Weight sleds are the best piece of fitness equipment for when just carrying your own body weight will never be enough for what you want to achieve. If you are sportsperson or athlete that needs to be able to push and pull more than your own body when competing in your chosen sport then you also need to workout with a weight sled. Weight sleds are excellent fitness weight training devices for mixed martial arts, judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, football and CrossFit training. With all these sports you need to be able to get down with a low base and be able to push or pull your opponent around and tire out quickly. Using a weight sled will develop the same muscle groups and core strength and endurance needed when pushing and pulling against an opponent.
Weight Sled Training Training with weight sleds mainly focuses on developing power, strength and endurance. It is not clear whether weight sled training increases top speed performance. The most benefit from weight sled running is in power and acceleration off the mark and of course endurance. If you can run around the paddock for 30 minutes dragging a weight sled then obviously you are going to find it much easier be able to run for a lot longer time weight free. This is invaluable core strength and endurance training particularly for footballers that wish to out-pace their opponents right to the end of the match where many games are won or lost. As with all weight training, technique is everything when using a weight sled. It is extremely important to position yourself so you have the best posture and leverage to avoid pulling muscles and straining your back. Working from a low base with bent knees and good posture so your centre of gravity is lower gives you more stability, better balance and greater core strength. This is very important with judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling and football particularly when up against a bigger stronger opponent. If you can see your reflection in a mirror or window in the gym use it whenever you can to check your posture and alignment. Sometimes you may think you have the best position when it can be improved. This is where you need to check with an experienced trainer as it can make all the difference. It is always best not leap in and use heavy weights on your weight sled until you have properly warmed up with a few easy stretch and strengthening exercises to pump blood into the muscles which will raise your heart rate and increase the circulation so you are ready for action. When you stretch with your warm-up you need to keep the movement going as you stretch and flex and relax the muscles to pump the blood around. Just doing static stretches is not enough to warm up as you can hold a stretch for as long as you like it is not going to raise your heart rate and warm you up. Once you have warmed up then it is best to start with a light amount of weight first and gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. Keeping your rests period only for a short period of time to recover stops you from cooling down too much.
Types of Weight Sleds The Universal Self Defence online store is a great place to buy a well-designed good quality weight sled. Most commonly used weight sleds all allow for weight plates to be added and come with a harness that goes over your shoulders and wraps around your waist to spread out the pressure across your upper body when pulling a weight sled. The harness is usually attached to the weight sled at low-level anchor point so the sled slides evenly. Other weight sleds are designed more for pushing and pulling and will have long vertical upright rods to grab onto. Some weight sleds are more multipurpose so you can push and pull the sled and attaching a harness is optional. As the weight sleds are of a metal construction it is best not to use them on rough concrete or bitumen surfaces, as it will make a horrible noise and grid the metal. Best surfaces indoors are on the high density rubber commercial gym tiles which are most commonly used in weight training areas or on tough low fibre commercial carpet. Smooth timber is fine but can get badly scratched when dragging a weight sled. You can try dragging a smooth mat or tough piece of carpet by attaching it under the sled if you need to protect the floor but you have watch the mat doesn’t come off the sled. When outdoors it is best to find a paddock with the nicest smooth tough grass to drag you weight sled around.