“This is my favorite exercise so far,” said Walsh, founder of Rise Nation, which has studios in various states, as well as Asia and Australia. “It’s one of the biggest bang-for-buck exercises [involves] Strength and conditioning are all one! ”
Why he loves pushing sleds
A sled push is a full-body exercise that simultaneously focuses on energy-building, strength and speed, as well as improving your heart rate. “It requires a high level of muscle coordination within each muscle in the body,” Walsh said. “It’s a single leg exercise because each step brings one foot off the ground, allowing you to fasten your core.”
While you may think this is an exercise that only soccer players can do, Walsh says it’s actually great for all fitness levels: if you’re new to the sled, try it without the extra weight and build as you move forward. If you are a strength-conditioning pro, check in with an instructor to see how much weight you need to try.
How do you push a sled?
You have to deal with this power move in a gym where you can find weighted sled equipment. Fortunately, sled workouts are growing in popularity, and more gyms are adding sleds to their regular list.
Place one foot in front of the other in front of the sled and bend your knees slightly. Grab the front and hold the sled bars. Keeping your core engaged, drive with your feet and push the sled forward.
One of the best parts: There is no single “correct” way to push the sled. Which makes it an incredibly versatile exercise
For example, adding another angle between your body and the sled will increase the difficulty. “There’s a lot of variation, but one of my favorites is pushing the sprinter-like arm outward about a 30-degree tilt, out of the block,” says Walsh. Imagine a runner about to take off: lean forward, grab the handles, and push the sled forward.
More weight can be added for extra resistance, although Walsh believes it is best to start with lighting and build up as you become more comfortable with your progress and movement. You can also change your distance: try shorter, faster push or go for longer distances. Walsh recommends speeding to apply a high intensity, or load the sled with extra weight to strengthen.
And if a sled push sounds like a terrible idea to you …
Although Walsh prefers a good all-out sweat session, he emphasizes that general well-being means getting out and doing what you enjoy, whatever. “It doesn’t matter what you do – walking, strength training, yoga – find something you enjoy and stay active,” he said.
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