Benefits of the sled pull - HOW and WHY you should do it

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Benefits of the sled pull - HOW and WHY you should do it

I decided to react to one of the best exercises for old man strength, sled pulls, as talked about by the Knees Over Toes Guy, Ben Patrick, on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. KOT talks frequently about improving knee health to improve stability, functionality, and integrity of the knees. 


I think a lot of older people involved in resistance-based training and strength-based training always seem to have some type of knee pain. Ben Patrick goes into a lot of the different things he has done to help with his own knee problems from wear and tear and now he has a lot of the big answers through trial and error.

I think a lot of older people involved in resistance-based training and strength-based training always seem to have some type of knee pain. Ben Patrick goes into a lot of the different things he has done to help with his own knee problems from wear and tear and now he has a lot of the big answers through trial and error.

Basketball Isn’t Good For Your Knees

Ben starts out on the podcast saying that basketball is not good for your knees because of all the jumping involved. That being said, people still want to play basketball. That is a big factor with a lot of things.


Many people like to do things that aren’t necessarily good for their knees. So when Ben talks about dunking a basketball and landing there is a lot of force on the knees when landing. As people get older, that force can lead to a chronic build-up over time that can create a whole bunch of issues inside the knee joint.

The Sled Never Moves You

Pulling the sled backward is a great thing for knee health. The sled can never be moved unless the individual is moving the sled. On the other hand, when doing a back squat the bar will move the body down into the hole. Gravity never stops working.


It also helps that the sled is great for football players and is great for linemen training. What other implement for football players playing a linemen position mimics run blocking or pass-rushing so well?


James Harrison agrees that the sled is a great training tool!

No Eccentric

I remember Christian Thibideau talking about this, and Poliquin talking about stuff like this around 2012 as well. Basically, when pushing or pulling a sled the movement the movement is eccentricless. There is still some eccentric loading, but it is minimal.


The point of clarity has to be that eccentric loading can lead to incredible amounts of strength improvements, neurological adaptations, and is phenomenal for athletes. Eccentric movements help build coordination as people grow up as well.

As people age, eccentric movements can lead to some issues. Long periods of scar tissue over time can become a chronic issue. The weird thing about eccentric training is that it can improve tendinopathy and help with tendon strength. The key is the eccentrics need to be controlled to help with the tendon strength. If the reaction is really quick and takes place over a long time, it can lead to a lot of stress on the body.


Finding that the sled work is eccentricless, helps strengthen the body and coordination, gets the blood flowing to specific regions, and doesn’t really bang up the body. 

Everyday

Ben states he hits the sled every day. Rogan says he only does it once a week. I think that as people get older, we need to hit the sled more and more. I currently push and pull the sled twice a week. I’m going to start doing it five days a week going forward. Let’s not forget about the cardio aspect and benefits of heart functionality of doing sled pushes.

Overdoing It

Now it is easy to overdue squats. It isn’t easy to overdue the sled. As Ben says, it is much harder to get in a tricky situation on the sled. If there are 1000 lbs on the sled, it won’t move.

So I Went And Did It

Watching and listening to the podcast, I had to go push and pull a sled right away. Even though I push and pull a sled twice a week frequently, I felt a jolt to go and pull and push the sled for a bit.

Sled pull benefits

One thing I found is that it is great for knee health training. The quad pump is real. Another aspect I found is that the movement is somewhat endurance-based training that isn’t horrible. It almost felt like a lazy man’s workout that made sure good movement occurred, the quads and glutes got targeted, and the body just felt great. 


Someone like me, who has always had the small quad life, I have never gotten my quads as pumped as when I do backward sled pulls. It feels really good on the knees and gets my heart rate up. 

Recap

Listening to Ben talk about how important sled pulls can be to overall health gets my brain thinking about how to use a sled without access to a turf room. I just figured go out on a road with minimal traffic and walk back and forth for ten minutes. Do that and you’ll feel healthier, stronger, and way better when walking down the steps after waking up in the morning.


I would argue that walking backward with the sled is the best exercise for old man strength. I’d make sure to pair it with the sled push as well. It will develop good leg strength and drive. Endurance and knee health will improve as well. Those are areas that old dudes need to work on. The best part about pushing a sled helps the body move heavyweight, stay strong, burn more calories, and increase cardio to hopefully lead to a longer life.


Don’t have a sled? Walk up a hill backward.


Peace! And cultivate your power.

OLD MAN STRENGTH

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Yo, It's Dane

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