The prowler, sled, sledge or whatever you’d like to call is the piece of kit in the gym that you’ll see parading itself up and down the turf lane in the gym with someone either hanging on to a piece of rope and pulling it towards them, or conversly taking up the rear and pushing it away from them. Either way, using the prowler pull (or push) is quite straight forward to do, but depending on the load it’s not as easy as it looks. Suffice to say the effort does pay off though, for your conditioning and strength in a joint friendly kind of way.
Setup & Movement
- Set up the prowler at one end of the gym. You’ll want to load it with a suitably challenging weight (use the olympic plates you’d put on a barbell and place them onto the central upright on the prowler)
- Attach the prowler rope – it simply hooks onto the front of the prowler
- Walk away from the prowler with the rope in hand to your starting position
- You want to be in squat stance. Knees bent, feet wider than hip distance apart. The prowler pull as we’re describing it will use your upper body muscles as the main power house for the movement
- Take hold of the rope
- Get a good grip on it with both hands, with one hand taking the lead further along the rope whilst the other will feed the rope between your legs (out of the way)
- Pull with your leading hand
- Make sure your leading hand is extended fully along the rope (the furthest you can reach along it) and then pull
- As you pull the rope back towards you your other hand should take the lead position on the rope, again reaching as far along the rope as you can and the hand that just pulled should release the rope between your legs and out of your way
- When pulling maintain your squat stance the whole time and try to engage your lower body muscles to help with the pull movement and stability
- Top Tip
- It’s worth noting that footware can have a massive effect on how well you’ll be able to pull the prowler along the turf. You need shoes with decent grip that can “dig in”, especially if you are pulling heavier loads, other wise you will end up pulling yourself towards the prowler, rather than pulling the prowler towards you.
Benefits Of Prowler / Sled Pull
Prowler pulls are a high-intensity, full-body exercise that can significantly elevate your heart rate, making them an effective tool for improving cardiovascular fitness.
Prowler pulls engage various muscle groups, including the legs, glutes, core, and upper body. This can help build overall strength and muscle tone.
Lower Body Strength
Dependign on the variation you do, Prowler pulls are particularly effective for developing lower body strength, including the quads, hamstrings, and calves. This can enhance your athletic performance and functional strength.
Increased Power and Speed
Pushing or pulling a heavy prowler sled can improve your power and speed. It can help athletes who need to generate force quickly, such as sprinters and football players.
Prowler pulls are generally low-impact exercises, making them suitable for people with joint issues or those who want to minimize the risk of injury.
Prowler pulls mimic real-world activities like pushing a heavy object or pulling something heavy toward you, making them great for developing functional strength.
Prowler sleds come with adjustable weights, so you can adjust the resistance to match your fitness level and gradually increase the intensity as you get stronger
- Anterior Core/Erector Spinae
- Shoulder stabilisers
Prowler Sled Pull Variations
Seated Hand-Over-Hand Rope Sled Pull
As we’ve described above for the prowler pull, but this time instead of standing up in a squat stance, sit on the ground with the rope between your legs and pull.
High Plank Rope Sled Pull
Set up the prowler as above for the prowler pull. Get into a plank position facing the prowler and with your lead hand take hold of the rope. Pull the prowler towards you. Once you’ve done a single pull with your hand, swap hands and pull again maintaining the plank position.
Set the prowler up and take hold of the rope. Face away from the prowler and sling the rope over one shoulder and grip with both hands. Walk foward and pull the prowler with you. Probably best not to do this in a strictly upright position, you’ll want to crouch foward to maximise your pulling power.
Lateral Prowler Drag Pull
Load the prowler up and attach the rope, but hold onto the rope relatively close to the prowler. Stand sideways on to it and pull the prowler by crossing your leading leg over the front of the other and taking a step sideways.
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