Sled Training & Conditioning

Sled training and conditioning is an exercise that I have only been recently introduced to since training at Elite Sports Performance and is something that I want to pursue further in regards to to my own general body conditioning and lactate buffering training.  The sled is a great way to condition the whole body because you are either having to general force through the whole body to push the sled or pull the sled.  This exercise can be used as an entire workout for lactate buffering training or can be used as an exercise within a training program.  For more information on lactate buffering training and you will see why pushing and pulling the sled is such a great tool for this.  Click here to read the article.

So what does the sled look like?

There are many different commercial types of sleds available in the market, however they generally all have the same type of design.  The image on the left is the Butcher and the right is the mini sled, both of which can be found at the Westside Barbell.


In addition to these commercial products, I have also come across some webpages that show you how you can make your own sleds.  Please click on the links below to read more about making your own sled.

DIY Prowler

The Tyre Sled

Getting Started…

Equipment Requirements:  Sled, Straps, Weight and a flat surface i.e. carpet, astro turf etc to pull the sled on.

Conditioning Sessions

There are many different ways to incorporate the sled into ones training and there are numerous exercise variables to play with.  Common exercise variables or approaches to using the sled include:

Pushing/Pulling the sled to a set time and seeing how many sets you can achieve.  This is a great way to introduce Lactate Buffering training.  At Elite Sports Performance, some of the coaches have done this by asking the individual to perform the maximum number of trips (approximately 25-30 metres) in 20 minutes.  This type of workout is an absolute killer and the lactate build up and pump in the legs will be huge.

Pushing/Pulling the sled to a number of reps.  This would work well for those performing posterior lateral raise pull with the slide, sled lateral walks and lunging.

Pushing/Pulling the sled within a set time frame and setting specific rest breaks.  Depending on the length of track available for pushing/puling the sled, a specific work:rest ratio can be created to train and condition the lower body.  This could be made up of a 1:1 work to rest ratio (60 seconds work with 60 seconds rest) for a number of specific sets.  This can be varied depending upon the objective of the workout.

Whilst most of us will use the sled to either push or pull.  There are many different exercises that it can be used for and I have included some videos below that I have sourced off YouTube.

Sled Pushing

Technique:  Hand/Arm and Body position can be varied to allow for more upright pushing or pushing down low.

2 Person Prowler Pushing Competition

Sled Pulling

Technique:  Sled pulling can be performed by pulling from the waist (facing away or towards the sled) or by using the arms and body to pull the sled (facing away or towards the sled)

Sled Lateral Glute Walk

Sled Posterior Lateral Raise

Osteopath Heath Williams is owner and director of Principle Four Osteopathy, one of Melbourne City CBD 3000 leading Osteopathic clinics.  The clinic is located in the heart of the Melbourne City CBD 3000 at 29 Somerset Place (near the corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St).  Heath Williams has a special interest in Exercise Prescription & Rehabilitation.  To make an appointment to see Heath or the other Osteopaths at Principle Four Osteopathy, please call 03 9670 9290 or book online @

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