The Real Health Benefits Of Using Sliders

Sliders, also known, as gliding discs or gliders are a piece of gym equipment that challenges even the most advanced athletes. The head trainer at Brrrn, Janeil Mason, refers to them as an "instability surface," as per Women's Health. It doesn't matter if you're contracting or releasing your muscles, expect to feel the burn if you're using sliders. This is because it "forces you to engage your muscles the entire time," noted Mason.

While the burn may hint at some major muscle gains, the real benefit here is that sliders make any workout more challenging (via Self). As sliders tone the body, they simultaneously train your mind by increasing your ability to focus on the exercise, points out certified strength and conditioning specialist Charlee Atkins to Self. When it comes to squatting, a 2020 study found that squat lateral slide exercises may promote high-level muscle activation, whereas normal squats create low-level activation.

Another major benefit of using sliders is their ability to strengthen your core muscles and balance, according to Self. Because sliding discs are unsteady, they force your body to constantly engage the core throughout the entire workout so you can stay balanced. This, in turn, improves coordination, and stability since your stabilizers are under constant tension (via Verywell Fit).

What are the best slider exercises to feel the burn?

For a total body workout with sliders, Women's Health suggests starting off small with three total rounds. Whether you're alternating a leg curl, attempting a bear shoulder with a quick knee tuck, or just holding a simple plank, pick out five exercises. Then alternate between every activity, holding each exercise for 45 seconds and resting for 15 seconds (per Women's Health). It should take about 10 minutes to complete the entire workout. 

On leg day, try adding slider discs to lateral lunges, reverse lunges, or front lunges. When lunging, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, then gently slide one foot back until your front knee is perpendicular to the ground at 90 degrees (per Women's Health). 

Target your upper body and core by adding a gliding disc when you want to try out a high-intensity mountain climber or push-up with your hands on the disc (via Verywell Fit). Begin in plank position, then alternate lowering down by sliding one arm out to the slide.

While it may seem counterintuitive, slider exercises don't require slider discs. According to celebrity trainer Erin Oprea, the sliding motion is what's most important when performing the exercise (via Self). Opera explains to Self, toss on a pair of socks, use towels, or get creative with sliding paper plates across the carpet — anything can work as long as you find yourself sliding during the exercise.