Have You Seen This Crazy, New Thing At The Gym?

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_DSC0203-embedCourtesy Of Robin Arzón/Photographed By Fred Goris.
I’ve seen (and tried) just about every wacky gadget that's ever been erected in a gym. Some don't amount to much more than a source of laughs and a day's worth of soreness. So, I'm really excited that The Prowler (also referred to as a "sled") is getting its 15 minutes of fitness fame. While the tool — which you might have seen in a football training camp sequence on TV — may not have made it to your local facility just yet, it's finally starting to pop up at boot-camp gyms and private studios.

It may look a little barbaric, but The Prowler is actually really effective at building power, speed, and strength, explains Robin Arzón, ultra-marathoner and co-creator of the Run Strong program at S10 Training studio in NYC. (That’s her in the picture.) “It's no joke! It's tough, but great for cardiovascular conditioning and developing strength in your leg, hip, core, and arm muscles," she says. "After just a few runs, you’ll be panting, but your heart, lungs, and abs will thank you."

One celeb up for the fitness challenge: Hilary Duff. A few weeks ago, she Tweeted a picture of her dragging one of these across the gym floor. Go, Duff!

The most common exercise using the equipment is The Prowler sprint, which involves loading the sled with weight plates, standing behind it, and pushing. If you’re lucky enough to have the tool at your gym, ask a trainer for a demo before attempting it yourself. Form is imperative — you want to keep your shoulders rolled down and back, and your center of gravity low. “Imagine you’re as flat as a plank before you start to push, and don't allow your back to arch,” explains Arzón. Push through the balls of the foot to move the sled forward, and drive knees up towards your chest to engage your core.

“It’s empowering being able to push and pull your own body weight,” Arzón says. We think it’s also pretty badass.