Sled Drags For Leg Hypertrophy: The Missing Link In Your Training

Jun 09, 2023

Are you looking for a way to take your leg training to the next level? Look no further than sled drags. This often overlooked exercise can be the missing link in your leg hypertrophy training.

Remmeber the basics

Muscle hypertrophy, or muscle growth, is primarily caused by mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage. Mechanical tension occurs when muscles are challenged during resistance training, stimulating adaptation and growth. Metabolic stress, generated through intense exercise, triggers cellular responses that promote protein synthesis and hormonal release. Muscle damage from exercise leads to repair and rebuilding, resulting in muscle growth. Factors like genetics, hormones, nutrition, rest, and recovery also influence hypertrophy.

HOW WE ACHIEVE THESE IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU. Personally, I love sled drags as I can hit all three of these hypertophy triggers with minimum technical difficulty AND significantly lower joint impact. Watch this video to understand the basics in less than 2 minutes: 

What Are Sled Drags?

Sled drags involve pulling a weighted sled across a surface, typically using a harness or rope. This exercise is often used by athletes to improve their speed and power, but it can also be a highly effective tool for building muscle.

Why Sled Drags Are Effective for Leg Hypertrophy?

Sled drags target the entire lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. The constant tension and resistance provided by the sled create a unique stimulus for muscle growth that cannot be replicated by traditional strength training exercises.

Additionally, sled drags require a high level of effort and intensity, which can lead to increased muscle activation and recruitment.

leg muscles

How to Perform Sled Drags

To perform sled drags, you will need access to a sled and a flat surface, such as a track or gym floor. Attach a harness or rope to the sled, and then attach the other end to your body.

Begin by standing upright and leaning forward slightly, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and glutes, and then begin to walk forward, pulling the sled behind you.

It is important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, keeping your back straight and your shoulders pulled back. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the resistance as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

sled drag

Variations of Sled Drags

Backward Sled Drags

This variation involves pulling the sled backward, which places more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes. Lean back slightly and engage your glutes as you pull the sled toward you.

Lateral Sled Drags

This variation involves pulling the sled to the side, which targets the inner and outer thighs. Take a wide stance and pull the sled laterally, keeping your core engaged and your back straight.

sled variations

Training Drags

The frequency of sled drags to build muscle may depend on various factors such as individual fitness goals, training experience, and overall training program. Here are some of my personal reccomendations:

Aim to push a sled for eight sets of 20-30-second intervals. Use just a tad less than your max load for a 20-to-30 second push. Rest as long as you need between sets

The Superiority of Sled Drags: Hypertrophy Made Easy

Prepare to be enlightened as to why I think sled drags reign supreme in the pursuit of muscle growth.

1. Maximizing Time Efficiency:

Let's face it, spending countless hours in the gym performing tedious sets and reps can be mind-numbingly monotonous. With sled drags, you can say goodbye to wasting time on excessive isolation exercises and hello to a time-efficient, full-body workout. This one exercise engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing you to achieve maximal hypertrophy in a fraction of the time. Why settle for anything less?

2. Unparalleled Muscular Activation:

While other hypertrophy exercises might claim to target specific muscle groups, sled drags surpass them all in terms of overall muscular activation. With each powerful stride, your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and even upper body muscles are forced to work synergistically. No isolated exercise can match the comprehensive engagement and development that sled drags provide. It's the epitome of functional strength training.

3. Explosive Power Development:

Sled drags not only build muscle mass but also enhance explosive power, making them a valuable addition to any training program. The force required to propel the sled forward stimulates rapid muscle fiber recruitment, promoting the development of fast-twitch muscle fibers. This translates to increased power and performance in various athletic endeavors. So why settle for traditional hypertrophy exercises when you can achieve both size and power simultaneously?

4. Joint-Friendly Alternative:

Let's not forget the toll that heavy weights can take on your joints. Traditional hypertrophy exercises often subject your joints to excessive stress and potential injuries. Sled drags, on the other hand, offer a low-impact, joint-friendly alternative that reduces the risk of injury while still delivering impressive hypertrophy gains. Protect your joints while sculpting your physique - it's a win-win situation!


If you're serious about hypertrophy and want to maximize your gains while minimizing your time investment, sled drags are the undisputed champions.

Their efficiency, comprehensive muscular activation, explosive power development, and joint-friendly nature make them the superior choice among hypertrophy exercises. So, ditch the mundane and embrace the grind of sled drags in your training regimen.

Prepare to witness unparalleled results and revel in the knowledge that you've found the holy grail of hypertrophy.

You're welcome.