In the “bang for the buck” fitness equipment category, sliders are second only to resistance bands. They’re inexpensive, versatile, and easy to store or take on the road. And if your current basic routine seems a little stressful, adding a set of sliders to the mix will definitely spice up the experience.

Benefits of sliding core exercises

“Core sliders are a great tool to provide variety and challenge to some popular core-focused exercises,” Joseph Jefferssays the NASM-certified personal trainer and USATF-certified running coach in New York City The world of hostility. “They create an unstable training surface and intensify movements by creating a balance challenge.”

As a runner, it’s important to keep your core muscles strong and engaged, because they help stabilize your pelvis and keep your posture in check. A weak core can reduce your performance and cause motion compensation, which can lead to injuries.

The following basic slide workout, developed by Jeffers, includes six exercises that target the heart but also provide a powerful full-body workout, thanks to compound movements.

If you don’t have sliders, you can use many everyday household items that slide and slide on the floor. If you’re working on hardwood or tile, try using small hand towels or socks. If your workout area is carpeted, paper or plastic boards will work.

One note before you dive in: This exercise is advanced. Before you try this, make sure you can hold the plank position with confidence.

How to use this list: Perform the exercises below as a circuit, using transition time as active rest between exercises. Complete 2-3 rounds, resting 2 minutes between rounds.

Each move is demonstrated by Jeffers in the video above so you can learn proper form. You’ll need a set of sliders (or one of the alternatives mentioned above).

1. Reverse plank into L-Sit

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: Supporting your body weight while moving between a reverse plank and an L-shape sit requires strength in your quadriceps, hips, back, shoulders and arms, Jeffers says. “It’s also great for strengthening your abdominal and hip muscles, both of which help with power.”

How to do it:

  1. Start with heels on the sliders, legs extended and arms behind you, toes facing away from you.
  2. Lift your hips up to form a reverse plank. The elbows and shoulders should be placed above the wrists, and the body should form a straight line from the ankles to the shoulders.
  3. Engage the core to pull the hips back and under the shoulders into an L-sit.
  4. Continue, then slide back into the reverse plank position.
  5. Repeat, alternating between reverse planks and L-shape sit-ups, for 60 seconds.

2. Hamstring curl

Basic exercises slider, hamstring curl

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: “Hamstring curls strengthen the hamstrings and glutes, two of the largest and most important muscle groups used to help with proper walking,” Jeffers says. In case you forgot, those glutes play an important role in the core as well, providing stability through the pelvis.

How to do it:

  1. Lie face up on the floor with arms at sides, legs extended, and heels on sliders.
  2. Engage the core and press through the heels and upper back to lift the hips a few inches off the floor.
  3. Bend the knees and use the hamstrings to move the heels toward the hips so that the ankles are directly under the knees.
  4. Extend your legs and pull your feet back, keeping your hips lifted.
  5. Repeat, moving the feet in and out for 60 seconds. Keep your hips raised the entire time.

3. He saw the body to the pike

Basic exercises slider, body saw to spear

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: Jeffers says that the body that saw a spear ignites every part of the heart. “It builds endurance in the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and internal and external obliques,” he says.

How to do it:

  1. Start in forearm position with balls of feet on sliders, weight on forearms, and shoulders stacked above elbows. Engage your core and glutes, keeping your back flat so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Move at the elbows, then move the entire body back an inch or two.
  3. Then move forward in a “spreading” motion.
  4. Next, use the core to bend the hips, move the feet forward, and pull the hips up into a pike pose. The body should form an inverted V shape.
  5. Pull the feet outward and return to the forearm plank.
  6. Repeat the entire sequence for 60 seconds.

4. Spider-Man push-ups

Basic slide exercises, Spider-Man push-ups

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: The push-up adds an upper-body element to this killer core movement, and by working the opposite arm and leg, you’re also mimicking the movement patterns found in running.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a high plank position with your palms on the sliders, and your shoulders over your wrists, forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Maintain core activity as you move the left hand forward until the elbow is fully extended and at the same time pull the right knee to the side and up toward the right elbow.
  3. Move the palms and feet back and return to the high plank position.
  4. Repeat with right hand and left knee, then return to high plank.
  5. Repeat, alternating sides, for 60 seconds.

5. Bird dog

Basic exercises sliding, bird dog

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: “The jumper dog works the muscles along the spine, abdomen, and buttocks, which helps maintain a neutral spine and prevent hypermobility,” Jeffers says. “Runners need this kind of stability while moving.”

How to do it:

  1. Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists, knees under hips, and balls of feet on sliders. Lift your knees just a few inches off the floor. Make sure the back is flat. This is the starting point.
  2. Keeping the torso engaged, move the right hand forward and left foot back at the same time to extend the right elbow and left knee.
  3. Move the hand and foot back to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

6. High and low windshield wiper blade

Basic sliding exercises, from high and low plank to windshield wiper

Joseph Jeffers

Why it works: It may take a few tries to master this move, but the full-body workout is worth the effort. “You use your shoulders, chest (chest muscles) and triceps to move while building endurance in your abdominal muscles and engaging your quads, glutes and hip flexors to perform a windshield wiper motion,” says Jeffers.

How to do it:

  1. Start in forearm position with balls of feet on sliders, weight on forearms, and shoulders stacked above elbows. Engage your core and glutes, keeping your back flat so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Place your right palm on the floor, then your left, and push it into a high plank position.
  3. Keep the knees straight as you move the right foot up and out to the side and back in a “windshield wiper” motion.
  4. Repeat with the left foot.
  5. One arm at a time, lower back to forearm board.
  6. Repeat the entire sequence for 60 seconds.
Headshot of Mallory Creveling

Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Mallory Creveling, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and RRCA Certified Running Coach, joined the Runner’s World and Bicycling team in August 2021. She has more than a decade of experience covering fitness, health, and nutrition. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in Women’s Health, Psych, Men’s Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and more. She has also held editorial positions at Family Circle and Shape magazines, as well as A former New Yorker/Brooklyn resident, she now resides in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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