Most people who have ever used a prowler or sled in their training have a love/hate relationship with it. Why? Well, if you have done any work with the prowler…you know why. And If you haven’t…you need to.
The prowler can be used to improve lower body strength and/or improve conditioning.
On the side of strength the prowler can be loaded to where pushing it can be an all out grinder.
Loading the prowler with stacks of 45s and pushing it for short distances can bring even the mightiest of bar bending squat beasts to their knees. In fact…I believe the prowler can even ‘replace’ the squat during de-loading phases or for when the ‘ass to grass’ aficionados decide that maybe now is a good time to get out of the rack to pamper that cranky lower back syndrome. To say that the prowler may even lay claim to the title of ‘The New Squat’ may not be too far of a stretch. Although you do get a concentric loaded phase from the calves/legs/hips when pushing the prowler, many would contest that because the eccentric phase is not necessarily loaded the pattern can not compare to the squat (or any other concentric/eccentric loaded exercise). But here is my contention to that…you actually do get the eccentric phase, although quite short, during heavy prowler work. It is when fatigue has set in and now during each foot plant there is this re-set at the calf/leg/hip where these muscle groups quickly lengthen to ‘grab’ some cross-bridging so that you have enough mechanical potential to continue producing enough force to keep the prowler moving forward. Trust me there is some empirical evidence that may convince you that eccentric loading is happening here. Take your next leg training session and exclusively work on grinding out 8-10 heavy 20meter pushes and take note of how sore you are the next day or two. This soreness may suggest that some eccentric work was done and some muscle got ‘broken’
Lower Body Building Prowler Style:
Step 1-Take your prowler outside.
Step 2-Grab two cones. Drop one and mark off approximately 60 feet and drop the other.
Step 3-Pile some wheels (45# plates) on the prowler…how many? All the fuckers you can find!
Step 4-Prepare to complete 8-10 sets of grinding cone to cone 20 meter pushes from the uprights.
Step 5-Go the distance and rest only as long as you need to complete next 20 meters.
P.S. On June 2, 2016 this article in Chris Beardsley’s Strength and Conditioning Research was released discussing several studies (i.e. High Intensity Functional Training in particular) that shows great relevance to our post… Check it out here http://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/perspectives/high-intensity-functional-training/