General Physical Preparedness

4 Movements for Big Gains With Low Risk

These functional movements are safe, effective and low-tech options designed for maximum gains.


Incorporate these exercises into your training regimen if you’re looking for movements with high return and low risk.

Sled drag: It’s just walking, after all. For maximum benefit, stand tall and walk (don’t run) heel to toe. This excellent hamstring and glute exercise is a winner whether you’re going light and long (like a mile of continuous walking) or heavy and short (like eight to 12 efforts for a couple of hundred feet with a couple of hundred pounds).

Airdyne: These machines are like awful baby sitters. With no instruction or skill, virtually anyone can get access to soul-crushing wind work on the bike.

Front carry: Selfishly, I’d like to see these done with a heavy sandbag or a keg for low-tech, high-return training. Similar to the sled drag, athletes will walk with an upright posture, pulling from heel to toe. Most applications will be heavier and incorporate faster turnover than the sled variation. With minimal skill, athletes of all levels can get extremely strong and extremely winded instantly.

Prowler push: If you’ve ever trained with a Prowler, you know its capacity for death and destruction. Regardless of the weight, the harder you push, the harder it pushes back. Any athlete with two working legs can dive deep into fitness gains without any consequences with this death tool.

Sometimes training is about maximum gain with the least effective dose. These four movements can wreck shop without wrecking your body with injuries seven days a week.