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Sled Dragging for Rehab/Restoration


Hey All,

I was hoping for some help in understand how exactly sled dragging (or pushing) is effective rehab/recovery tool? I understand that it limits the eccentric component, but is there still not muscle damage being done (just less than there would be with eccentric and concentric together)?

Thanks All,



This is a good question, and I've wondered this myself.

The damage done to tissue during concentric loading is definitely MUCH less than with eccentric loading. I think maybe the "recovery" effects (increased circulation and mechanical stimulation of tissues causing increased tissue repair) outweigh the muscle damage being done.

I'd be curious what others have to say about this.


Eccentric loads are generally what will create the added stresses on soft tissue and joints. By eliminating those eccentric loads, it will help eliminate extra damage to the soft tissue and can help progress specific issues at specific points during a rehabilitation.

It really all depends on the type of injury as well and what point of healing the injury is going through. Eccentric work is critical to proper rehabiltiation, but is best to be done in a controlled situation at the proper time during rehab.

For exmaple, if the injury is an acute and significant hamstring strain, then I would avoid too much activity with it all together until it is ready to handle extra loads, then you could progress to an overall concentric based strengthening program (sled work) and use a rehab focused and controlled eccentric work. From there, progress to your standard strenghtening work with eccentric components involved. If the injury was anterior knee pain, it would be beneficial to do sled work to avoid the eccentric loads on the patellar tendon and excessive anterior shearing forces on the knee. Controlled eccentric work would help develop and strengthen the patellar tendon to reduce the chance of future issues.

These are just my opinion on it from my experiences, but have found them very useful, especially with ACL repairs, mensical issues, and patellar tendinopathy/anterior knee pain.


Thanks for the post....very informative