the weight room as do some other forms of endurance training. Even at a relatively high training frequency, nervous system and muscle recovery won’t be an issue. If your endurance is holding you back, sled training four or five times per week will bring up your conditioning fast without hampering your strength workouts.”
If you’re like the majority of athletes who train at SportsLab NYC, and have a busy schedule, then you’re also in luck! The sled is something you can do in just 15-20 minutes. Push, pull, crawl – you can do it with the sled! With all of the aforementioned benefits, it’s hard to leave this crucial exercise out of your workouts. Courtesy of Mens Journal, and an article published titled The Weight Sled Workout, we have provided you with a few sled workouts below for quite the challenge. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
Workout 1: Sled sprint pushes
This workout is perfect for your upper body (especially your shoulders), your core, and your legs.
Set up your sled on a flat area where you can move in a straight line for 25 to 50 meters. Grab the top handles, and bend over so your arms are straight in front of you, head slightly down, and spine neutral, Bishop says.
Push the sled for 25 to 50 meters, sprinting the whole time. That’s one rep. Reverse course and do another sprint with the sled. Do 10 reps a set, making sure to take a minute-rest between each set. Do as many sets as is comfortable, within your normal workout threshold.
Workout 2: Weight sled pull circuit
In this workout, you’ll be pulling the sled using a harness. Use a lighter weight than you would with the sled push.
Each circuit has two components:
A) 100-meter bear crawl with sled: Maintain a neutral spine while crawling on your hands and feet. Try to keep your head slightly up, but not too far up so that you’re putting strain on your neck.B) 100-meter sled pull: Stand up, and run with the sled behind you.
Perform four sets of the circuit, resting between circuits as necessary.
Workout 3: Push-pull circuit
Attach a long strap that has two handles. Your harness may work for this—just make sure the strap is long enough so that the sled won’t hit your feet when you’re pushing or pulling with the strap.
Each circuit has two components: A “push” and a “pull”. Perform 10 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next set.
A) Standing sled chest press: Essentially a standing cable press, except with a weight sled instead of a cable machine.
— Stand facing away from the sled, with the sled several feet behind you. Hold a strap in each hand so each strap is taut. Stand in a ready position with your hands at your sides, shoulder-height. Your feet can be in a tandem stance, or side by side—whichever helps you stay balanced.
— Fire your chest, core, and triceps, and push the straps forward explosively, as the sled also moves forward. Keep your feet still (it’s a chest press, not a lunge.)
— Step forward, and put tension on the sled straps to return to your start position. That’s one rep. Perform 10 in a set.
B) Standing sled row: Essentially a standing cable row, except with a sled.
— Stand facing the sled with the straps taught, and arms forward.
— Fire your back and biceps, and pull the sled explosively toward you.
— Step backwards until you restore tension on the sled straps in your start position. That’s one rep. Perform 10 in a set.
Perform six rounds of the circuit, resting between circuits as necessary.