December 12, 2021 8 min read
Functional exercises are a great way to build strength that you can use practically. One of the most effective workouts that you can do in that regard is something known as a sled pull.
This brutal yet simple exercise is something that almost anyone can do. This is only one of the many benefits that are part of an effective sled training workout. In this article, we’ll show you more all of the excellent benefits of this exercise, as well as the proper form for it.
The sled pull is perfect for building power, strength, and overall muscle mass. The reason behind this is that the sled pull causes your muscles to contract over long durations.
This workout also works your back, shoulders, biceps, and grip muscles.
Specifically, this exercise will make your muscles contract for at least 30 seconds. Longer durations of contraction, depending on how hard you’re working, can lead to increased hypertrophy or strength gains. You can maximize your gains by using WHEY- ISO Protein.
As intense as this workout is, it can actually be great for recovery. This might sound crazy, but that’s because there’s quite a bit of science behind it. To put it simply, a sled pull causes the lengthening portion of your muscle contraction to be very short, unlike working with barbells and dumbbells.
This means more oxygen-filled blood is going to get pumped into your muscles.
If you’re a lifter who worries about getting injured, then this exercise will put you at ease. Sled pulls actually have a pretty low risk factor when it comes to injury. This is because the exercise allows lifters to more or less set how much stress they put on their bodies. Additionally, the simplistic nature of this exercise makes it intrinsically safe, especially compared to other heavy lifts like a deadlift or squat.
For our cardiovascular or running enthusiasts out there, you’ll be happy to find out that this exercise can actually help to improve your acceleration. By reducing the load of the sled and using special harnesses, runners will have to increase the amount of force they use to take off. The amount of force a runner uses will remain after training, allowing them to accelerate faster under normal conditions.
Now that you’ve seen all of the benefits that you can experience by doing sled work, let’s go over the step-by-step process of how to perform them.
Here are some extra tips to help you make your sled pulls the best they can be. Or, if you’re a more experienced lifter, maybe you’ll see some tips you’ve never seen before.
If the sled pull by itself isn’t enough for you, here are some different adaptations of the exercise that you can build a sled workout program with if you’d like to.
Sled Walking Lunge: If you're looking to really make your legs burn, then you should definitely be doing this variation. It's similar to a sled drag, but instead of just walking with the sled, you'll be doing lunges. It's great for putting the focus on your legs.
1. Is pushing the sled an effective workout as well?
Pushing a weight sled can be an effective workout, however, you can run into the problem of hyperextending your back. Younger athletes tend to be seen doing sled pushes to build overall strength, but a sled pull is usually seen as the better option
2. How much weight should I be pulling?
The amount of weight that you put on your sled all depends on your goals. For instance, if you’re planning on trying to increase your acceleration speed, you should try to pull 75 percent of your body weight. However, you might find that you can’t do that yet and you’ll have to build up to it. Also, if you’re training for strength, you’ll likely get the weight on the sled much higher than 75 percent of your body weight.
3. Do sled pulls burn fat?
Because sled pulls are full-body conditioning exercises, they are great for cardio, fat-burning, and building functional muscle. This is an excellent exercise if you’re looking to lose some weight and get lean.
4. Can I replace squats with sled pulls?
Even though the sled pull does work your lower body and keeps it under tension for a while, it’s not as efficient at muscle building as the classic squat. Additionally, you won’t be able to recover as fast from a squat as you would from a sled pull, so it’s not an efficient exercise for certain athletes.
5. What distance should I pull a sled over?
Distance isn’t what you should be focusing on when it comes to this exercise. Instead, you should worry about how long it takes you to pull the sled right to you. Ideally, you want between 30-60 seconds of pulling. This amount is perfect for hypertrophy. This is ultimately where you’ll have to play around with how much weight is on the sled to find out the perfect wait for a 30-60 second sled pull.
At the end of the day, the sled pull is one of the best conditioning exercises you can do if it’s available to you. Not only will it get your heart pounding, but you’ll be building a lot of functional strength and muscle throughout your entire body.
You can even use sled pulls as a way to help your muscles recover if they’re sore! This exercise also has a lot of different variations that you can try out that will target specific parts of your body.