Hyrox Sled Pull Guide: Mastering the Challenge

sled pull hyrox guide

The sled pull has long been a staple of old school CrossFit training and generally functional fitness workouts.

It’s a great movement to develop upper body strength and core.

It will also fatigue your legs more or less depending on technique, this aspect is particularly crucial when looking at sled pulls for HYROX racing.

HYROX races with their mix of running plus eight exercise stations always include sled pulls which will affect your body differently when running is also thrown in the mix.

Significance of the Sled Pull in Hyrox

The sled pull is the third station you go up against in a HYROX race sandwiched in between the sled push and the burpee broad jumps. The weight will change based on division but the described distance to be covered is always 50 m.

No matter if you are a HYROX lover or a die-hard Crossfitter, improving your sled pull technique or adding it into your training regimen can have amazing benefits.

Benefits we will break down in this blog together with the technical tips, strategy breakdown and sample workouts you can test yourself on.

Athlete: @mjac0by

What is the Hyrox Sled Pull?

Deceptively simple due to its straightforwardness, the sled pull requires the athlete to move a weighted sled on terrain or turf across a set distance. However, there are several techniques both when it comes to your pulling strokes and body positioning which will affect recruitment of different “helping” muscles in your body.

When broken down to its core components, the sled pull requires some degree of upper body pulling, which can be the only moving force at play or can be coupled with a certain amount of leg pressing and hip extension to help you move the sled faster, more explosively or overall move a heavier sled.

The Role of Sled Pulls in Hyrox

As you’ve previously seen, the sled pull is the third station in a HYROX race and coming after the sled push it will mean your legs will still be dealing with some degree of fatigue and even lactate if you weren’t able to clear it completely during the run. These considerations will be important to keep in mind when we discuss how to strategize the pull technique. 

In fact the wrong strategy can cost you A LOT given that this is one of the stations that sees the most time variability for its completion. Which means efficiency and smart management can make a huge difference for “lesser effort” in improving your overall HYROX time.


There is a designated space to pull the sled with a distance of about 2 meters. You cannot exit during each section of the sled pull (expect to have to complete 4 sections of 12.5 m).

The athlete starts the sections completely behind a designated line, and therefore within that aforementioned sectioned off space, and has to pull the sled all the way to the line.

DON’T FORGET that as you pull you will be accumulating the rope behind you meaning you will have even less space to move around.

sled pull tips hyrox

HYROX Sled Pull Weights

Women: 78 kg incl. sled
Women Pro: 103 kg incl. sled
Men: 103 kg incl. sled
Men Pro: 153 kg incl. sled
Mixed Doubles: 103 kg incl. sled
Women Doubles: 78 kg incl. sled
Men Doubles: 103 kg incl. sled
Relay: 78 kg /103 kgg (F/M) incl. sled

Type of sled pull techniques 

There are three main types of techniques used to perform a pull.

These can then be matched together to create “hybrid” versions. They are:

The arm over arm pull

This is the most upper body dominant variation. One you will see often in fitness photoshoots and similar ads.

It allows to increase upper body strength and pulling capacity while removing the eccentric phase of the movement making it less harsh on the joints.

However it’s also the technique that can “move” the least amount of weight. 

The hip drive pull

If you’re a CrossFit fan you’ll recognize this version from last year’s Games or SemiFinals events.

It’s the most commonly used in functional fitness training as it allows to develop core, hip, quad and glute strength and explosivity.

Plus in CrossFit competition you are usually not allowed to move from your pulling set up.

The backwards walk

Less of a pull and more of a drag this technique allows you to move the most amount of weight for the least effort making it a great variation for HYROX racing as you are allowed to move around within that 2m athlete box.

Choosing the right technique for you 

Now that we’ve looked at sled weights for the different divisions, we have a better idea of what each of us can expect on race day for their race and their capabilities.

As you can see these sleds are HEAVY so if you are training pulls to compete in HYROX it automatically will reduce the type of techniques you can use. 

With our HYROX athletes and within our HYROX program we recommend using and training a specific hybrid technique that mixes the initial pull of a hip drive with the backward walk technique.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training program for you!

  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

How to Perform a Sled Pull Correctly

Step 1

The set up

No matter the technique you will be choosing, the sled pull always starts with the same set up.

Grab the rope and pull it until there is no slack left, the ropes in HYROX races can have some degree of give or stretch, so make sure you are creating sufficient tension.

Once the rope is taught, sit back into your hips almost as if you were setting up for a deadlift but with a prouder chest. While you do this your arms should still be bent at about 90 degrees at the elbow.

