If I Could Only Do One Exercise: My Case For The Prowler
So the word “prowler” has been known to make people fake injuries, remember an appointment they forgot they had at the end of the workout and flat out reduce people to tears at Foundry. We use it a lot and for good reason, it’s arguably one of my favourite gym toys.
It’s also great for everyone, there is no real technique involved, minimal risk when compared to squats/deadlifts etc. and it doesn’t matter if you have some mobility restrictions you’re working on you can just get your head down and concentrate on moving the damn thing.
There is just no escaping it, no hiding place and you can’t help but to have to work hard. One of reasons I like it so much is its’ versatility, I mean, you can use it for pretty much any workout goal.
My Case For The Prowler
You want strength?
Then load it up HEAVY and push, you might not get very far but that doesn’t matter, it’s still brutally hard.
Pushing a heavy prowler requires you to use pretty much every muscle in the body. Your legs are obviously providing the driving force but your core has to remain rigid and your shoulders stable if that things going to move.
A simple 10m heavy push can have you feeling like your legs are no longer yours and your heart is going to jump out of you chest.
A simple prowler workout I like to put at the end of my strength session would be:
20m Push – Heavy as possible – Rest 90s x 8
This isn’t much fun at all!!
The prowler is probably most recognised as a conditioning tool and, again, it’s not always the most enjoyable experience but as the old cliche goes “No Pain, No Gain”
Regardless whether you are trying to improve cardiovascular fitness, anaerobic fitness or muscular endurance the prowler has it’s place. Simply changing how much weight you push for how long and with how much rest in between can have you switching between systems with ease.
For a more cardiovascular workout you are going to want to keep the prowler for longer so this is going to mean less weight, a lot less weight. I tend to keep it empty, that way you place stress on the muscles and more on the heart and lungs.
An example of this would be:
60s – max distance – 60s rest x 10
For the anaerobic system we are going to be travelling for a little less time, about 7-10s to be precise. I tend to load the prowler up so that it takes you 10s to move it a certain distance, I use 10m. This way there is enough resistance on there to make 10s of work hard, your goal is to move it as fast as possible, sprint in other words.
A much-used workout at W10 Performance is:
10m Flat out every 30s x 10
Simple yet effective.
When it comes to addressing muscular endurance you want to reduce the intensity somewhat and focus on keeping the thing moving. This can also double up as a great recovery session as it’s a nice change from the higher intensity stuff the majority of us do week in week out, This is something I have done when feeling tired and it has definitely helped me recover from hard sessions. Nothing hard, nothing heavy, just some good quality work.
Simple recovery/muscular endurance workout :
20-30mins non-stop – just keep the prowler moving
For All Ages
Now when it comes to training kids I’m a big believer in they should master their bodyweight first. However, I have used the prowler a lot lately with the Youth Athletic Development, which is our group for 11-16 year olds, and the difference it has made to there total body stability has been pretty amazing. The carry over to other movements has been pretty eye opening, squats have improved, planks are now being held for longer and single leg movements are much more stable.
In conclusion the prowler is one the most under rated pieces of gym equipment out there. With every year a new fad emerges and things like the prowler get pushed to the back of the gym and forgotten about, well I’m glad to say that isn’t the case at W10 and the prowler will be wearing out turf for years to come.
So get your head down and start pushing hard!
Prowler Sled Variation
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