How to Incorporate Sliders Into Your Program

By Matt Vrabel 5 years ago

The slide board is another excellent way to add variation to a training program. But why would you want to throw on a pair of bootys while your at the gym, isn’t squatting, deadlifting and benching enough? Yes these are foundational exercises, but below I will outline why, how and when to incorporate the slide board into your training programs.

Why it Works

(the boring science part, if you’re not interested scroll down to the videos)

The slide board reduces the frictional forces produced into the ground, which increases the difficulty of the exercise. Think about friction in a sense that when you walk on ice, your frictional forces are decreased which means to avoid slipping, you need to increase your normal force or what most people do, change their posture (take small steps and don’t heal strike). With the slide board, you can not change your posture, which means you need to apply more force into the ground to achieve the desired result. Now the slide board is not like unbalanced surface training, the ground reaction force is not absorbed into anything. Which means there will be no loss in power output if you start using the slide board.


What if I don’t Have a Slideboard?

No worries there are commercial items available called valslides, which work for all the below variations. Another (cheaper) option would be to pick up some furniture movers. The best part apart about these is that you can throw them in your gym bag.



What Exercises are There to Do?

DB Slider Reverse Lunges

Slider reverse lunges really challenge the eccentric component of the lunge, compared to a regular reverse lunge. The reverse lunge can be done with body weight at first, then progress to dumbbells, then more challenging options such as (safety squat bar, GCB and barbell)

Plate Loaded Slider Lateral Lunges

If you do not have adequate adductor length and strength, this variation is great because there is no way to cheat the exercise. The plate helps you hinge your hips back more as it provides a counterbalance as you slide out into the lunge.

Slider Hamstring Curls

The leg curl is an excellent knee friendly posterior chain exercise. Start with just body weight first, and then progress to plates under the feet or single leg variations. The hamstrings act in knee flexion and hip extension, which is what makes this version more effective depending on your goal.

Band Around Wrists Slider Pushups

Pushups are a staple for the baseball players because it is a closed chain pushing movement, which is a lot more shoulder friendly then your typical bench press. In this variation, the band around the wrists helps to engage the scapular stabilizers. Try to avoid the scapulas excessively pinching together as you drop down into the pushup.

Body Saws

The body saw is one of my favorite core exercises. It is an advanced anti-extension exercise to progress to from planks and rollouts. Make sure when performing this exercise, the client or athlete does not slip into lumbar extension. Try to stay as neutral as possible within the range of motion you can handle.

Slider Pushup with Shoulder Flexion

The slider pushup with shoulder flexion is one of the most challenging pushup variations. It’s a really one of those bang for your buck exercises for more advanced clients who can crush regular pushups!

How to Implement

The sideboard variations are endless; these are just a few I wanted to highlight. These movements are advanced so approach them with caution if you have never used the sliders or a sideboard before.

  • Most lunging variations can stay around 3-4 sets of about 4-6 repetitions per leg.
  • The pushups and body saws can be programmed for 3-4 sets of about 6-8 repetitions.
  • These movements can be used as supplemental lifts in your program after your squats, deadlifts and bench press.

Try incorporating some of these movements into your next program and let me know how they are!

  Athletic Training
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