Ask Ant – The Raw Strength Q&A
Welcome to answer time! You ask the questions and I’ll throw the answers straight back at ya!
Here we go…
Why do your legs tire faster when dragging the sled backwards as opposed to forwards?
Thanks for the question Tony!
If we take a look at how much muscle is located on the back of your legs, we find the hamstrings, glutes and calves. The combination of all of these muscles is a group commonly called the ‘posterior chain’, they are the strongest group of muscles in the body and you use them all when you drag the sled forwards.
Now compare that to how much muscle is located on the front of your legs; we have the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas, pectineus, sartorius and rectus femoris for those who are interested!). When these muscles are combined the total strength is less than the ‘posterior chain’ AKA the strongest muscle group, and these weaker muscles are used when you drag the sled backwards. So it’s harder to drag the sled backwards with the SAME WEIGHT as when you drag it forwards, if you added more weight on the forwards movement and less weight on the backwards movement you could manage to fatigue the muscles equally, but with the same weight, its because stronger muscles and more muscles are used on forwards sled dragging.
Also, on the forwards movement you are extending the legs, extending the hips and extending the ankle, this will obviously use muscles for all these actions. However, when going backwards you typically only extend the legs, hip position stays the same which prevents any muscles around the hip getting in on the action!
Information overload? My fault!
In summary, its easier to drag the sled forwards because a greater number of stronger muscles are used.
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