You probably have not heard of slide boards, but they are one of the best pieces of equipment to use to get a solid cardiovascular workout. Slide boards are often touted for hockey players and are said to provide those in hockey with a better aerobic workout than biking, running or a cross-trainer. This is a sport-specific piece of equipment, but anyone can use it to reap the benefits.
Slide boards are very slick and if you go to fast and are not paying attention, you can easily fall. When you first start out, have a friend spot you. This friend should stand in front of you and offer you some support as you get your rhythm down. Start with smaller sessions and work your way up to 30 to 45 minute sessions on the board.
Finding Your Rhythm
This is a piece of equipment modeled for hockey players, so as you can imagine a skating motion was the motivation behind its design. Even if you have never been on the ice, think about how your moved your body when roller skating or roller blading. The movement is largely in the hips. You want to use this motion and turn it into a steady rhythm. Depending on the size of the board, you can go side-to-side or forward and then back.
Wear Thick Socks
When you are on a slide board, you will need to remove your shoes and use your socks so that you can easily slide back and forth. A thin sock could snag and cause you to fall. A thick sock is less prone to snagging, getting sweaty and wearing down. This will allow you to slide without worrying about falling and “getting stuck” on the board.
Focus on Your Muscles
Those that skate, either on ice or on ground, know that it provides an effective core and leg workout. As you are making your moves, squeeze the appropriate muscles. These would be the abdominal muscles, thigh muscles, calf muscles and even your hip flexors. This will help to give you a small strength training boost as you go through this cardiovascular workout.
Use It as a Combination Exercise
It can become tedious to slide around for 30 to 45 minutes so many people find that incorporating it into another workout breaks it up, but still allows for the benefits. For example, use this during your strength training to add some cardio and break up the calisthenics and weights. Do two arm strength-training exercises, use the slide board for five to 10 minutes, then do core training exercises, then five to 10 minutes on the slide board and so on and so forth. This will break things up and allow you to keep your heart rate up during strength training which can help to burn a few extra calories and make the experience new and more fun.
Place the Slide Board Carefully
A slide board must be placed on a flat and level surface. A gym floor is a good example. It is sturdy, not on a slope and is completely flat. You do not want to be sliding to the side on a slope or have bumps interfering with smooth movement. This will not only disrupt your workout, but it can also make you more prone to falling and getting hurt.
About the Author: Kennith Campbell is a personal trainer specializing in slideboard exercises. Ken is committed to healthier living through diet and exercise.