Bentley, I, Sinclair, JK, Atkins, SJ, Metcalfe, J, and Edmundson, CJ. Effect of velocity-based loading on acceleration kinetics and kinematics during sled towing. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—Sled towing (ST) provides an external load in the form of a sled towed using a shoulder or waist harness and cord behind the athlete. Loading strategies have varied greatly between studies, and despite many investigations, there is little agreement on the optimum sled loading to develop the acceleration phase. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinetics and kinematics of velocity-based ST during the acceleration phase of sprinting. Twelve academy rugby league players performed a series of 6-m sprints in different conditions; uninhibited, 10, 15, and 20% velocity decrement (VDec). Sagittal plane kinematics and kinetic measures were examined using 1-way repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results indicated that ST affected trunk, knee, and ankle joint kinematics (p < 0.05). Peak knee flexion increased as sled loads increased (p < 0.05), which may enable athletes to lower their center of mass and increase their horizontal force application. Net horizontal and propulsive impulse measures were greater in all sled conditions (p < 0.05), which increased significantly because sled loadings were heavier. In conclusion, this study highlights the effects of differential loads to help coaches understand acute kinetics and kinematic changes to improve the planning of sprint training.
1Center for Applied Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, School of Sport and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom;
2Center for Health Sciences Research, School of Health Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom; and
3Sport, Physical Education and the Outdoors, School of Sport and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom
Address correspondence to Ian Bentley, IBentley1@uclan.ac.uk.