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
- 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.