How To Push A Sled
Video by Hunter Britt
Sled pushes offer numerous benefits in so many different facets of fitness; this is a big part of why you have been seeing more of this type of training within the Invictus Athlete programs. Some athletes are training for more strength, others for endurance, and others are training to improve in all areas.
A common problem that athletes run into during training that incorporates sled pushes is the inability to move a heavy load continually. Setup, foot placement and positioning on the sled will make a huge difference in keeping the sled moving. Plus, we want to work on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and sled pushes are a great way to do that!
Next time you are pushing a heavy sled, focus on these key points of performance.
Drive Both Feet
The biggest fault that athletes make during sled pushes is that they put themselves in two positions and are not setting themselves up for success. One position is trying to move the sled with their back leg already fully extended, which means only one leg is in a position to push. The second faulty position is the opposite scenario; meaning, they have one leg ready to drive and the other leg is way up front, just waiting for the back leg to do all the work before it joins the party. Instead, set yourself up to have both feet pushing off the ground at the same time so you maximize the force on the sled.
Keep Hands Low
Most of the time this is the easy one to feel since the sled will give you feedback. If your hands are too high, then all you end up doing is pushing the top of the sled forward, which drives the front end into the ground. If done aggressively (or fast) you will feel it pretty quick and know what I am talking about because the back end will just shoot up in the air and the front end nose dives into the ground. The key is getting low enough to set up with your feet firmly planted in the ground and the applied force on the sled is pushing it horizontally.
Short, Fast Steps
Short, fast steps will keep both feet in contact with the ground as much as possible and, with a quick cadence, you will notice that you legs will not automatically go to the grind stage of a sled push right away.
Keep the Sled Moving
The biggest key to a sled push is keep the sled moving! It becomes massively more difficult to start the sled push from a dead stop then it is to keep grinding through, even if that quad pump is real!
If you can apply the four things above, then you will be crushing the sleds in no time!
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