Heading to the gym and checking into boutique fitness classes is fun and all, but what if you could get a killer workout without leaving your living room? With sliders…you can. The small, hand-sized circular discs are beloved by personal trainers and fitness instructors alike thanks to the way they can drastically improve balance and core strength. They work because when you place your hands or feet on them, your body is forced into a state of instability that forces all of your muscles to stand at attention.
Intrigued? Below you’ll find a 9-move circuit that, when cycled through three times, will help you slide and glide your way to a killer workout. To perform the exercises, you’ll need a set of sliders or you can get creative with a couple of towels or paper plates. Remember, it’s totally cool to take a minute or two between rounds.
9 slider moves to try in your next workout
1. Reverse lunge: Achieve peach perfection with this booty and leg sculpter. “Stand with feet hip-width apart with a slider under your right foot,” instructs co-founder of Tone It Up Katrina Scott. “Slide your right foot directly behind you and sink into a lunge position, knees bent at 90 degrees, with your back knee hovering just above the ground. Engage your core and booty as you come back up to start position, driving through your standing heel. Do 12 reps on each side.”
2. Single leg squat: Ignite your hamstrings, glutes, and outer thighs with this balancing act. “Bring your feet a little wider than your hips, place a slider or towel under the ball of one foot while keeping the feet parallel. Alternatively, if you have tighter hips with limited mobility, try a slight turnout,” says Lagree NY senior instructor Eileen Kielty. “Start to sit the hips back while the chest reaches forward, bending one knee while maintaining a flat foot, and keeping the other leg straight with the slider heel lifted.” Think: a one-legged squat with a tiny toe touch for added stability.
“Be sure to keep the weight over the foot on the floor so the inner thighs can get a stretch but not a strain,” Kielty says. “Inhale and send the hips back and chest forward, bend one knee, then exhale and press through the heel of the flat foot, engage the belly and stand up.” The trick is to always keep the slider heel lifted, as that’s what ensures the working leg is the main focus, bearing 90 percent of your weight. To ensure you take your time with the movement, she recommends moving for anywhere from four to eight counts in, and the same number of counts when you squat back out.
3. Side lunge: Another leg and booty buster. “Stand with feet hip-width apart and a slider under your right foot,” Scott instructs. “Lower into an athletic stance with a flat back and booty back. Keeping your left foot planted, slide your right foot out to the right until it’s fully extended (avoid locking out the knee), then slide it back to start position.”
4. Bear: Cater to your core, upper body, and inner thighs with this intense movement. “Set up in a plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and the sliders or towel under the balls of your feet, with legs fully extended,” Kielty instructs. “Squeeze under your armpits, press through the chest, squeeze in your inner thighs and engage your core as you bend the knees under the hips into an all-fours position. Inhale and extend the legs back into a plank, then exhale and bend the knees under the hips.” During this movement, the upper body should stay as still as possible in an isometric hold while the lower body moves in and out. “Be sure to maintain as much of a neutral spine as possible, ensuring there is no sinking in the shoulders or lower back,” Kielty advises. “Take a small pike in the hips if you need some extra support.”
5. Mountain climbers: Say a prayer for your abs and shoulders, because this one’s going to burn while sending your heart rate soaring. “Begin in a plank position with your hands on the ground and a slider under each foot,” Scott instructs. “Maintaining a straight line from head to toe, engage your core and slide your right foot in toward your chest. Slide it back out to plank position. Next, slide your left foot in toward your chest, and return it to start position. Do 12 reps on each side, alternating sides.”
6. Kneeling crunch: “Bring your forearms down to the floor, making sure your arms are shoulder-distance apart, with palms facing up and elbows directly under shoulders,” Kielty explains. “Place the sliders under your knees and bring your body out into a modified plank position, creating a long line from your head to your knees while maintaining a neutral pelvis. Press through the forearms, tuck the tailbone under, curl the spine, pull the knees and chin up and in towards the chest.” When performing this exercise, be sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears and your lower abs engaged so as to take the tension of your hip flexors. “The upper body stays static while the lower body moves in and out,” Kielty explains.
7. Pike: Say hello to a sculpted core and upper body. Once again, begin in a plank position with a slider under each foot. “Engage your core as you slide your feet in towards your hands, bringing your booty up to the ceiling and keeping your legs and arms extended (but not locked),” Scott and Dawn say. “Return to start position and repeat 12 times.”
8. Elevator lunge: You’ll feel this one in your core, hamstrings, glutes, and inner and outer thighs. Start with feet hip-width apart, with a slider under the ball of one foot. “Take a small hinge from the waist, bringing the chest slightly forward and the pelvis slightly behind you,” Kielty instructs. “As you bend your front knee, let the slider leg remain long, as it extends behind you, sliding into a lunge. Your front knee works to stay on top of your ankle, never allowing the knee to pass the toes. Inhale and bend the front knee, keeping the back leg straight, then exhale, press through the front heel, engage the inner thighs and core to come back up to standing.” The key here is to keep your toes down and press through the heel with your belly button drawn in towards your spine to engage your lower abs.
9. Bridge single leg extension: Last but not least, we have this hamstring, booty, and core blaster. “Begin in a bridge position with your knees bent, booty lifted, and a slider under each heel,” Scott instructs. “Engage your core and slide both heels out, keeping your hips lifted. This is your starting position. Slide your right heel in toward your booty, then return it to start position. Next, slide your left heel in toward your booty, then return it to start position. Do 12 reps on each side, alternating sides.”
Excited to get a full body burn without having to head to the gym? If so, you’ll also love this 6-minute, no-equipment at-home workout. And when you’re done sweating it out, don’t forget to foam roll your muscles.
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