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Benefits/Drawbacks of Sled Sprints?

In preparation for the upcoming football season, I am planning on adding sled drags to my routine to work on speed, strength, and some explosiveness, not to mention lean down and get back into football-shape.

I made a nice one out of some heavy wood, and can put just about as many plates on it as I want.

After searching and reading though various posts, it seems some people briskly walk with moderate loads, and most drag very heavy loads. I’m assuming the slow dragging is more of a strength focus, while walking, is a re/prehab type thing.

On to my question: is there anything wrong with sprinting with moderate weight? It seems to me many athletes would be doing if it was as benficial as other types of sled drags, but I guess sprinting with heavy loads would have more of a risk of injury (correct me if im wrong).

By the way, I’m 17, 205lb, and play linebacker.

Sorry for the noob post, but anybody’s imput would be great.

Thanks

There’s nothing wrong with sprinting with a sled, it’s a great exercise.

The thing is though, when you start doing sprints it becomes much more draining on your CNS which will limit the amount of other CNS draining activities you would perform (like heavy lifting).

I’m not sure what kind of split you’re using, but a good solution would be to do the sled sprints before your heavy lower body day (assuming that your main focus is on speed). It really depends what your priorities are.

I wouldn’t sprint with more than 20-40 pounds. Basically, once it starts to slow you down a noticeable amount or compromise running technique, you’re better off served piling on the weight and doing drags.

Joe DeFranco gave this as a sample recommendation:

Linear Speed Workout

*
  Hurdle Hops or High Box Jumps ? Perform 3 sets of 3 jumps. Rest one minute between sets.
*
  Loaded 20-yard sprints (use either a weighted vest or sled) ? Perform 6 weighted 20-yard sprints. Rest 30 seconds between sprints.
*
  Free sprints (no added weight) ? Perform four 20-yard sprints, rest 30 seconds between sprints. After the last sprint, rest one minute then perform three 30-yard sprints. Rest the amount of time it takes you to walk back to the start line. After the last 30-yard sprint, rest one minute then perform two 40-yard sprints. Rest two minutes between the 40-yard sprints.

And I think his recommendations for weight was 10-20% of bodyweight for resisted sprints.

thanks for the input guys

[quote]jtrinsey wrote:
I wouldn’t sprint with more than 20-40 pounds. Basically, once it starts to slow you down a noticeable amount or compromise running technique, you’re better off served piling on the weight and doing drags.
[/quote]

While this is true that heavier loads will compromise technique, I don’t think it means much for a non-sprinter.

As a football player, your running technique is going to be compromised every time you get hit or blocked(I don’t know what position you play). In fact, very rarely during a football game while you be running using perfect, or close to perfect running technique. You will be changing direction, avoiding hits, taking hits, jumping, ducking, juking, etc.

In short, I like the idea of sled sprinting, even heavy sled sprinting.

The drawback to sacrificing technique, reagrdless of their sport, would be the change in mechanics that occurs. This shifts the training stress from certain muscles and joints to others.

If this occurs repeatedly over an extended period then you start to see acute or chronic problems. An example might be the shift of stress from hip flexors to adductors when trying to perform hip flexion…this can lead to groin pulls, etc. Just my two cents.

[quote]Jimmy the Saint wrote:
The drawback to sacrificing technique, reagrdless of their sport, would be the change in mechanics that occurs. This shifts the training stress from certain muscles and joints to others.

If this occurs repeatedly over an extended period then you start to see acute or chronic problems. An example might be the shift of stress from hip flexors to adductors when trying to perform hip flexion…this can lead to groin pulls, etc. Just my two cents.[/quote]

Yes, I agree, but as long as the athlete isn’t only doing sled sprints, he should be fine.