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If you've ever hit the gym and noticed those small—often purple and teal—discs in the stretching area and wondered, WTF...?, you're not alone.
Though we admit that some sliders come with cheesy 80s flare, they can truly take any bodyweight move to the next level. For example: Maybe you could do squats all day, but add a set of sliders—and force yourself to slide your feet apart as you squat, then pull them back together to stand—and you've got a challenging new move.
We enlisted the help of Ray Wallace, a certified trainer from YG Studios in New York City, to demonstrate how a simple pair of sliders can make any workout more dynamic.
And the best part? Although we used Slidez from SKLZ ($29.99; sklz.com) in the photos below, you could also do these moves with two small towels.
Check out all the moves you can do below. When you're ready to put it all together, try Wallace's fast and effective workout at the end.
Start in high plank position with both feet on sliders. Pull knees in to touch chest. Focus on keeping your core tight, and don't hike hips too high. Push feet back to extend into a high plank. Repeat.
Start in high plank position with right toes on a slide. Pull left leg into chest and hold, hovering toes a few inches off the ground. Now slide right leg forward to chest, then push out. Hold left leg steady at chest throughout; then repeat on the other side.
Start in high plank position with both feet on sliders. Pull right leg forward to the outside of your right arm (like a low lunge). Push right leg back to starting position, and repeat on other side. Focus on engaging your core and using this move to open the hips.
Start in high plank with both feet on sliders. Brace core and hike hips toward the ceiling, pulling feet in toward hands, leaving hands and shoulders in the same place. Slide feet back to return to starting position and repeat.
Start in high plank position with both feet on sliders. Bring right foot up toward right shoulder, bending right knee and opening your right hip, as you bend both arms and lower into a push-up. Your right knee should be close to your right elbow, as in yoga. As you push up, slide right foot back, so you finish in a high plank position. Repeat on the other side.
With both feet on sliders, bring knees in toward chest and then slide both feet to the right, making sure to engage your obliques. Finish with both feet outside of your right hand. Push back into a high plank and repeat on the other side.
Lie faceup with knees bent, both feet on sliders, and lift hips off floor into a bridge position, engaging glutes and hamstrings. From there, slide both feet away from your butt, keeping hips in the same position. Pull feet back in, keeping hips lifted throughout. Repeat.
Make it easier: Slide one foot forward at a time.
Start in standing position with both feet on sliders, feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your glutes, hamstrings, and brace your core. Send your hips back and push both feet away from your midline as quickly as possible, dropping into a low squat. Now, using your inner thigh muscles (hip adductors) and glutes, pull your legs back together to stand. Think about \"zipping\" your legs together as you return to the start position.
Start standing, with both feet on sliders, feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your glutes and send your hips back as you slide right foot to the right side, bending the left leg slightly, without allowing left knee to go past left toes. Extend the right leg as far as you can, balancing most of your weight on the left (bent) leg. Pull right foot back toward you as you straighten your left leg to return to standing position. Repeat on the other side.
Start in a seated position with knees bent, hands on the ground with fingertips facing forward, and both feet on sliders. Lift hips until knees form a 90-degree angle, arms are straight, and hips are level (a tabletop position). From here, flex right ankle so only the right heel rests on a slider. Send right foot forward, engaging your glutes and hamstrings, then pull back to table top. Lower right foot and flex left ankle. Then send the left foot forward, and pull back. Repeat.
Make it harder: As you push each foot forward, perform a dip by bending both arms. Straighten both arms as you pull foot back to starting position.
Start with bent legs, knees together and hands on the ground. Push both feet to the right and fully extend legs. Bring legs back to center, then swing them to the left side, fully extending legs.
Start in high plank position with both feet on sliders and feet flexed, so just your toes are touching the sliders. Point your toes as much as possible to move sliders just a few inches, keeping core engaged. Pull toes back to a flexed-foot position. (Yes, this one is a tiny movement! But we promise you'll still feel your calves working and that it will help strengthen your ankle and foot muscles.)
Standing with both feet on sliders, squat down, place hands on the ground, and slide back into a high plank position. Perform one push-up. Pull knees back to chest and stand. Repeat.
Start with feet hip-width apart, both feet on sliders, knees slightly bent, hips slightly hinged (as if you were just starting to lower into a squat). You should feel your glutes and hamstrings already engaged. Using all of the muscles in your right leg, push right foot behind left and come into a low curtsy lunge. Return to start by pulling the right foot back so it is parallel to the left, keeping knees bent and hip hinged throughout. Repeat on the other side.
With both feet on sliders, push out as quickly as possible and come into a low, wide squat, with toes turned out to the side (like a second position plie), and simultaneously raise arms overhead into a clap. Using the inner thighs and core, pull legs back together as quickly as possible as you bring hands down to your sides (like a jumping jack). Repeat.
Start in a half squat: feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hips slightly hinged, as if you were just starting to lower into a squat. You should already feel your glutes and hamstrings engaged. With right toes on a slider, slide right foot forward, and keeping left knee bent, send right leg into a wide arc out to the right side and then back, bringing it full circle to meet your left foot. Now push right foot back and send into a reverse arc, bringing right foot back to meet left foot. Repeat for desired number of reps, then switch the slider, and repeat on the other side.
Start in a high plank position with both feet on sliders. Slide right foot forward and across your body, as if aiming for your left shoulder, as you lift left hand off ground and rotate to the left (so all your weight is on your right hand). Tap your right knee with left hand before sliding back into a high plank position. Repeat on the other side.
Start in a right side plank with your right forearm on the ground, obliques engaged, left hand on left waist, and left foot on the ground behind right foot with left toes on slider. With your hip open, pull left toes up toward your butt, bending left knee, keeping left leg crossed behind right leg. Slide left leg back to start and repeat for desired number of reps before switching sides. (If you already have great hip mobility, this move might feel a little easy. If not, this can be a great hip-opener stretch. You should feel your left glute engage, along with your obliques.)
From a standing position with sliders on both feet, push right foot forward as left foot pushes back. Then reverse—left foot forward, right foot back—moving as quickly as possible (like cross-country skiing).
Start in a kneeling position and place both hands on sliders. (If you have any knee sensitivity, you may want a towel or mat under your knees for this move). With core engaged, slide both arms forward at once, trying to get your chest as close to the ground as possible. Pull arms back in toward chest and repeat.
Make it harder: Perform this exercise from a high plank position.
Make it easier: Push each arm forward individually.
From a high plank position, with both hands on sliders, slide one arm forward, and then make a large arc as you slide right arm around and to the right side of your body. Push back to starting position and repeat on the other side. (Think: Wax on, wax off.)
Make it easier: Drop to your knees.
Make it harder: Slide both hands up and around at the same time, instead of individually.
Perform each move below for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete 2 to 3 rounds of the entire circuit.
Reverse Lunge (alternating legs)
Sliding Jack into Wide Squat
Special thanks to Ray Wallace of YG Studios, who modeled these moves and provided the workout. Ray wears his own Lululemon apparel and uses Slidez from SKLZ.
Overshare Promo 20 Minutes. 5 Easy Moves. 1 Workout to Relieve Back Pain. A 15-Minute Yoga Workout That Will Rock Your Core
Original article and pictures take http://greatist.com/move/sliders-workout site