It’s Always Prowler Flu Season

As defined by the notorious, Prowler Flu is: “Vomiting, nausea, fainting, body-aches and/or upper-respiratory distress associated with the activity of pushing, pulling, or towing a Prowler (large metal sled-type object used for sports conditioning exercises).”

Obviously, we’re not talking about the kind of sled you dig out on a snowy day. The Prowler is more like what you’ve seen being moved about on football practice fields. The gym version is designed to be broken down for transport, can be used on a wide range of surfaces, and usually weighs 75 pounds. I say “usually” because a Prowler features two upright poles for plate-loading—allowing for a far heavier workout.

To begin, here’s a basic idea of how to risk Prowler Flu infection:

With or without adding weight to the sled, position yourself behind the end at which the vertical poles are found. Place your hands on the poles, sink your hips, and push the sled for a predetermined distance (let’s say 10 to 20 yards). This action is accomplished by walking or running, or a little of both.

Once you’ve traveled to the goal, quickly move to the other side of the prowler and—without resting—place your hands on the low handles, sinking your hips even deeper than on the first trip. Push the sled (again: run or walk) back to your original starting point. Without resting, extend your legs backwards and do a set of push-ups with your hands still on the low handles.

Now you can rest…for no more than two minutes. One minute would be ideal. Catch your second wind via long, slow inhales and exhales and then repeat the sequence above until flu symptoms appear.

Of course, when pushing the prowler, you want to occupy proper form. You should be pushing evenly with both arms and legs, not allowing the neck or lower back to be primary movers, and breathe. Once you’re comfortable with the weight and motion of the prowler, you can get creative with variations that involve longer distances, faster speeds and even pulling the sled (by hand or with ropes).

No matter how much weight you push, how fast you do so, or what variations you choose, regular use of a prowler sled will strengthen your entire body (especially legs and hips) and provide a major high-intensity workout. It’s ideal for use during interval training with kettlebells, battling ropes and tires.

Final note: The exercise advice presented above is not meant for anyone with contraindicated health problems. Please consult a medical or fitness professional.