Sliders are one of the exercise machines with which I have a true love-hate relationship. Whenever a teacher says it's time to use them, I'm terrified. During the slider exercise, I can literally just think, "When will that end?" But after that I feel great. I feel fulfilled. I feel like I squeezed something really challenging and did something good for my body. I'm really glad I made it. And then I forget that exhilaration of the next hour, and my scare cycle begins again.
The reason why the slider exercises are so difficult is that they change the friction between body and ground, he says Pete McCall, MS, CSCS, motion physiologist and presenter of the All About Fitness podcast ]. When using sliders, you really need to push your foot or hand to control the movement and prevent it from slipping over the entire surface. "When you press a slider, you're essentially pushing power into the ground, and because the ground does not move beneath you, it's pushing the tension back on you," explains McCall. Your muscles – especially in the shoulders and at the core – really need to fight against this force and keep your body stable, which means you have to work hard throughout the movement.
Sliders are great for improving stability.  The easiest way (though I would hardly call these steps simply ) to use sliders in your training is adding variations to train your core. "If you want strong muscles around your spine and pelvis, you typically want shoulders and hips to move in opposite directions," says McCall. By adding sliders to different plank exercises, you can do this by simply moving your foot or hand and keeping the other half of your body stationary. If you move that way, "it keeps the muscle energized, but it also lengthens the connective tissue around the muscle, which is one of the reasons it makes you wobble so much," says McCall. It's also one of the most effective ways to put on lots of muscle at the same time, he adds. Plank exercises with sliders are particularly well-suited to work with the Transverse Abdominis Deep Internal Core Muscle, which surrounds the spine and sides, and is critical to the stability of your trunk during most exercises and everyday movements.
They challenge your body in a new way.
If you add sliders to specific movements, such as As climbers or plank lifters, you can challenge your body in a slightly different way than if you perform them without tools. With sliders "you can move faster to increase the intensity," says McCall. This not only makes the exercise an excellent cardio workout but also requires more stability from your core and shoulders. "As your legs move faster, forwards and backwards, or from side to side, the muscles around the spine and shoulders need stability ," says McCall.
Most things in the gym are better the more you do Slider exercises. Which means that you will hopefully begin to err more on the side of love than hatred. "If you use sliders regularly, about two to three times a week for eight to ten weeks, you'll be surprised how strong you get," says McCall.
Here are 11 slider exercises that you can try:
The slider exercises below will challenge your entire core and help build stability in the midsection and shoulders. Choose two or three that you want to finish at the end of your workout, or tie up a few to create a stand-alone challenge when you're looking for a new way to work on stability and power. Start with 15 seconds of each movement and work your way up to 30 or more when you feel comfortable. If you do not have any sliders, you can find a pair at Amazon for about $ 10 on Amazon. Or try using dish cloths or socks on hard floors or with paper plates on a rug to achieve a similar effect.
Demoing the Move Below is Amanda Wheeler Certified Strength and Conditioning Co-Founder of Formation Strength an online women's training group serving the LGBTQ community and its allies; and Crystal Williams a group coach and instructor who teaches in gyms in New York City.
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