The ultimate sled workout

As sled pulls become more and more mainstream, GQ's personal trainer shows you how to do the ultimate hand-over-hand sled pull

By Jonathan Goodair, British GQ

Sled workouts are brutal, highly effective and functional conditioning exercises used by professional coaches to increase strength, speed and power in athletes to get the edge on the competition. Sled workouts are now becoming more mainstream as more gyms offer the equipment. From a muscular point of view, hand-over-hand sled pulls work the upper body (the back, shoulders and arms) and core stabilising muscles, with hips and legs assisting.


1) Load a suitable amount of weight on a sled.

2) Stand facing the sled holding the end of the rope, with feet shoulder-width apart, knees and hips slightly flexed.

3) Brace with your core, flexing forward a little at the hips so the chest faces the floor. Do not round the upper back – spine should be long, shoulders wide, with a slightly tucked pelvis (pull in lower abdomen and squeeze glutes).

4) Hold the rope with both hands, left hand by left hip, right hand reaching forward.

5) Pull rope with right hand towards right hip as left hand releases rope and reaches forward to grab rope and pull to left hip, followed by right hand reaching forward to grab rope. Continue alternately reaching, grabbing and pulling, working as fast and smoothly as you can while maintaining good form.

Start with a 20-metre pull, aiming for 3 sets of 6 repetitions with 45 seconds’ recovery between reps and 2 minutes between sets.

Tip: Loading the sled with less weight and using a longer rope will develop muscular and aerobic strength and endurance. Heavier loads and shorter ropes will develop all-out strength and power.

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Men's Magazine: The ultimate sled workout
The ultimate sled workout
Sled pulls are becoming more mainstream as more gyms offer the equipment. Here's the ultimate hand-over-hand sled pull to work the upper body and core stabilising muscles.
Men's Magazine
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