The Effects of Heavy Resisted Sled Pulling on Sprint Mechanics and Spatiotemporal Parameters

J Strength Cond Res. 2023 Dec 1;37(12):2346-2353. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004548.


Stavridis, I, Ekizos, A, Zisi, M, Agilara, G-O, Tsolakis, C, Terzis, G, and Paradisis, G. The effects of heavy resisted sled pulling on sprint mechanics and spatiotemporal parameters. J Strength Cond Res 37(12): 2346-2353, 2023-This study examines the effects of 2 resisted sled sprinting (RSS) training programs: with a load corresponding to the running velocity associated with the apex of the individual velocity-power relationship (50%vdec), with a load equal to 10% of body mass (10% BM), and of an unresisted sprint training (URS). We measured the 30-m sprint performance in intervals of 5 m examining sprint acceleration, mechanical properties (theoretical maximal horizontal power [Pmax], force [F0], velocity [v0], slope of the force-velocity relationship [SFv], maximal ratio of horizontal-to-resultant force [RFmax], rate of decrease in RF [Drf]), and spatiotemporal parameters (step frequency [SF], step length [SL], flight time [FT], and contact time [CT]). Twenty-seven sprinters were randomly assigned into the 50%vdec, 10% BM, and URS groups, performing 12 sessions over 6 consecutive weeks (2 sets of 5 sprints per session). The 50%vdec group significantly improved (p < 0.05) their performance in all 30-m intervals. Posttraining, the 50%vdec group showed significantly increased Pmax, F0, and RFmax (mean differences: 1.46 ± 1.70 W·kg-1, 0.51 ± 0.68 N·kg-1, and 0.17 ± 0.18%, respectively), compared with pretraining. The 50%vdec group achieved higher SF, whereas FT decreased postintervention. No significant changes (p > 0.05) were found in the performance and mechanical and spatiotemporal variables in the other groups. In conclusion, RSS training with a load of 50%vdec provides an effective loading stimulus to induce adaptations that improve sprint acceleration performance. The improvements are explained by greater amounts of force and power, efficient force application, and higher step frequencies.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Humans
  • Resistance Training*