Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness–Part 8
Hand Over Hand Sled Pull
Sleds have become an increasingly popular tool in the fitness world over the last decade. No longer reserved for the football team, more and more individuals are finding the value of weighted sleds for a variety of fitness goals. Louis Simmons started using them at his powerlifting gym Westside Barbell in Ohio as a means of active recovery and to build overall work capacity in the 90’s. Since that time, you’d be hard pressed to find a decent gym that doesn’t have a space where you can work with a sled. At Fenton Fitness, we’ve been using them with our athletes, general fitness population, and geriatric population for the last eight years. Sleds are great for a variety of reasons. While they can be one of the most challenging activities you do, there is less technique involved than most other free weight resistance training activities. The range of motion is not very extreme, and there is little eccentric loading which greatly reduces the amount of muscle soreness the day(s) after using this implement. Because of the friction while using the sled, the jarring impact on your body is greatly reduced as well. You can use a sled to train virtually every part of your body. You can use the sled as a power developer, strength developer, conditioning tool, or recovery tool depending on how your program it or load it. The only thing the sled probably falls short on is hypertrophy since it lacks any significant eccentric loading and typically doesn’t have a huge range of motion. This series will cover some of our favorite sled exercises.
Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, CSFC, Pn1
Hand Over Hand Sled Pull (Standing, Seated, or Supine)
This is another great upper body pull variation and works your grip strength a considerable amount as well. Attach a rope that’s at least 15 yards in length to the sled (don’t attach to poles as this will potentially bend or damage them). Stand or sit and pull the sled toward you placing one hand in front of the other until the sled is sitting in front of you. You can do the same thing lying on your back, reaching up overhead to pull the sled toward you. This latter version will work your lats a bit more and be comparable to climbing a rope without your legs.
View video of these variations here