The single most important aspect of knees over toes/ATG training is pushing and pulling the sled.
Sled work is the foundation for all other knees over toes movements and it’s the one workout the Knees Over Toes Guy does every single day!
In this article we’re going to take a look at what your sled workouts should look like, some tips for doing it properly, and what benefits you can expect by incorporating this into your routine.
Full Knees Over Toes Sled Workout
Before we get into sets, reps, and weight, it’s important that you’ve got the technique down pat.
There’s a pretty big difference between pushing/pulling a sled and pushing/pulling a sled knees over toes style!
ATG Sled Technique – Focus On The Quads
KOT sledding is all about VMO activation.
Our objective is to create the craziest quad burn possible.
Resulting from this increased blood flow, we’ll be driving tons of nutrients into the knee joint, making both the muscles and tendons healthier.
Let’s start with the sled push.
ATG Sled Push – Tips
When pushing the sled you should feel a big stretch in your feet/ankles and Achilles tendon.
You should focus on driving through your big toe which is going to maximize the foot/Achilles stretch and help to keep tension on your quads.
If at some point while pushing the sled you find that your glutes start to steal some of that burn from your quads, focus back in on activating that VMO to drive the sled.
Remember, we want to keep everything on the quads as much as possible!
ATG Sled Pull – Tips
If you haven’t already, you should go and read my full article which talks in more detail about the reverse sled pull, but I’ll briefly run through the basics here as well.
Just like pushing the sled, when pulling it we want to focus on using our quads to generate power.
We do this by ensuring we’re actually getting into that knees over toes position by sitting back into the pull.
With every stride, you should focus on driving through the quads and the quads only.
If you feel as though your hips are generating some power, focus back in on the quads.
The aspect of ‘smoothness’ is really important when pulling the sled too.
Each stride should be a consistent length with a consistent pace and you should look very controlled the entire time.
The smoother you can pull the sled, the more your quads will burn!
Sets, Reps, Weight, Frequency?
Ben Patrick prefers to use the sled as a warm up.
He does his sledding first thing when he gets in the gym, even on upper body days!
He’s also said you can use it as a finisher and that it doesn’t really matter so much when you do it, so long as you get it in.
Personally I do a couple minutes sledding before my leg workout just to get some blood flowing to the quads and then I’ll do my proper sled session at the end of my workout to finish the quads off.
A typical set/rep scheme will also vary depending on the space you have available, whether you’re doing both push/pull or just pull, and how advanced you are.
Ben Patrick’s standard is 8 ‘up and backs’ consecutively, over a distance of maybe 40-50 feet.
By this I mean you’re pushing the sled on the way up, and pulling it on the way back.
I personally look to do this ~3 times a session with a good 5-7 minutes break in between sets.
That’s an epic workout.
In terms of weight, the standard for the sled pull is half your bodyweight (that’s total, including the sled), but I imagine slightly less than half bodyweight would be ideal when pushing and pulling together.
You can also sled as little or as much as you like.
Ben does it every day of the week!
Knees Over Toes Sled Benefits
There’s so many great reasons to be sledding that it’s not really surprising Ben loves this workout so much.
The Sled Is A Powerful Foot Workout
Your feet almost never get worked out, which is criminal considering how vital they are to jumping and sprinting…
However when pushing the sled, you’re getting an epic stretch through the middles of your feet.
You’re also getting some really awesome deep ankle flexion which is great for ankle mobility.
Sledding Is Great For Your Achilles
The Achilles tendon is also massively neglected in the majority of athletes.
It cops an absolute hiding when jumping and running, but rarely do we take the time to stretch it out and apply load in a slower, controlled fashion.
Pushing the sled is one of the best ways to strengthen and lengthen the Achilles.
Sledding Is Safe For All Kinds Of Athletes
As Ben Patrick says, “the sled is the only movement I do where you’re moving it, and it’s never moving you.”
This makes sledding one of the safest things you can do as an athlete (or non-athlete).
The worst thing that can happen when sledding is that it doesn’t move.
This makes it appropriate for both 10 years olds as well as 80 year olds!
Sledding Is Incredible Cardio
If you’ve never done an intense sled workout, let me tell you it can be an incredibly brutal experience.
Nothing I’ve done in the gym for the past 10 years has got my heart rate up anywhere near as much as sledding has.
It’s also a magnificent burn in the quads.
You can push that thing up and down a few times and a few minutes later be completely drenched in sweat, out of breath, and wobbling around on jelly legs!
Which Sled Should I Get?
Fortunately for us, there’s now some really amazing and affordable sleds designed specifically for knees over toes training.
Be sure to check out my full roundup of the best ATG sleds for my top recommendation as well as some handy discounts.
Working with a training sled is one of the foundational movements of the ATG/knees over toes training methodology for good reason.
If you’re not already sledding on the regular, I absolutely implore you to find a way to make this a regular part of your routine.
Sleds appropriate for knees over toes don’t have to be crazy expensive and are well worth the investment considering this is something you can do every day for the rest of your life!
Be sure to take it slowly and nail the technique and your knees will thank you!