Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeConditioning
  • Equipment RequiredSled
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Backward Sled Push Overview

The backward sled push is a variation of the sled drag and a total body exercise. Primarily, the backward sled push will target the muscles of the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves as you fight to push the sled the desired distance.

Sled drags can be an extremely beneficial conditioning exercise or they can be used as a strength building exercise depending on how you fit them into your workout routine.

Backward Sled Push Instructions

  1. Load the desired weight onto the sled.
  2. Setup in an athletic position facing away from the sled with your torso vertical and your back pushing into the sled.
  3. Drive the sled forward by extending each leg repeatedly.
  4. Repeat until you reach the desired number of steps, distance, or time.

Backward Sled Push Tips

  1. If you find the front of the sled digging into the floor then you may need to setup slightly lower on the handles and/or ensure that your torso is inclined properly. If you start to get too upright then the sled will likely tilt forward and you’ll increase drag against the floor.
  2. If you don’t have access to a sled, you can push a car or even a plate across astroturf.
  3. Some prefer to push with the head down while others would rather look up. This is somewhat personal preference but it will also depend upon the individual and how they present in a resting position.
    • If someone exhibits more extension bias then they may want to experiment with looking down as this will help to keep them a bit more neutral.
    • If someone exhibits more flexion bias then they may want to experiment with looking up as this will help to drive more extension and keep them a bit more neutral.
  4. Given sled pushes/drags don’t have any eccentric component they can very beneficial to incorporate during rehab, as a method of conditioning which won’t incur excessive soreness or load joints excessively.