If you said yes to any of these then you may enjoy doing sled dragging exercises. Sled pulling (sled dragging) is a training technique used by strongmen, powerlifters, football players, and even some bodybuilders to increase their overall conditioning levels. This increased conditioning will improve your capacity for intense work, and it will help you burn fat at the same time assuming you are eating properly. The best part is that is versatile and does not require the same amount of time as a long cardio training session.
A pulling (dragging) sled is typically a metal plate with a “lip” on one side and a pole stick up from the middle of it. This pole allows you to add or remove standard weight plates to vary the resistance. The edge of the plate with the lip is usually attached to a chain or rope. On this chain or rope you can attach your weight lifting belt or other forms of harnesses or handles. The sled will allow you to drag the weight over various distances and in multiple directions.
You can sprint with the sled or you can do backward motion exercises to work your hamstrings and glutes. By adding two ropes (or chains) to certain attachments around your ankles you can even walk with each leg moving the weighted sled. This alone will increase your conditioning in ways not normally found in the gym. Furthermore, you can do a variety of upper body movements and even baseball catchers can work on their footwork for throws to second base by attaching the sled behind them when in the catcher’s stance. Similar sport-specific exercises can be done as well.
The sled also removes the “negative” (or lowering) part of an exercise. If you attach your weight lifting belt to the rope and drag 100 pounds behind you then there is no need to lower the weight. By simply stopping your movement you will remove the need to lower the weight. Sled dragging also helps those who cannot do much cardio training due to impact on your joints such as knees or ankles. By simply walking forward or backward with the weighted sled you can get tremendous benefit without having to hurt your knees or feet with every stride on the treadmill or cardio dance class.
Remember that if you hate doing cardio then consider sled dragging. While it is important for your overall health to do low-impact cardio such as walking or a leisurely bike ride as often as possible, substitute a few of your longer fat-burning cardio sessions with sessions of sled dragging and determine if you notice a difference.
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