Prowler Pushes are one of my all-time favorite exercises. I’ve been doing Prowler Pushes for myself and athletes I’ve worked with for over a decade. It adds great variety to a workout and does a tremendous job of building leg strength and conditioning.
However, if you’re like me and workout in your garage, chances are you don’t have a Prowler Sled.
In that case, you’re going to need an alternative for Prowler Pushes. Good news, you’re in the right place. In this guide, I’m going to give you 10 of my favorite Prowler Push alternatives.
Alternatives for Prowler Push
All of these Prowler Push alternatives try to mimic the movement patterns and benefits of the Prowler Push. You’re going to find a lot of single-leg exercises that build leg strength and tax the cardiovascular system.
Each exercise uses different equipment (some even no equipment at all) so hopefully at least one of them will be a good fit for you.
- Weight Plate
- Turf (or another compatible surface)
- Set a weight plate down on the turf.
- Place your hands toward the side of the plate closest to you, heels of your hands should be just behind the lip of the plate.
- Extend your arms, flatten your back and brace on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your arms straight and drive forward with the legs, pushing the plate along the ground.
- Continue until the designated distance is reached or the time ends.
The surface you use is the key for Plate Pushes. Ideally, you always want to do Plate Pushes on turf. Other surfaces may not allow for the plates to slide and/or could scuff up your plates pretty badly.
Make sure to watch your hands while doing Plate Pushes. You can get a pretty serious turf burn by allowing your fingers and/or hands to rub along the turf as you push.
Dumbbell Walking Lunge
In a way, Prowler Pushes are essentially a series of lunges. So, it only makes sense that Dumbbell Walking Lunges are a perfect alternative to Prowler Pushes.
- Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand
- Squeeze the shoulder blades and engage the lats to create a stable back to help with bracing the upper body
- Once you’ve created enough room for yourself from the dumbbell rack (or wherever you pulled them from) you can begin the movement.
- Step forward with one leg, giving yourself enough room to be able to drop into a lunge comfortably without feeling overextended.
- Keep the chest as upright as possible and drop the back knee to roughly one inch from the floor.
- Now drive through the heel and midfoot of the front foot to drive yourself back up tall.
- Repeat on the opposite leg and alternate back and forth until all reps have been completed.
Coaching Points (Fixes to Common Mistakes)
When you step out, make sure to keep the feet shoulder-width apart. If you’re feeling very off-balance in your lunge there is a good chance that you are stepping the lead foot directly in front of the back foot (essentially placing yourself on a tight rope).
Have a hill nearby? That may be all the equipment you need to replace Prowler Pushes in your workout. The natural incline will challenge the body in much the same way as pushing a sled.
For an added challenge, wear a weight vest for added resistance.
Pro Tip: Sprint to the top and then walk back down the hill on each rep. Not only is walking downhill safer and easier on your joints, but the walk down can also act as an active recovery in between reps as well.
Similar to Hill Sprints, Stadium Stairs can be a great alternative for Prowler Pushes. I’ve been spoiled my whole life working at colleges and having access to good sets of stadium stairs.
However, don’t assume that you don’t have access to stadium stairs near you. Many stadiums are open to the public throughout the day and I saw people all the time that would come into our stadiums and run the stairs.
I would highly suggest trying to contact someone if you have a stadium near you to see what their policy is on allowing people to come into the stadium and use the venue.
Scissor Jumps are a great alternative that requires nothing but your own body weight. They can also be done anywhere, anytime – making them great for workouts on the road away from the gym.
- Assume a lunge starting position with one foot out in front and one foot behind.
- Drop the back knee into a lunge to just a few inches from the ground.
- Now, explosively drive up and jump off the ground.
- Switch the leg positions in the air and land with the feet in the opposite positions.
- Drop right back into the next lunge and continue to alternate back and forth until all reps are completed.
Keep your base. The width of the feet should stay shoulder width apart. It’s easy to start to let your feet get narrow which leads to being off-balance and technique breakdowns.
Similar to lunges, Dumbbell Step-Ups are another good option to work on single-leg strength.
