We believe it’s important for our readers to understand why we choose the various exercises and workouts we chose and how they help us accomplish our strength and endurance objectives. The ‘drag’ is the latest exercise we are breaking down in an ongoing series defining and explaining the various physical aspects of our routines.
By J. D.
If you’ve followed Survival Legion for any length of time, you’ve seen workouts and videos where we are dragging an object — either a large tire, as in the photo above, or a weighted workout sled.
Dragging fulfills a number of fitness objectives but also dragging trains the body for certain types of activities that many of our heroes manning the thin blue line, in the fire service, working EMS, protecting our country in the military, and our community-minded vets and patriots face in the line of duty and service.
A resistance exercise, dragging builds muscle power, burst power, and endurance. A 2010 study (.pdf) found that such exercises improved the overall strength and endurance for the approximately 15 percent of women (at the time) who made up civil and federal law enforcement and the military.
Walking backward with a rope/sled combo works quadriceps — the muscles located on the front of your thighs. Walk backward at a good clip and you’ll smoke your quads, guaranteed. This is also a viable alternative to squats.
Turning around and dragging a weighted sled, by comparison, is useful for those who may have to run/sprint on the job or grapple with someone.
Dragging from a squatting position not only works your legs but also your back muscles — which is really handy for readers who must move mountains (and large people) for a living.
This isn’t an exercise you need to do every day but getting after it a couple of times per week isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re looking to build strength and endurance in your lower body more quickly.
J. D., a former paramedic, firefighter, and 15-year military veteran of OEF, is co-founder of Survival Legion, a vet-owned company that stresses functional fitness and draws it’s uniqueness from the Roman Legions.