Arms & Hands Maneuvers during Sled Training

– By Mack Pijewski


If you are looking for intense athletic training, then one of the most exclusive and advantageous equipment is the sled! Sled Training is easy and doesn’t require any complicated forms. When you are using the sled, the risk of injury is very little. Sled training is very necessary for sturdy athletes who cannot afford any inflexibility. 

Depending upon your ultimate goals, sled training could result productive in intensifying strength, power, speed, and even conditioning. Not everything at the same instant, but it can be a dynamic tool to address all of these.

Another noticeable advantage of sled training is the number of variables or options that come with it. For instance, you are flexible in adjusting speed, load, position, distance, duration, etc. Based on one’s objectives, there could hundreds of outputs of the sled work. However, one question that I been mostly asked by the athletes is that what should be my arms and hands maneuvers during the sled training? More precisely, where should my arms and hands be while I push the sled?

Well, most common exercises like squats, pushups, pull-ups, dead-lifts, etc. follow some SOP(s) (Standards of Procedure), however, up till now, I haven’t come across any standard of best practice of performing the sled training. Keeping in view, I have illustrated how someone should set-up with the sled, depending upon what he wants to get out of it.

STRAIGHTEN YOUR ARMS

Let’s start with the extended-arm position. This type of arrangement allows one to intensify acceleration angles, open up his pace, and maximize his strength by working at a much higher speed. However, this arrangement restricts the amount of load an athlete can hilt. Not the greatest of an output an athlete can expect from this setup is the only downside here. You cannot move max weight in this position.

The “straighten your arms” applies to the kind of programming that demand moderate to low weight on the sled. Conversely, the speed work, plyos, power work, and conditioning methods could be efficiently and effectively done from this setup; the arms-extended Sled Push.

ARMS BENT

Contrary to that, if you are willing to go hard on the training, then the arms bent position is an outstanding position for pushing maximal weight on the sled. This position creates a more solid lever system enabling the trainee to follow more in-strength programming.

 This set-up will retard your speed for the reason that the crowding of the torso and load being so near to the hips do not allow the trainee to reach a stride length that would transmit over firmly into speed.

Because of increased loading, the strength-gaining activities is going to be significantly provoking, thus will assist in getting stronger and more stable in a unilateral setting.

FEW TIPS FOR DOING SLED TRAINING!

The answer to the above-mentioned question regarding the position of arms or hands during the training is BOTH! Both arms/hands positions are important. Try to figure out what you want to get out of the sled training and that’s it, use your head and plan accordingly.

I have explained some of the useful plus beneficial ways to use the sled and what arm/hands position would be a good choice for each.

1. HEAVY SLED PUSH

You have to position your arms in bend form for this one. The exercise consists of using a heavy sled for 5-10 steps per leg. This exercise is intense and is great for strengthening legs and hamstrings. This exercise also comes with a squat variant as well. We can work this in as a Lunge or Split Squat. This works significantly well! The low impact boasts productive and fast results.

2. SLED THROWS

Arms extended

If you want to take the game of the medicine ball throws up then just grab a sled and throw it instead. This is a great power package that undertakes full body-fatigue. Power is the phenomenon that lies between extremes (max) of speed and strength on the force-deformation curve, you can carry this over into your arm position comfortably here. Here’s an interesting tip, you can start with your arms bent for max tension, later on, extend your arms at max speed.

3. SLED SPRINT

Arms Extended here too

The Sled Sprint is a traditional exercise that enables the athletes to lean, shred or burn some turf! An athlete can go out with this inertia or variation using a much lighter load. Your focus should be on bringing-up lean, knee drive and triple extension on the focused leg, usually, the back one. Sled sprint is intended to move fast and smooth.

4. SLED INTERVALS

Arms Extended

A SLED is the only equipment in the gym that can whip you into great shape! What I suggest for the interval setup for conditioning is a 15-yard working set followed by 50 seconds of rest, repeated 10-20 times based on your capability. It’s a great generation conditioning methodology, however, there are many options to be sports explicit with flexibility on the sled. Like I said earlier, be specific about what your needs are and demands are based on your sport, then build those energy systems whichever goes with it.

These are just the temporary guidelines that I have taken out from a few pieces of research. Try them out and let me know how it goes! 

