An Introduction to the Prowler
A prowler is a large ‘sled’ which in more recent years has been used in gyms for both cardiovascular and strength workouts. At IPT Fitness, we now have two types of sled. The indoor prowler which travels on our astroturf sprint track. The outdoor ‘tank’, which is on wheels, with various ‘gears’ of resistance.
How does the Prowler work?
The prowler itself recreates the biomechanics of running, however offers the benefit of being low impact and therefore kinder on the joints. Using the prowler as opposed to running, allows you to work at a high intensity of training in a short amount of time. This makes it the perfect partner for interval training.
The prowler works your whole body, however is very focused on the lower body muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteals. These as the biggest muscles in the body and have the biggest metabolic and hormonal response after training.
The prowler is the ‘king’ of all high-intensity interval training (HIIT) modalities. You will burn calories during the workout, but also benefit from an increased metabolism post-workout.
Loading up the prowler with heavy weights is a fantastic way to effectively work the legs. It is useful for lower body training, as sometimes clients struggle with the biomechanics of squats or deadlifts to maximally increase the load. Also, as a byproduct of working with the largest muscles in the body, following prowler training you will experience an elevation in growth hormones.
The prowler is excellent for sports performance, in particular rugby conditioning. Working at a very high intensity for a very short time takes you to work in the Anaerobic-Alactic system, utilising ATP as fuel. The prowler also recruits the fast twitch muscle fibres in the posterior chain.
Those with joint restrictions
At IPT Fitness, our clients of 70 years plus have benefitted from prowler training. Clients with lower body injuries, in particular knees, are unable to complete squats or lunges. Using the prowler allows these clients to utilise the lower body muscle groups without pain. When pushing the prowler, the muscles are working continuously ‘concentrically’, which results in less muscle fibre damage which contributes to muscle soreness.