5 Sled Exercises That Will Make You Faster and Stronger

STACK Expert Ben Budro offers 5 sled exercises that will enhance both your 'show' and your 'go' muscles.

"Show and Go" muscles. That's what we are after with these five sled exercises.

What am I talking about?

Show Muscles are the muscles in the front of your body. They are your beach muscles—your pecs, quads, biceps, shoulders, etc. These are the muscles for showing off and looking jacked.

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Go Muscles are the important ones. They are the muscles on your backside that truly move your body, allowing you to make breaks (stops) and save yourself from injuries. Think of your glutes and back muscles. They are your foundation.

These incredible five sled exercises nail both the show and go muscles. A prime example of a person with show and go muscles is Rob Gronkowski. The guy is shredded. He definitely has the show muscles. Watch him on the field and you will see nothing but explosiveness, quickness and big time go-muscle performance.

1. Sled Push to Plank

Sled Push to Plank

How to:

  • Load a sled up with an adequate amount of weight
  • Staying low and in a good athletic position (chest up, back flat, core engaged), push the sled as fast as you can for 30 seconds
  • Immediately drop down to the ground and hold a Front Plank (never hit your knees) for 45 seconds
  • That's 1 round
  • Repeat that sequence for 5 rounds

What it works:

The Show Muscles

By staying in a low stance and driving your legs, you will seriously develop your quads, core and all the muscles on the front side of your body. Your core will be taxed like never before, and that's what you want! This one takes discipline and heart to complete. Lock in, grind and keep exploding the entire 5 rounds.

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2. Sled Push to Sprint

Sled Push to Sprint

How to:

  • Load a sled up with an adequate amount of weight
  • Staying low and in a good athletic position (chest up, back flat, core engaged), push the sled as fast as you can for 10 yards
  • Immediately slide your body to the right or left and go right into a 20-yard sprint
  • Rest for 1 minute
  • Repeat that sequence for 4 rounds.

What it works:

Show muscles and sprint form

The sled is the ultimate tool for teaching you how to drive your feet straight into the ground with a hard force. By pushing the weighted sled, you are telling your brain and muscles to drive your feet into the ground in a straight and powerful manner. By going right into the sprint, you are tricking your brain and muscles, because they will still be thinking that they are driving the sled. Boom! Your "show" muscles develop and your sprint form improves.

3. Sled Reverse Drag

Sled Reverse Drag

How to:

  • Load a sled up with an adequate amount of weight
  • Staying low, grab the sled and backpedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds
  • Stay low with your back flat the entire time

What it works:

The Go Muscles

This one absolutely crushes your hamstrings and your entire backside. You  will seriously develop your hamstrings, spinal erectors, calves and all the muscles you use when you make your breaks, cuts and of course your backpedal.

4. Battle Rope Slams to Pull

 

Battle Rope Slams to Pull

How to:

  • Load a sled up with an adequate amount of weight
  • Get a battle rope (I use the new 50-foot, 30-pound rope from Gronk Fitness Products) and tie it through the sled.
  • Staying low and in a good athletic stance, go as hard as you can with single arm waves for 20 seconds
  • Immediately go right into pulling the sled toward you using the ropes for 20 seconds
  • Back it up and go back to the rope handles
  • Repeat that sequence 3 more times

What it works:

The Go Muscles and full body conditioning

This one trains your cardio-respiratory system and all of your pulling muscles at the same time. What I love about it is that it forces you to learn how to keep your core stable when you are tired. Every time you pull the sled, you are training your backside go muscles. Doing that is tough by itself, but adding the pre-fatigue of the battle ropes takes it to a whole new level.

5. Lateral Sled Drag

Lateral Sled Drag

How to:

  • Load a sled with an adequate amount of weight
  • Get a battle rope and tie it through the sled.
  • Face the sled perpendicularly and grab the handles to the rope.
  • Lean slightly away from the sled
  • Staying low, drive your feet into the ground keeping them perpendicular for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Flip your body around and face in the other direction
  • Repeat the same process going the other way.
  • Do this for 4-5 rounds

What it works:

The Go Muscles and making your cuts.

This one is a gem. I've had so many athletes increase their ability to drive their feet into the ground at the right angle and come out making mind-blowing cuts that leave their opponents on the ground. When you drag the sled laterally you teach your leg muscles to drive into the ground at the right angle with a good amount of force. When you go onto the field, your body will remember this and allow you to make those Barry Sanders-type cuts.

Give these a shot today and enhance those "show" and "go" muscles.

The sled I use in the video is the new Professional Driving Power Sled Red from Gronk Fitness Products. I particularly like the handles, frame and smoothness of this sled.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock