When I first saw these little plastic sliding discs I couldn’t help but think how easy and stupid they were. However, like a 135lb professional fighter, looks can be deceiving.
The original Valsides plastic discs pads are about ten inches in length and five inches across. They were created by celebrity trainer Valerie Waters and are made of extra-slick plastic for sliding purposes, with a foam-padded side to grip one’s hands or feet. They side great on carpet and with the additional booties can be used on hardwood as well. Most slider exercises use the discs to literally slide across the floor to allow for seamless motion. Basically they are the exercise version of popular future sliders. While I have no experience using them, towels should work on wood or tile floors and regular old plastic works good on carpet.
The positives aspects of the using sliders are surprisingly numerous. They are small and light and therefor very portable. They can fit into a small bag or purse with ease. They’re non-intimidating and are good for beginners to work on exercises like reverse lunges, side lunges and add a unique and challenging twist to standard push-ups and planks. There is a level of novelty and while regular reverse or side lunges may transfer over to the real word and athletics better, there is something fun and exciting using these small plastic discs; also adding a balance challenge on the way down are more hip flexor work on the way up. There are more advanced exercises to add your program once you get the hang of the sliders too. Here are three of my favorite slider inspired exercises.
Slider push away: Grab a pair of Valsides, furniture sliders or anything else that will slip across the floor with minimal resistance. Get into push up position with one slider in each hand. Slide one arm as far forward as you can, while keeping your arm straight and core stable. If you feel anything move in your lower back, shorter your range of motion because you have gone too far. I like to place a water bottle on the lower back and focus on not letting it fall off.
Mountain climbers with slider: Set the sliders on the floor next to your feet. Bend forward at the hips and place your palms on the floor. Place your feet on the sliders and get into a push up position, with a slight hinge in your hips so that your butt is up ever so slightly. Slide one leg up to your chest by bending your knee. Slide that leg back to the start position and the continue alternating both legs for the desired amount of reps.
Reverse lunge with slider: Start by standing with feet hip width apart with one slider under your foot. Take a long sliding step back with the slider foot without lifting the foot off the ground until of opposite thigh is parallel to the floor and the slider leg knee nearly touches the floor. Keep your core tight and upright and slide the foot back to the starting position, that is one rep and continue to the desired reps then switch legs.