Upper Body Sled Training

Workout sled with weights on it

Smash Your Upper Body with these Three Sled Exercises for Strength and Power

By Barry Vincent


The sled is known as an amazing tool for building a bigger, stronger, more powerful set of legs. But what about the upper body?

Below you’ll find some of my favourite ways to use the sled to train the upper body – more specifically the back and shoulders, to pack on some muscle and develop explosive push/pull power!

Single Arm Sled Row

  • Attach a single handle to the sled (a TRX or gymnastic ring work great)
  • Pick up the handle and set up in an athletic stance (Knees bent, hips back, chest up), extending your arm and ensuring their is tension in the strap
  • Explosively row the weight towards you, not allowing your elbow to travel passed your torso
  • Step backwards until your arm is extended and tension has been reestablished in the strap

Sled Press


  • Set up in a staggered stance with your weight shifted towards your toes and your arms so that your elbows are back and your chest is pressing in towards the sled handles
  • Explosively drive your feet into the floor and press the sled away from you using your chest, shoulders and triceps
  • Step back into the sled and reset your feet for the next rep

Sled High Pull


  • Attach a dual handle apparatus to the sled (two handles, two individual straps – the TRX is great for this)
  • Set up in an athletic stance with both arms extended and ensuring far back enough so there is tension in the straps
  • Explosively drive through your heels and pulls the handles up and back using your upper back and shoulders – your hands should end up beside your ears with your arms parallel to the floor
  • Step back until you’ve reestablished tension in the straps and repeat!

Use these exercises individually or give this Sled Complex a try:

3-5 rounds/60 seconds between rounds

  • Single Arm Sled Row x 5-8 reps/side
  • Sled Press x 10-12 reps
  • Sled High Pull x 8-10 reps
  • Traditional Sled Push back to starting point

Barry Vincent is a Fitness, Performance and Lifestyle Coach at ALP Training Institute in Hamilton, Ontario.