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What Is a Prowler and How Do You Work Out With It?

This intimidating piece of equipment can shred your body from head to toe and condition it far more effectively than a treadmill.

You’ve probably seen the prowler in your gym. It’s menacing-yet-minimalist and appears that it would be more at home at a football training camp. That's a pretty good assessment actually—it’s one of the most intense ways to step up your interval training game, simply because it can replace a sled, a hill, hell, even a truck. 

“There’s a reason the term ‘prowler flu’ has been coined with this piece of equipment,” says Liz Lowe, C.S.C.S., head program designer at Scorch Fitness, a high-intensity interval training gym in Sarasota, Florida. “It will have you gasping for air and possibly sick to your stomach whether you’re training lower body, upper body, or core,” she adds.

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The prowler is an extremely versatile piece of equipment and can be used to train the entire body in all planes of motion. Load it up with heavy weight for anaerobic strength conditioning or move it for longer distances with lighter weight for aerobic conditioning, Lowe says.  

Sled training has also become very popular but don’t confuse the two for the same piece of equipment. “The main difference between the two is the basic sled can be dragged or pulled with a harness and pushed in a low, horizontal stance,” Lowe says. But, you can't push it because it doesn't have the upright push bars of a prowler. The prowler also wins in the size department: it's larger and can hold more weight. You can even add different attachments, like cables or ropes, to create variety in your workout. Because of all that, it makes sense that it's a bit more expensive than a sled (around $300). But if your gym doesn't have one, it may be a worthwhile investment if you’re not a fan of traditional cardio and want to shock your body into experiencing a level of fatigue it’s never been pushed to before.

You can do resisted sprints, hill sprints, low-bar and high-bar pushes using light and/or heavy weight, pulls using a cable or rope, and rows. And that's just the beginning. 

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