I train kids as one of the my jobs. Even in a well-equipped community gym, you don't have a lot of the equipment I take for granted as "basics." Like sleds, tires to flip, pullup bars that the kids can reach (not adult sized), etc.
So I have to improvise a lot.
Plus, with kids, it can be hard to train them strenuously and get good technique at the same time. So technique-light, effort-heavy exercises are ideal.
That in mind, I have done lots of "Prowler" substitutions.
I've had them push, in order of difficulty:
- gymnastics mats (for the youngest)
- a bosu ball, flat side down, on a carpet
- gymnastic mats with heavy things (sand-filled med balls, or even other kids) on top.
- sand-filled free-standing kicking/punching bags
- water-filled free-standing kick bags
These aren't really as hard to push as a prowler. But they are progressively harder to push, and demand a low stance to move. You need only a few cues - head down, chest up, and "don't stop driving forward!"
It's worked, too. One kid did his first push of the small kicking bag and took almost three minutes. Now it doesn't even slow him down and he needs the heaviest object we've got that's still moveable. I'd love a real prowler or a pushing sled and a place to push it, but for now . . . creativity has to supply the answer.