4 Prowler Exercises You Should Be Doing

Posted by Chad Cardoso in Exercise Videos
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Few pieces of equipment are as exciting and beneficial to use as the Prowler. The prowler is essentially a compact sled which can be loaded with weight that you can either push or pull across the floor at various distances. Doesn’t seem THAT special right? Well, it is! Other pieces of training equipment simply do not offer the versatility and durability a Prowler does. Not only that, it’s fun as heck to use, and there’s something extremely satisfying about using it to moving a ton of weight across the room!

Functionally, the Prowler can serve a variety of purposes and can help target practically all muscle groups depending on the movement. It can be used for strength, cardio and conditioning, and even rehabilitation purposes. It can compliment other main lifts and serve as a good tool for energy systems training. Still not convinced? Using the prowler is generally safer too. This is due to the self-limiting nature of the exercise, meaning that if the load becomes too great you simply won’t be able to move it without the high risk of injury. So unlike other compound movements, Prowler exercises minimize the amount of vulnerable positions you’re in under excessive load. Take the bench press for example. If your eyes are bigger than your muscles and you’ve loaded up the bar with more weight than you’re use to, that can be a pretty unsafe situation to be in without a spotter or two. There is far, far less risk of something going wrong when “Prowling” (that just happened).

Just by adding a few attachments to it, the Prowler can become an even more powerful training tool. This is where it gets even more fun. By using things like weight belts, chest harnesses, handles, chains, and ropes, you’ve increased your exercise selections exponentially. Even with the wide range of Prowler variations, there’s a few that stand out from all the rest that we can all benefit from. Here are four Prowler exercises that can help impact your training:

 

Single Arm Prowler Pull Crossovers

Why it’s awesome:

– Helps strengthen lateral hip stability while activating shoulder stabilizers

– Strengthens ankle stability through inversion and eversion movement

– Reinforces core activation and core stability

– Works on grip strength

Intensity Recommendations:

– Low to moderate load to improve technique, moderate to heavy once well experienced

– Slow to moderate pace

Tips:

– Be sure to maintain a lean with your body away from the Prowler with your arm gripping arm close to parallel to the floor

– Keep the your whole foot planted when stepping or pushing off

– Keep your gripping arm locked at the shoulder, don’t let the weight of the Prowler tug on your arm with every step

 

Iso-Row Reverse Prowler Pull (courtesy of Ben Bruno)

Why it’s awesome:

– It emphasizes the use of your posterior sling (lats, core, glutes, hamstrings ) while shredding your biceps at the same time

– Reinforces a correct hinge pattern

– Planting with balls of the feet and rolling off the heel allows for more posterior leg muscle activation

– Reinforces good posture

Intensity Recommendations:

– Moderate to heavy load

– Slow to moderate pace

Tips:

– After the initial row, keep the elbows hugged tight to your ribs

– Keep your chest pointed towards the Prowler

– Stick to shorter or medium sized steps

 

Low Bar Prowler Push

Why it’s awesome:

– Can be used for strength, endurance, and power production

– Helps improve the aerobic abilities of fast twitch muscle fibers so a higher power output can be sustained longer

– Can increase off-the-line explosiveness

– Targets concentric leg strength

– Allows for a great cardiometabolic finisher at higher intensities

– The more prone position allows for increased core involvement and demands more shoulder stability

Intensity Recommendations:

– Light to moderate weight for endurance, moderate to heavy for strength and power production

– Slow to moderate for strength, moderate to fast for endurance, moderate to fast bursts with heavier load for power

Tips:

– Keep your arms locked after initiating the push, don’t let them act as shock absorbers

– Shoes with more aggressive tread can allow for better leverage when pushing off and may allow you to push more load

– Use the entire stride of each leg to get the most out of each push

 

Prowler Rope Pull

Why it’s awesome:

– Great for improving arm muscular endurance

– Adds an upper body pull variation into workout

– Promotes hip, core, and rotary stability

– Grip strength intensive

Intensity Recommendations:

– Light to Moderate weight

– Moderate to fast pace

– To add even more variation, use this as a finisher by pushing the prowler back to the start position to act as an interval before returning to the end of the rope to continue pulling

Tips:

– Avoid flexing the torso forward to grab the rope. Keeping the torso straight (perpendicular to the floor) while sticking to smaller reaches to the rope will limit fatigue in the lower back

– Be sure to set up in a wider stance with your heels firmly planted to the ground. Body weight should be shifted back onto the heels throughout the duration of the movement

 

Don’t have access to a Prow Prow? That’s ok, but don’t let that be an excuse in your training. There are other variations of Prowler exercises that you can do without using a Prowler (floor plate push, band resisted backward walk with a partner, incline sprints etc). BUT, if you do have access to one, take advantage of it! Start prowling and try these four awesome variations! The Prowler has so much to offer by being so multifunctional. If you don’t use it, you’re hindering your potential gains. After all, at the end of the day it’s all about gains!