You Should Be Pushing This: The Prowler

Thursday, December 18, 2014 0

The next time you head for a workout I suggest you dodge the treadmill and stair stepper and find yourself a prowler!! If your gym doesn’t have one, well then it’s time to find one that does and start training there.  NO SERIOUSLY !

The prowler is basically a big metal sled that you push (loaded or unloaded) for a given distance or period of time.  This strongman/football style training device is starting to pop up in your everyday health club, and for good reason…It’s a low impact exercise that has the ability to kick your butt into shape in a short period of time.

Just about anyone can benefit from its use.  Professional athletes, weekend warriors, once in a while exercisers and aging adults.  I’ve been incorporating it into my routine for the last 4-5 years and will continue to do so for the rest of my life!  HERE’S WHY:
 1.) It will blast your lower body: Your body position during the movement, which is similar to a sprinters but with more of a forward lean, will help target your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.  If you’re interested in gaining strength, power and shape in these areas, which you absolutely should be, then the prowler is a great option.
2.) Low impact: Typically exercises consist of a concentric and eccentric muscle contraction. The eccentric contraction, which occurs in the lowering phase of a movement is harder on the joints. The prowler push is concentric-only in nature making it much easier on the joints and actually very therapeutic for those with injuries.    
3.) Variations:  Push the prowler with a heavy or light load, using straight arms or bent arms, with little or more rest between sets, over a short or long distance and sprint it as fast as you can or with a steady pace.  These variations allow you to stress different muscle systems and to either increase or decrease the difficulty.
4.) Time: You can no longer complain of not having enough time to get a workout in if you incorporate the prowler.  As little as 5-10 minutes is all you need to stress your lungs and your muscles.  That sounds a lot better than going through the motions on the elliptical for an hour.
5.) Real world carry-over: If you ever need to push your car out of a ditch or to the nearest gas station, you’ll be ready!
-If you haven’t used a prowler make sure to start slow.  As you’ll find out this thing has the ability to send you into a trance when done at a high intensity. Increase the difficulty gradually.
-Breathe!! In through the nose and out through the mouth.
-Be aware of your foot positioning throughout the movement.  If you’re someone who walks with his/her toes pointed outward then you’ll likely push the prowler in the same fashion.  Everything starts from the ground up and keeping your toes pointed straight ahead will ensure proper loading of the muscles up the chain.  Have someone watch you for a few reps.
-Avoid rounding your lumbar spine.  I call this lazy man’s technique and it doesn’t look good on you.
-I’ll occasionally use the prowler to start my workout and get my body moving.  However, sometimes the best is saved for last and so normally I use it as a finisher.  More often than not you won’t want to do anything else after a handful of prowler reps which is why it’s great at the end.
-Use the prowler as ANOTHER tool in your quest for supreme fitness, not the ONLY tool.
STEP ONE: find a gym that has a prowler
STEP TWO: get in there and push it
STEP THREE: feel awesome!


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