Adding a piece of equipment to a bodyweight workout is like putting avocado on toast: it’s great on it’s own, but adding a little something extra makes it that much better. In this week’s episode of Trainer of the Month Club, you’ll level-up your classic upper-body workout with a pair of sliders–a small, but mighty, workout accessory when it comes to stability work. As an SLT trainer in New York City, Pamela Trujillo is no stranger to the slider (which is basically the at-home equivalent of the Megaformer machines used in studio classes), and she’ll coach you through each move, making sure your technique is always on-point.
The reason why sliders are such a top-notch tool for boosting stability is because they force your muscles to fire in a way you’re probably not used to—hence the famous “SLT shake.” While one part of your body is moving on the slider, your muscles have to keep the other parts of your body sturdy, which is no easy feat. For example, a plank with your feet moving around on sliders makes your shoulder and core stabilizers work much, much harder than they would in a normal plank. The upside? Thanks to muscle memory, the more you use sliders, the more your body remembers to recruit its stabilizers even when you’re not using them. This way, you’ll benefit even more the next time you go back to your usual bodyweight-only moves. Check out your first five moves, and then be sure to tap play on the video above for the full workout.
1. Kneeling push up and reach: You’re starting off today’s workout in a modified push-up position: your knees will be on your mat, your upper-body will be off the mat, and your hands will be placed on sliders or towels directly under your shoulders. As you come down into the bottom of your push-up, reach your right hand straight out in front of you. As you come up, drag your right hand back to meet your left. On your next rep, repeat the same movement on your left side.
2. High crunch: Let’s give those shoulders a break. Grab a set of light weights, sit on your mat, and place your feet on your sliders. You’ll start off leaning back slightly until you feel your core turn on, with arms straight out in front of you, your hands facing each other, and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms out straight in front of you, lean back slightly and straighten your knees, then row back one weight at a time. Slowly lift your upper-body and bend your knees, crunching back to your original position, and once you’re at the top, hit one hammer curl.
3. Arm-assisted crunch: Time for another sequence. Lay back on your mat with your legs in tabletop and—holding your weights—make sure your palm are facing your knees. As you crunch up, lower your arms towards the floor and extend your legs out in front of you. Then, bring the whole position back up to your starting set-up, bending your knees back into tabletop and raising your arms until they’re stacked over your shoulders.
4. Arm-assisted crunch, arms only: Don’t forget—the arms are still the star of the show for today’s workout. After you complete your last rep of your regular arm-assisted crunch, leave your legs extended out in front of you (at about a 45-degree angle), and pump your arms. In the last few seconds of this move, you’ll flutter kick your feet. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze that core the entire time.
5. Snake, left side: This move is an SLT specialty to fire up those arms, shoulders, and–of course–abs. Start off in a plank with your hands on your mat and your feet on your sliders. Next, cross your left foot over your right, still keeping your feet on your sliders. Then tilt your body slightly to the right, and crunch your knees up towards your right elbow. Keep your hips in line with your shoulders the whole time and be sure to press your hands into your mat so you’re staying lifted and out of your shoulders.
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