Depending on your mobility, strength and how much force you’ll need to move the sled, your hips will be slightly higher or lower, but you’ll likely be somewhere just below parallel compared to your knees or a few degrees above.

What happens next will depend on your technique of choice.

Hyrox sled pull technique

The arm over arm 

Step 2 

Making sure your core is tight, and you’re hanging back in your hips you will reach as far as possible with one arm, grab and pull. Repeat this, alternating arms until you have completed your desired distance.

Because you want to maximize inertia and therefore never allow the sled to come to a stop make the pulls fast even if it means slightly shortening each pull.

The hip drive pull 

Step 2

Set up will be similar but this time your arms will be holding the rope almost completely extended and NOT bent. Once you are in position, you will press through the floor with your legs while explosively extending your hips.

Step 3

The inertia created by the explosiveness of Step 2 will give you enough momentum to finish the pull through the arms so that you can maximize every centimeter of each pull. 

The backward walk

Step 2 

After setting up you will utilize the resistance of the rope and sled to lean further back not just with your hips but torso as well. This will move your center of balance backwards enough to put the sled in motion. For this variation we recommend also keeping your arms extended while holding the rope to not excessively fatigue your biceps.

Step 3

Once you’re effectively “falling backwards” use that momentum to step back and make sure to press through the floor with your supporting leg with each step while keeping tension in the rope.

Common mistakes to avoid and How to Overcome Them

Rope management ❌

When you are forced to stay within a 2 m box you need to be highly aware of where you are placing the excess rope you leave behind as you pull.

Especially when using the backward walk technique as you do not want to trip over yourself. We recommend always keeping the rope to the side for management.

Using the wrong technique ❌

We see this a lot with rookies that overestimate how easy it is to fatigue on the pulls or how hard they will feel under the added fatigue from the running. If you are efficient, you are fast and therefore the technique that allows you to move the most weight for the least effort is almost always the best choice.

Stepping out of your box ❌

Doesn’t need much explaining. You DO NOT want to get a penalty, do you?

Not training to race standard ❌

We recommend training by race standards as well to come to race day fully prepared.

Always make sure to read up on the year’s rulebook, so you are up to date with regulations.

Pace mismanagement ❌

As mentioned previously, you won’t be able to fully know how fatigue will affect you as you complete the station, especially if you have not trained the movement and conditions adequately.

Make sure to plan out your strategy and test it well to see how you will handle it on race day.

Maintaining Form Under Pressure ❌

If you get sloppy you lose efficiency = you will slow down. So despite the fatigue you have to focus on keeping form. How do you do so? You train it, and keep yourself accountable to not sandbag any reps.

sled pull tips for hyrox

Training Tips for Mastering Sled Pulls

Specific muscle group Warm-Ups and Mobility Exercises can help you feel more comfortable and powerful on the sled pulls.

Similarly Drills can help hammer down technical changes that may need to be implemented for you to improve your form or skill variations.

We recommend checking out our video tutorial on sled pulls to learn more about quick tips to help you master the sled pull. In this video we also showcase the exact hybrid technique we teach our HYROX athletes to use to reduce their times at this station.

YouTube video

Integrating Sled Pulls into Your Training Routine

In this video above, you will find quick workouts to help you test out the sled pull.

However, if you are planning on racing in HYROX and want to ensure you will be showing up on game day fully prepared, a proper training program is what is needed.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training program for you!

  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

FAQs About Hyrox Sled Pulls

How far is the sled pull at HYROX? 

50m split currently in 12.5 meter segments.

What muscles do the HYROX sled pull work?

Mainly biceps, core, glutes, hamstrings and quads. Certain variations will be a lot more upper body intensive.

What are the benefits of sled pulls?

Improving upper body strength and strength endurance, lower body explosiveness and strength and some hypertrophy across the board for all muscle groups.

How heavy should a sled pull be?

It depends on your level of strength and fitness, the purpose you are executing the pull for and the distance you aim to cover. First narrow down WHY you are training sled pulls and if there are standards you need to abide to and it will make deciding a sled weight much simpler.


Recap of Key Points

  • The sled pull is a great all around exercise that depending on the modality you train it in can work on all your muscles and improve cardiovascular endurance as well.
  • Define your goal with your sled pulls then identify the right weight and technique for you.
  • If you are training sled pulls for HYROX you need to train the standards and under fatigue as well to arrive prepared on race day.
  • If you are racing pay attention to how you manage your rope or risk losing precious time.