UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock
For an effective lower body workout with a good deal of physical fitness it is hard to beat the classic sled. Unless you have a Prowler in your gym. This particular device resembles the sledge – in fact, it is a type of sled – that is characterized by three points of contact with the ground, not two long skis. It can be pushed or pulled (by clipping a trainer or rope to the end) and offers multiple handles, including long upright handles and a low T-bar.
"The Prowler is mainly used to pull and push the legs," says Brandon Smitely, a former competitive athlete and co-owner of the THIRST gym in Terre Haute, IN. "You'll see that it's used a lot for the development of physical fitness and strength in athletics, but it also has its uses for the average fitness goer." A way to overload your entire body with a lower risk of injury compared to deadlifts and squats. In other words, your body will work very hard to move heavy iron, but in a position that does not put too much strain on your joints or back.
Part of his attraction is his versatility. With the high and low handles you have several angles of attack. And the three-ski construction allows for more efficient cornering, especially when gripping the T-bar.
"This is the ultimate conditioning tool. There's a reason why the term "Prowler flu" exists, "Smitely says, referring to the Prowler's name for overwork, which causes nausea, vomiting, and fainting." A few heavy 50-yard sprints or a maximum Strength of 15 yards pulls you to the ground, but the nice thing is that the contractions are just concentric, which means that you only apply force to the front and there is no setback, which means you have minimal pain because the vast majority of pain is caused by the eccentric muscle action of contractions, "he adds.
View this post on Instagram
Can use more and more Prowler #TerreHautesBestGym #TeamTHIRST #Prowler
No Prowler? No problem.
If you do not have a Prowler in your gym, you can still simulate a typical Prowler training. To approximate the low rod, Smitely suggests pressing a 45-pound plate to the ground. (If you are on a hardwood floor, place the plate on a towel.) Go deep, keep your back flat, and drive through your legs. To simulate the pushing of the stretch bars, take a plyo box, ideally on grass, and slide it. To make it more difficult, stack up a few weights.
If you're really at a loss, Smitely notes that other tools like the Concept 2 Rower, the Ski Erg and the Air Bike are also great options for hardcore conditioning. "But if you use a Prowler, it's just your own hell race."