Using The Sled For Upper-body Work

Nov 09, 2021

Ask just about any coach and they'll tell you how great of a tool the sled is for the lower body, but the reality is that the sled works just as well (if not better in some cases) for the upper body. Here's what you need to know...

  • Upper-body sled work can be used on conditioning only on training days
  • Upper-body sled work can be used as a 'finisher' at the end of your upper session
  • Upper sled work can also be used as a primer for your upper session
  • Upper sled work can help with both rehab of an injury and prehab against future issues.
  • Upper sled work is effective and easy to recover from (it won't screw up anything else you have planned in the rest of the week.)

In order to effectively utilize the sled best for upper-body development, I'm going to provide you with scenarios that match all of the above points so you know exactly how to plug this bad-boy into your training plan, but first here's a full list of all the upper sled variations you'll see in this article:

Upper Sled Conditioning

#1

AMRAP 15 utilizing a heavy load:
90 Ft. Sledpull Facepulls
90 Ft. Sledpull Rows
25 Bamboo Bar Bench Press
Rest 90s between rounds

#2
400 Meters utilizing a light to moderate load:
Sledpull Facepulls 
Sledpull Triceps Extensions
Sledpull Rows
Sledpull Presses

#3
EMOM 20:
Minute 1: 90 ft. Sledpull Facepulls
Minute 2: 90 ft. Sledpull Extensions
Minute 3: 90 ft. OH KB Carry
Minute 4: 90 ft. DBall Floor Presses x 25

#4
800 Meters with a light load:
Sledpull Facepulls + Rows

#5 
20 minutes of max distance:
Sledpull Extensions
Sledpull Facepulls
*Alternate between the two every 100 yards.

Upper Sled Finishers

#1 
200 Meters of each with a heavy load:
Sledpull Facepulls
Sledpull Rows

#2 
AMRAP 10 with a heavy load:
0:00 - 5:00
Max Distance Sledpull Facepulls
5:00 - 10:00
Max Distance of Sledpull Presses

#3
4 Rounds of with a heavy load:
25 Push-ups
180 ft. Sledpull Facepulls

#4 
4 Rounds of with a heavy load:
Sledpull + OH Carry x 90 ft.
Rest 90s.

#5
For time a light to moderate load:
400 Meter Sledpull OH Carry

Upper Sled Warm-ups

#1
3 Sets with a light load:
90 ft. Sledpull Facepulls
90 ft. Sledpull Presses

#2
3 sets of with a light load:
90 ft. Sled Facepulls
90 ft. Sled Rows

#3
1 set of with a light load:
2:00 Sledpull Facepulls
2:00 Sledpull Presses

#4
200 meters of with a light load:
Alt. between 3 upper sled variations

#5
Reps of 15-10-5
1a) Sled Facepulls
1b) Sled Presses

Closing

The sled, like most training modalities, can be used in a variety of practical and effective ways to build strength, endurance, without sacrificing recoverability. This article will hopefully give you an idea of how to use the sled for the upper-body in three different programming scenarios - more on this in my new course that is dropping by the end of the year (make sure you're on my mailing list to receive updates which are at the bottom of my homepage.)