Article Submitted By: Ralph Hicks-owner RH Sport Fit LLC
Everyone knows the sled is brutal, everyone knows it is fun and everyone knows its got to work, but is the sled a piece of equipment that offers so much more? Do you only run your sled, is it always the same distance, basically the same weight, always the same strap? It is time for you to get your money’s worth and your players to get every ounce of strength, speed, power and athleticism out of their bodies. It is time you use your ralpher, mini ralpher and or sled to its fullest.
Indoor, outdoor, downhill or uphill really doesn’t matter. We all have our place so work with what you have, but always be different with your sleds. Distance needs to always be changing. It can be real short (20 yards), real long (100+ yards) or somewhere between. The strap needs to change between waist, upper torso and hand attachments (Y, handle grips and or ankle connectors). Some days you need to face forward while others you face backward or also face sideways. One day you might go fast where as another it is a walk, but remember don’t over kill the running portion of the sled.
You need to vary your weights, using less than 20% of bodyweight all the time is not sufficient, you need heavy days as well (walking only). Pulling isn’t the only way, pushing is wonderful as well and especially with two different heights of push bars on the ralpher. Turn the sled into an upper body and core day by using the arms with a Y strap (pectoral day-forward or lat day-backward). Use a handle and hold behind your back to crush the core the entire pull (walking). Do lunges, do bear crawls, and do crab walks. There are no set boundaries on what can be done, you can even use them in the gym with soft feet because we can’t all be outside the entire year.
My point is that the sled is a wonderful tool that can work absolutely everything on the human body. It can work every aspect of a player from power to speed to endurance. You cannot have four people sitting around a squat rack on a daily basis and expect your team to get any better on the field. Take two of those guys and put them on a sled and by stations end see who has done more work.