Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Lower limb muscle activation and kinematics modifications of young healthy adults while pushing a variable resistance sled

Martin G. Rosario, Monica Mathis


Introduction: The XPO Trainer used in this research is a novel device which provides low rolling resistance at low speeds with an immediate and automatic proportional increase in resistance with increased speed. Purpose: To examine the impact of using the XPO Trainer on gait and neuromuscular activation at low and high speeds in young, seemingly healthy adults. Materials and Methods: This work consisted of 35 healthy adults (age: 24.9 ± 3.2 years, weight: 149.8 ± 8 lbs, height: 66.6 ± 4.4 inches). Each participant wore accelerometers/gyroscopes sensors around each wrist and ankle, chest, and low back and surface electromyography (EMG) electrodes on their dominant leg over the quadriceps (QUAD), hamstring (HAM), anterior tibialis (TA), and gastrocnemius (GA). To initiate the tasks, participants walked then ran 40 feet with and without the XPO Trainer sled. Subjects did a total of 3 trials per tasks (total of 12) with one minute of rest between tasks to reduce fatigue factor. The data from the EMG and Mobility Lab sensors were then processed and compared through the SPSS 24 system for a repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: EMG- The QUAD muscle exhibited a substantial higher muscle activation between walk (45.39 ± 24.43) and walk push (74.40 ± 56.73) tasks. Gait Parameters- There was a significant modification (p ≤ .05) between the different gait variables and tasks, including cadence, gait speed, stride length and trunk velocity while pushing the sled. Conclusion/Clinical Relevance: With the XPO Trainer being a novel device, it is important to understand how it affects the activation and response for muscles during different activities before using it as a training tool. Understanding the effect this particular sled can provide on the different components of the (temporospatial) gait parameters and muscle activation is valuable for a clinically appropriate application to specific populations.


Variable resistance sled; Gait parameters; Muscle activation


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