First and foremost, because it is awesome and it should make you feel like a sexy beast! However, besides that, there are several other reasons why the sled can really be a benefit to your training. Below are a few of the reasons why sled drags are an awesome training tool.
– There is no eccentric (negative) loading involved with sled drags. Eccentric movements are usually the culprits for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Sled drags are a great strength and conditioning tool and will not cause extreme muscle soreness.
– To piggyback off of the benefit above, sled drags can be a great way to recover from a training session that has left you with DOMS. Adding in some sled drags in the days following heavily eccentric training can speed up recovery time and help reduce muscle soreness.
– They are a great way to add variety to strengthening and conditioning the muscles of the legs. Because of the versatility of the sled virtually every muscle of the leg can be targeted. This can cause a carryover effect and increase your numbers in many other lifts (squat, deadlift, clean, and snatch).
– Simplicity. Practically anyone can learn to drag a sled in about 30 seconds or less.
– They are great for rehabilitation or for maintaining and building strength, conditioning, and power while injured. If you are unable to use one or both of your upper extremities or support a loaded barbell due to a back injury, you can still perform sled drags with the sled strapped to your waist.
As you can see, the sled is a great piece of equipment at our disposal to aid in our training. Just as with everything else we do, dig deep and go hard when sled drags pop up as part of the WOD to maximize the benefits. Yes, they make your legs burn (and usually your lungs too), but that just means it’s working!