Home Gym Outfitting; Train with a Sled

May 13, 2019


By: Brandon Quakkelaar

Outfitting a home gym with a sled for drags and arm-over-arm pulls is simple. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment or gym memberships in order to train with a sled. You also don’t really need any tools or handyman skills to get started.

When I first wanted to add arm-over-arm pulls to work my cardio, grip, arms, and back, I looked around and found a few different options. And some of them were rather economical. However, most are still priced near a hundred dollars and they don’t include a rope nor a strap long enough for arm-over-arm pulls, which I’d have to purchase separately.

There’s a simpler and cheaper alternative to those econo sleds. It can be found at the local hardware store.

This tow strap cost me just about ten dollars.

20’ Tow Strap

When I combine it with a few of my bumper plates, it does exactly what I need. Ta-da! A “sled” for my home gym.

Arm-over-arm pull with a 20’ tow strap

This first experiment was awesome. It was easy to set up and it worked. Though, I did I noticed wear on the strap underneath the bumper plates. At first I thought it was no big deal. But if I had to replace the fraying strap a few times my costs would eventually be comparable with if I had bought an actual post style sled.

So to address the wear on the strap, I made a sheath using a an easily replaceable resource I frequently have lying around; a piece of cardboard.

A more resilient sled using a 20’ tow strap

I’m really happy with this setup. The cardboard works well on my reasonably smooth basement floor. It will eventually wear, but with the amount of online shopping my family does we’re never lacking fresh cardboard. Though, if the dragging surface were rougher, I’d imagine I’d have to use a different solution.

Adding useful pieces of equipment to a home gym doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. And, simple additions like this keep workouts engaging and fun.

Benefits of sled training with a tow strap are numerous.

  1. Simple. Really hard to mess up.
  2. Cheap. Just time, a stack of weights, and a ten dollar tow strap is all the investment you need to get started.
  3. Safe. You can do these by yourself. If you fail, there’s nothing that can fall and crush you.
  4. Versatile. You can do these heavy for strength. You can do these lighter for cardio. You can drag it forward or backward. Or, you can pull it arm-over-arm. Using just a tow strap you have enough equipment for a full body workout.

Things you can do with this include Arm-Over-Arm Pulls, and Reverse Sled Drag.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send comments to blog@quakkels.com.