- Dumbbells (Kettlebells can also be used if needed)
- A very stable surface to step up to.
- With the dumbbells at your side, hinge at the waist and bend your knees to lift. Keep a neutral spine as you are lifting the dumbbells.
- Use a box height that is going to allow your hip and knee flexion to be as similar as possible to your stride while sprinting or bounding.
- Place one foot on the box, and drive the other leg’s knee up.
- The leg drive should be fast and explosive. (Quick note: keep the up leg’s foot pulled up toward the shin).
- Engage the glutes and pause for a brief second at the top of the movement.
- Carefully lower the leg back down and prepare for the next repetition.
A stable box cannot be overstated here. If the box is not stable, do not do step-ups. The risk-to-reward ratio should always be considered with all exercises and implements.
A sled is a much more feasible option to own compared to a Prowler. They take up less space, they’re much cheaper and they work on a wider variety of surfaces.
Once you’re strapped in, a sled is going to work much the same way as a Prowler. You can use a lighter weight and do speed work or load it up and emphasize building leg strength.
Medicine Ball Cannonballs
Medicine Ball Cannonballs aren’t necessarily a single-leg option, but they are a total body movement and they can be done at tempo. This means you can develop explosiveness and improve conditioning at the same time.
- Medicine Ball
- First, make sure you have enough ceiling height to be able to do Cannonballs. I recommend doing them outside to avoid this issue altogether.
- Grab the ball with both hands cradling under the ball. Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Pull the shoulder blades back, engage the lats and core, slightly bend the knees and hinge forward at the hips.
- Allow the medicine ball to fall in between the shins.
- You should now be in a good athletic position that looks very similar to the starting position of a Hang Clean.
- From here, explosively drive the feet through the ground and aggressively extend the hips and throw the ball as high as possible*.
- Allow the ball to hit the ground, grab it, then reset and repeat.
Do NOT try to catch the ball directly out of the air. This is a great way to jam a wrist or a finger. Allow the ball to hit the ground first before grabbing it for the next rep.
Like Med Ball Cannonballs, Tire Flips aren’t a single-leg movement either. But, also like Cannonballs, Tire Flips can be done at tempo meaning they can absolutely torch your legs and lungs at the same time.
- Tire Flips are a true total body movement. Almost every major muscle group is at work at some point during Tire Flips.
- Make sure you have plenty of space to be able to safely flip the tire.
- Start with the tire laying on the ground on its side.
- Stand with toes almost against the tire, feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
- Drop the hips and reach under the tire.
- Once you have a good grip under the tire flatten your back and brace your core.
- Drive the feet through the ground and aggressively begin to extend the hips.
- If the tire is heavy, you can slide one knee under the tire to help with leverage once the tire is high enough.
- When the tire gets above stomach height, flip your hands around so you can begin to push the tire.
- Push the tire forcefully forward – extending with both your arms and legs.
- The tire should land on its side. Repeat for the designated amount of distance or reps.
Just like with Deadlifts and Power Clean, it’s extremely important to drop the hips, use the legs and keep the back flat. Once fatigue starts to set in I generally see athletes resort to using more back than legs. If form reaches this point then it’s time to stop flipping the tire.
Push a Truck
I saved the best for last.
When I was in high school we would take our cars and trucks up to the high school parking lot and push laps around the school. We didn’t have any fancy equipment, but I have no doubt we got really strong pushing those trucks.
If you have a partner, a vehicle and an open parking lot – you have everything you need to get the work done. Just make sure the lot you use is safe for you to be pushing a car around.
Prowler Pushes are an excellent exercise for power development and conditioning but sometimes Prowler Pushes just aren’t an option. You may not have the proper equipment available to you or at other times you might just be looking to add some variety to your training program.
In these situations, you’ll need a Prowler Push alternative and I hope that at least one of the alternative exercises I’ve listed here fits what you were looking for.
Don’t ever let lack of equipment be an excuse for not being able to get your workout in. For example, here are some Medicine Ball Slam alternatives if you don’t have a medicine ball.