Prowler Push Alternatives

The simple act of pushing loads across the floor using the legs, core, and upper body as one that demands the utmost strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular fitness, no matter who you are.

In earlier prices we discussed the benefits of the sled pull, another sled training variation. In this article we will discuss the prowler push, how it differs from the sled, and some beneficial alternative exercises one can do for whatever reason in place of the prowler.

What Is a Prowler Push?

Below is a video on how to perform the prowler push, as well as some common prowler push variations.

Prowler Push vs Sled Push

The prowler push and sled push are very similar movements, often so similar they are sure interchangeable. The true difference behind he prowler push and the sled push is that prowler pushes require a specific type of sled, called a prowler, whereas a sled is any weight bearing piece of equipment that can be used push, pulled, dragged, etc.

Prowler Push Alternatives

Below are a few effective alternatives to the prowler push exercise. Please note that most of the exercises below should be done with a training partner or supervision. This is strictly an information piece rather than an instructional guide.

Plate Push

In the event you like prowler pushing so much yet find yourself without a prowler or sled, fear not. Simply place a bumper plate on the floor or a few on a flat sheet of metal with a lip, such as many low cost portable “sleds”, and get to work. The only limitation with plate pushes is that it doesn’t allow for a great amount of loading to be trained with, which could actually serves as a great way to increase speed of the movement and stamina rather than strength.

Hill Sprints

Sprinting uphill mimics a lot of the same lower body leg stamina and force outputs of the prowler push, with the added bonus that the athlete can assume a more upright and transferable body positioning to human locomotion. I often find when doing prowler pushes, the awkward positioning of the athlete (really really low to the ground) can limit overall training rather than the actually markers I am trying to train (leg stamina and strength, aerobic/anaerobic fitness, and sprint mechanics).

Stair Runs

Similar to hill sprints, stair runs are a great way to increase leg drive and power. Running at your local high school stadium or simply up the stairwell of a 5+ floor building will do the trick. The increased need to drive the legs higher, and faster (as you pick up speed) makes for a great metabolic total body workout to build cardiovascular endurance, leg stamina and power, and sprint economy.

Prowler/Sled Drags

Sled or prowler drags are a slight variation of the push, which entails a harness or tether to be attached to an athlete as they run or walk with the weight trailing them. The prowler push can place people in odd positions, not very natural to the actually running mechanics. Dragging the load behind allows the lifter to assume a more natural posture and emphasize upright running mechanics, forward lean, and core stabilization.

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Mike holds a Master's in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Mike has been with BarBend since 2016, where he covers Olympic weightlifting, sports performance training, and functional fitness. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at New York University, in which he works primarily with baseball, softball, track and field, cross country. Mike is also the Founder of J2FIT, a strength and conditioning brand in New York City that offers personal training, online programs for sports performance, and has an established USAW Olympic Weightlifting club.In his first two years writing with BarBend, Mike has published over 500+ articles related to strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, and fitness. Mike’s passion for fitness, strength training, and athletics was inspired by his athletic career in both football and baseball, in which he developed a deep respect for the barbell, speed training, and the acquisition on muscle.Mike has extensive education and real-world experience in the realms of strength development, advanced sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, and human movement. He has a deep passion for Olympic weightlifting as well as functional fitness, old-school bodybuilding, and strength sports.Outside of the gym, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and traveller, who takes annual hunting and fishing trips to Canada and other parts of the Midwest, and has made it a personal goal of his to travel to one new country, every year (he has made it to 10 in the past 3 years). Lastly, Mike runs Rugged Self, which is dedicated to enjoying the finer things in life; like a nice glass of whiskey (and a medium to full-bodied cigar) after a hard day of squatting with great conversations with his close friends and family.