The Best Prowler Workouts
The Best Prowler Workouts
A quick tutorial on how prowler workouts can help you burn fat, recover faster, and improve your athletic performance.
Sled and Prowler workouts over the past few years, within the strength and conditioning community, have become quite popular because of its versatility and effectiveness. Not only can sled training can be used for rehab, recovery, conditioning, speed development and strength training, but to burn fat as well.
The catch is, most people have no idea of how to fit sled and prowler work into their current training programs. But don’t worry, for we’ll break down some of the best ways to use the sled below, allowing you to add another great tool to your training arsenal.
Rehab and Recovery
Since the sled has no eccentric (lowering) phase, it’s a great tool to use for recovery and rehab. No eccentric phase means no muscle soreness. That’s why it’s one of the first exercises I use for all athletes who come to me with a pre-existing lower body injury. Another added benefit is it’s extremely easy to learn, and is virtually impossible to mess up. Just throw some weight on and start pushing!
When recovery is the goal, walk with a lightly loaded sled for 15-20 minutes. It’s a great way to improve blood flow to the lower body, helping to reduce soreness and promote recovery. It’s a excellent option for both your off days during the offseason, and for in-season athletes who can’t afford to be sore before games and practices.
Regardless of sport or skill, having a high level of general physical preparedness is a must for any athlete looking to excel. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so if your conditioning is subpar, don’t be surprised if you gas out before the end of the game.
While conditioning is very specific to your sport, performing 5-10 minutes of explosive sled drags with moderate weight after your training session is a great way to improve conditioning. When cardiovascular conditioning is the goal, perform sled drags two times per week; one long day and one short day.
The long day should consist of dragging the sled for 4-6 sets or 150-200 feet with a light to moderate amount of weight, and 1 minute of rest between sets. The short day should consist of dragging the sled for 6 or more sets of 100 feet with a moderate to heavy amount of weight, and 30 to 45 seconds of rest between sets.
Remember that the idea with any conditioning plan is to progress each week by shortening the rest periods, or increasing the number of sets you do. This metabolic conditioning is a great way to build muscle and burn fat regarless of what sport you play.
In addition to conditioning, through heavy drags and resisted sprints, the sled is a great way to improve acceleration. I first learned about very heavy sled drags from Joe DeFranco, and have since used them with my athletes. Very heavy sled drags should be performed directly after the warm up, and right before strength training. The key to very heavy sled drags is loading the sled with as much weight as you can and leaning forward. In doing this, you reinforce proper acceleration mechanics and strengthen the muscles used when running. Perform 6 sets of 10-15 yards with full recovery between sets.
Resisted sled sprints are, as mentioned above, another great way to improve acceleration, as they offer similar benefits to very heavy sled drags. Perform 6-8 sets of 15-20 yards with full recovery between sets. Experiment with both variations and see what works for you. I recommend sticking with one variation for 8 weeks to testing its effects, but check out the video below and you’ll get it immediately.
Strength and Hypertrophy Training
Lastly, the sled is a very effective in aiding strength gains and packing on muscle mass. For strength, perform heavy sled drags, either forward or backward, at the end of your workout over 10-30 yard intervals. To increase muscle mass, add in extra volume with the sled.
While the sled is great for dragging forwards and backwards, it does not need to be limited to lower body work, as it can also aid upper body training too. Perform 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps of curls, rows, presses, or hand over hand sled pulls during your workout or shortly thereafter. These will help you get the volume needed to increase muscle mass. You can also do scarecrows, face pulls, one arm rows, flys, front raises and many more exercises using ropes or TRX bands hooked up to the front of the sled. Needless to say, the options are limitless.
Yeah, I just threw a bunch of information at you, but sled training honestly is as simple or complex as you want it to be. You, a sled, and a winning attitude is all it takes to take your body, and game, to the next level. Oh, and so you don’t have a sled? Grab a spare tire from a tire yard, wrap some rope around it and start dragging! No excuses and step up to the plate if you’re serious about getting better.
To maximize your muscle and strength gains when using these Prowler workouts 1R would recommend the following supplements:
- Optimum Nutrition AmiNO Energy - This preworkout supplement contains vital amino acids and beta alanine to get you ready for any workout that may come your way
- Cytosport Creatine - By increasing your body's ATP production creatine will help you become more explosive, more powerful, and more athletic when taken before or after workouts
- Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery - The carbs and protein will help you recover and build lean muscle faster after tough workouts
About the Author
Joe Meglio is a strength & conditioning coach at the Underground Strength Gym in Edison, New Jersey. While Joe has worked with various athletes at the high school, college, and professional level, Joe specializes in the training of baseball players. Joe has played four years of college baseball and was the captain of the FDU Baseball team his senior year. In addition to training athletes, Joe has written articles for EliteFTS.com, STACK.com, DieselCrew.com and Synergy-Athletics.com. Aside from being a strength coach, Joe competed in his first powerlifting meet on December 11, 2010 and set the NJ State squat, deadlift and Total records in his weight class and division. For more information on Joe Meglio and his unique training methods please check out www.megliofitness.com
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