THE LINK BETWEEN MENTAL HEALTH AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

It is well known, the good effects that physical activities have on mental health. In fact, by nature humans had evolved to adapt and overcome physical challenges. In contrast, nowadays one of the main causes of the deterioration of our cardiovascular system is a sedentary lifestyle. Because of that the world’s first threat for modern humans is heart disease. Besides preventing cardiovascular problems, physical activities are useful to attract and prevent non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and osteoporosis. Furthermore, there is a pile of evidence about how having an active lifestyle is beneficial for our brain and cognitive abilities.

It is known how school children have better academic results if they allow the time for a fitness lifestyle (Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain). Besides, there is proof of how regular physical activities in the mid-age populations can reduce the risk of dementia. In fact, exercises is a well-known treatment for type 2 diabetes which is also related to Alzheimer´s disease and the decrements of brain functions.

Haven, not you feel that satisfaction and plenitude after a jogging session? And these feelings are even more prominent those days when you feel down and stressed. The reason behind that is the impact of physical activities on your mental health. There is a stunning amount of evidence that supports this statement. And because of that many scientists are starting to believe that exercise should be used as a tool by psychologists in their treatments.

A healthy mind healthy body

Symptoms of depression and anxiety can be controlled by acquiring the habit of regularly doing physical activities this is something known for years. Furthermore, any type of exercise but especially the one that we particularly enjoy the most, certainly make us feel better almost immediately. And by helping us with our mood it also eases the particular symptoms of anxiety and depression. Actually, experimental studies confirm that the effect of physical activities is closely related to the effect of antidepressants in the body.

Besides if you keep exercising, in the long run, it can help to prevent anxiety and depression from reappearing in your life. In the expert’s opinions that have worked with a patient that presented major depressive disorders. They demonstrated how important it is to regularly exercise for treating depression but not only that; after one year of regular physical activities, the patient showed a level of depression lower than those less active patients. Many of them conclude that an active background can set the pace in the brain on how to respond to future stressful situations such as feeling as “failure” or “social defeat.” Specialist in psychology and anxiety treatments also advocate that regular exercise can also help to prevent panic attacks on sensitive patients.

How should you exercise?

 There are two main types of exercises and both aerobic and strength are equally good for treating the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is not a brainer running, jumping, playing a sport or lifting weights is going to have a positive effect in your life. However, simple activities like walking around your neighborhood, washing your car and cleaning your house will also have a positive impact on your emotions.

Overall any exercise that can get your heart moving can be good. The idea behind finding an activity you can relate with is because it is more likely for you to keep doing it if is enjoyable. And because of that, all the benefit for your health will last in the time. Because people who practice, on a regular basis, activities of any intensity are less likely to have symptoms of depression.

How does it work?

All the gamma of positive effects that doing exercise has on mental health can be explained, shortly, by a few theories:

1.            It can distract you: from low impact activities like yoga to some more demanding exercises like weight-lifting. It seems to have a powerful effect of just distracting us from our problem. Because of that, our mind can have the time to learn new healthy habits.

2.            Confidence boost: Developing habits towards a goal to then meet all your objectives can be really refreshing and it can improve your self-esteem.

3.            You will be more social: Exercise it also means connecting with other people, there is always someone willing to help you or at least someone with fitness goals alike yours; the mutual support can be beneficial for your mental health.

4.            The good hormones: it is known that physical activities can release noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin in the bloodstream. These hormones are usually on a shortage of someone that suffers from depression or anxiety. Besides exercise can activate the release of endorphin which reduces pain in our bodies and gives us a sensation of serenity and calm.

Final thoughts

Training, exercising or any other kind of physical activity has an important role as an effective, simple and cheap therapy for depression and anxiety. Since it appears to be a tendency, in our society, for people to go on a sedentary path and with that an ever-increasing rate of depressive and anxious individuals. That is why we should really be giving serious consideration to the fact that our society can have enormous benefit from embracing a fitness lifestyle.

In order to be accepted as a therapeutic tool which also includes medications and psychological therapy. People should take into account that there are individual considerations for every particular case.

There is not a necessity to set ambitious goals for our long-term training or active lifestyle. Instead, we should focus into enjoying the ride and appreciating the journey, the control of the cholesterol in blood, self-gratification and mood improvement. Maybe these reasons will motivate you to try it.