Saying Venus Williams loves her tennis racket is like saying a smoothie aficionado loves their blender; it’s a given. While it’s certainly true that tennis works the entire body, elite athletes like Williams work out off the court, too. And this is when she gets to use other pieces of workout equipment that she loves.

When I recently talked with Williams over Zoom (casual flex), she told me she plays tennis five days a week (sometimes more leading up to a tournament) and also works out in the gym. “I started building my own home gym during the pandemic, and I’ll just blast music and work out,” Williams says. While she likes to mix it up and is a big fan of resistance bands, her reformer, and weights, there’s one piece of equipment she’s particularly loving right now: her workout sled.

“My workout sled is one of my latest toys and it’s so much fun,” Williams says. That’s because it’s versatile, and it works the entire body. “You can push it, pull it, and the workouts are quick bursts of effort, which I like,” she says.

If you’ve never heard of a workout sled before, and you’re picturing the type of sled reserved for snowy hills, you should probably know that isn’t exactly what Williams is talking about here. A workout sled looks like an upside-down, halfway-built desk, with two pillars to hold onto and a base that you can load with weight. “There are a ton of benefits for athletes all the way down to the general population, and it’s generally used for conditioning, strength, and stability,” fitness trainer Chase Weber previously told Well+Good.

Weber adds that the sled can be used for lateral movements, row movements, pushing movements, or multipurpose, like with squat rows. However you put it to use, it will take your HIIT workouts to a whole new level. Convinced you want to outfit your own home gym with a workout sled? Check out the ones rounded up here. If it’s part of how Venus Williams gets her power from, sign me up to be sledding year-round.

Recover from your sled workout with this stretching routine:



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