What’s the Prowler and Why You Should Use It

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
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What’s the Prowler and Why You Should Use It

There’s a high possibility that you’ve seen a piece of equipment called a prowler in your gym. Comparable to a metal sled, it’s fairly minimalistic at first glance. Anyone who’s ever used it during a workout knows it can be a grueling, challenging component to any workout. With multiple bars for different push positions, users can push the piece of equipment as-is or add weight plates to the bars to amp up the challenge.

HOW DO YOU USE THE PROWLER?

“When programmed and used properly, it can help develop speed and power, better running mechanics, be used for active recovery, metabolic conditioning or just a gut-wrenching mental and physical challenge,” says Ariel Foxie, trainer at S10 Training in New York City. “The possibilities are almost endless.”

If you’re pushing the sled correctly, you’re maintaining a slight forward ‘falling’ position with a braced core — not overarching and not standing too upright. In this position, you’ll be challenging your abdominals, quads, glutes, erectors and upper-body simultaneously for a total-body burn.

“Use it at a lighter weight and a steady pace for a warmup to get the body temperature up or heavier weight for a metabolic finisher,” he suggests. “Adding to the overall workload means adding to the calories or energy spent for that session.”

While using this piece of equipment can feel intimidating at first, Foxie says we’re all better off if we can shove that stigma to the side. “When used properly and regularly, it can help improve your cardio and recovery times,” he says.

A good way to feel comfortable with the uncomfortable: Start slow to go fast. Instead of loading up the weight and throwing caution to the wind, find a comfortable weight and start at a controllable pace. Get comfortable with your strides and ground contact as you continue to improve speed and pace.

SAMPLE PROWLER ROUTINE

Here, Foxie recommends a simple cardio-based routine, perfect for beginners. For an added challenge, add rounds or decrease recovery time.

PROWLER SPRINT

Load the prowler with desired weight (he suggests 50 pounds), then sprint 15–20 yards before taking the prowler back in the opposite direction to complete the set. Rest for 60 seconds before continuing again. Do 3–5 sets.

PROWLER SPRINT + JUMP ROPE

Load the prowler with a comfortable weight. Holding the high bars, sprint in one direction for 6–8 seconds. Follow that with 40 seconds of jump rope for active recovery to complete the set. Then, go right back into the high bar sprint. Do 3–5 sets.

About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.

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