Push, Pull and Drive: Using a sled to create power and an efficient workout

I’m always in search of the best ways to improve performance while being efficient.  Let’s be real, most of us do not have the time to spend hours in the gym each week and who really wants to do that anyway?  I spend almost 80 hours a week in the gym and even I can’t carve out time to workout for an hour.  Short, sweet and to the point is where it’s at!

That means finding exercises that incorporate the entire body, which is always a huge plus for us as golfers and frankly as humans.  When on earth do we actually do anything that involves isolating out a single muscle group?  The body works like an orchestra made up of muscles.  They all need to do their parts and join together to create something awesome.  The added bonus of full body exercises is that in addition to working the muscles in symphony, it also raises the heart rate so you can sneak in some of that dreaded cardiovascular work.

Today I’m showing you how you can use a sled (in this case my box jump converted into one) to work on push/pull strength, power and sneak in a little metabolic training while you’re at it.

There are so many ways to make one of these at home or use inexpensive items from home depot.  In the video I’m using the Skillz floor sliders, but furniture moving sliders work exactly the same.  And as for the box jump, you could use a large piece of luggage, a chair, really anything that can be mounted onto the sliders.  If you choose luggage, that makes it easy to add weight since you can just fill it up with clothes or books.  A carpeted hallway makes the perfect lane for pushing the sled!

Here are some keys to making sure your form is right on par:

  • Once you position your hands to push, pull your shoulder blades into your back pockets.  Doing this will engage the lats and allow you to drive harder from the legs.
  • I can’t say it enough, neutral spine!!!!
  • As you drive your knee up to push, feel your lower abs doing the pulling.
  • Make sure your head stays in a neutral position as well, remember that it’s an extension of your spine so no need to look way up or down.

The other version I shared in the video is the conversion to a pull exercise.  For this you would need some rope or something that is strong enough to withstand.  Wrap it around your sled and make sure the extra rope is out of the way.  Sit into a squat position with the arms extended and pull the sled towards you squeezing the shoulder blades together to initiate, then step back to position for the next pull.  You can do a continuous pull as well.  Remember, neutral spine and core engagement are key.  If you’re having trouble keeping form, be sure to lighten up the sled.

Now that you have two great ways to use the sled, here are a couple of examples of how you can incorporate them into a workout:

  • Set your timer for a traditional Tabata (20 sec work/10 sec rest/repeat 8 times).  You can do either exercise for this one, they both get the heart rate up.
  • Set a time for 20 minutes with the goal this time being a moderate intensity workout.  Alternate between the sled push, pushups, squats, slow mountain climbers and 10 squat jumps completing 30 seconds to 1 min of each one.
  • Using the traditional Tabata timer again, alternate between doing the sled pull and pushups.

I would love to see your versions of the sled, let me know what tools you have at home to create this awesome workout tool!



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