Best weight sled

Fitness Equipment
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Which weight sled is best?

Weight sleds are a basic, but extremely effective training tool that can help you build functional strength and endurance. They provide a full-body workout that targets the quads, glutes, hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, core, triceps, chest and shoulders. If you’re looking to buy a weight sled, the XPO Trainer Push Sled is a great option for anyone wanting an effective workout.

What to know before you buy a weight sled

Location

Weight sleds have different constructions that make certain models better suited for use in certain places. For example, if you’ll be using yours outside on grass, then any kind of model will work fine. Likewise, if you’ll be using a sled outside on pavement or asphalt, then you can also use any model, however those with skid plates rather than wheels tend to make a loud and unpleasant noise while doing so, which is something that should be considered.

If you plan on using your sled indoors on wood or carpet floors, it is often best to opt for a model with wheels otherwise you risk damaging them. Alternatively, you can opt for a soft fabric model that you can pull along floors without damaging them, however these cannot hold as much weight.

Construction

Weight sleds undergo a lot of stress. Between the load they have to carry and the force of you pushing or pulling them, they could easily break if they don’t have a sturdy construction. Keep this in mind when choosing one and make sure to only consider models that have a heavy-duty construction with a steel frame and carabiners and a tough harness made from nylon or another high-strength material.

Portability

If you plan on taking your weight sled to and from the park, a gym or any other location, then portability should be a top priority. Many models are too large and heavy to easily transport. However, you can also find many options that are compact or which disassemble for travel. There are also fabric models that utilize sandbags instead of solid weight plates. These are some of the easiest to transport, though they generally won’t last as long as steel sleds.

Features to look for in a quality weight sled

Weight capacity

Sleds vary in the amount of weight they are designed to carry. The heaviest duty models can hold 600 pounds or more, while others may only be designed to carry 200 pounds or even less. Fabric models are often designed to handle between 30-80 pounds. 

It is important to adhere to the weight capacity guidelines otherwise you risk breaking a component of the sled during use. This can also lead to injury if something snaps suddenly and you unexpectedly fall forwards or backward.

Push poles

Not all sleds are designed to be pushed. If you want the ability to both push and pull your sled, make sure to purchase a model that features tall upright poles.

Harness

When pulling a weight sled, you’ll be doing so via straps and/or a harness. On some models, this is simply two straps that you need to grip in your hands the whole time. This isn’t the best design, as your grip strength may fail before the muscles in your legs and core, which means you won’t be able to get as good of a workout in those muscles as you would have if you were wearing a harness. Also, pulling a sled via hand straps can feel awkward if you are trying to walk forward instead of backward.

Adjustable resistance

Adjustable resistance is a feature that can only be found in wheeled models. This is because on wheeless models, you simply add or remove weight to increase or decrease the resistance. Depending on the wheeled model in question, you may need to manually select a resistance level or it might be dynamic, in which case the resistance will automatically increase the harder and faster you try and push it.

How much can you expect to spend on a weight sled

Fabric weight sleds cost between $25-$75. Steel models cost between $50-$100 for basic skid plates, and anywhere from $125-$900 for large prowlers or wheeled models.

Weight sled FAQ

Will a weight sled help me increase my speed?

Weight sleds can help you increase your strength, stamina and speed. If you want to focus mostly on speed, it is best to do sled pushes and pulls with 75% or less of your body weight. When you go above this amount, you’ll begin to see more gains in overall strength rather than speed. Another good option for helping to improve your speed is training with a speed chute.

What is the difference between a prowler and a sled?

These two terms are often confusing for individuals because many people use them interchangeably. Essentially, all prowlers are sleds, but the opposite is not true. Prowlers are a specific kind of weight sled that feature tall upright poles that can be used for pushing. 

What is the best weight sled to buy?

Top weight sled

XPO Trainer Push Sled

XPO Trainer Push Sled

What you need to know: The XPO Push Sled features dynamically adjusting resistance and can be both pushed and pulled for effective workouts.

What you’ll love: It’s good for users of all fitness levels and, since it is a wheeled model, it can be used on indoor floors without having to worry about damaging them.

What you should consider: Its large size and heavy weight makes it difficult to transport.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top weight sled for the money

Rage Fitness CF-SL000 R2 Weighted Training Pull Sled

Rage Fitness CF-SL000 R2 Weighted Training Pull Sled

What you need to know: Thanks to a compact design and affordable price, this sled is ideal for the home user on a budget who wants to take it to and from the park or another location to train.

What you’ll love: Despite its low price, it’s built like a tank. 

What you should consider: It is only designed for pulling.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Valor Fitness Weight Sled

Valor Fitness Weight Sled

What you need to know: With a 600-pound weight capacity and tall poles for pushing it, this sled is ready to meet the demands of any user.

What you’ll love: The poles are removable and can be swapped to the other side so you can easily change directions without having to turn the sled around. 

What you should consider: The included harness lacks padding, which can make it uncomfortable when dragging very heavy weights.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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