Core sliders can add intensity and complexity to basic muscle and strength building exercises. They can supercharge any exercise to recruit more muscle and increase the level of difficulty, often without the need to go beyond your own bodyweight.
They can also force lesser-used stabilizer muscles to get involved, and eliminate common technique flaws. Here are some top slider exercises to supercharge your home workouts.
Note: Don't own a pair of sliders? Furniture sliders will usually do the trick:
A couple of soft cloths may work too, if you're on a smooth surface.
1 – The Slider Reverse Lunge
The slider reverse lunge has a great carryover to most dumbbell and barbell lunge variations. That's good news for your big lifts. Slider lunges require very little weight to target your lower body. They can also help you correct the common mistakes made with standard lunges.
Using a slider encourages work from your front leg, as opposed to the incorrect technique of excessively pushing off your back foot, which can cause knee pain.
Another error in more standard lunge variations is the lack of control on the descent. Here, as you reverse the slider back, you're required to demonstrate eccentric control. The sliders will help you hammer your quads, hamstrings, and glutes at the same time.
How To Do It
- Begin in a standing position with just one foot on a slider. Place a little pressure through the ball of your foot, just enough to support you and allow the slider to glide on the floor.
- Push the slider back and control the descent with your front leg.
- Maintain an upright torso to target your quads. You could do these with a more forward-leaning torso to add more hip dominance.
- Return to the start using predominantly your front leg. Keep the tension and don't lock your knee.
- Master these with control before adding resistance with dumbbells or kettlebells.
2 – The Body Saw
This develops insane core strength and stability and is beneficial to your shoulder health, too. They're almost like a reverse ab-wheel roll-out mixed with a long-lever plank. As such, they provide the benefits of both.
This is an anti-extension exercise and quite possibly one of the hardest core exercises in existence. It hits your serratus muscle, an important (and often forgotten) scapular stabilizer. The serratus also just looks cool when it's developed. Just beware, these are much harder than they look.
How To Do It
- Get in a plank position with your feet on the sliders. A cushion can also be used for your elbows.
- Think, "I'm a stiff plank of wood," as you pinch your glutes and brace your core.
- Push yourself as far backwards as you can, creating a long lever position with your elbows overhead.
- Drive your elbows down, pulling them back under your shoulders. Again, stiff plank.
- If your hips sag or you feel any pain, then you've gone beyond your current level. Start with something a little easier. Exercises like roll-outs or fall-outs, even done with partial range of motion, could help.
To progress beyond bodyweight with these, use a weighted vest.
3 – The Slider Push-Up Flye Combo
This can be used to pump up your pecs. If you don't have sliders, remember even a towel or magazine will work depending on your flooring.
If you're busting out a bazillion push-ups, they're not doing much for your pecs anymore. You need to up the ante. Sliders combine a push-up with a flye, using your own bodyweight and the friction of the floor.
Not only are these an advanced push-up, they also challenge your core. Push-ups are pretty much "moving planks" as is, but adding a reach to the side adds an element of rotational core strength.
- Assume your regular push-up position on the floor, but with a slider under each hand.
- As you lower toward the ground, slide one hand out to the side. A fraction more weight should be on your pushing arm.
- Once your hand has gone out as far as it can, in one smooth slide return back to the middle.
- If the slide is a little jumpy, chances are the resistance is a little too high for you to handle. If that's the case, you could always drop to your knees. We'll withhold judgment... this time!
- Maintain a stable pelvis throughout and don't let your hips sag.
- Progress these with a weighted vest once you've achieved bodyweight mastery.
4 - The Slider Single-Leg Eccentric Curl
This is essentially a bridge followed by a hamstring curl on the way down. The bridge should be relatively easy; it just acts as a way to get you back up to the top. Controlling the curl on the eccentric/negative is your focus.
You likely already know the benefits of eccentric training, so we'll skip that part. But just like many other exercises which overload the eccentric, these'll pack some respectable meat on your hamstrings.
Movements like this also tend to bias more "outer" hamstring development, and therefore complement more hip-extension focused ham exercises.
- Lay on the floor in a single-leg bridge position with a slider under your planted foot.
- Drive your hips up, squeezing your working side glute at the top.
- Maintain full hip extension while extending your knee into the hamstring curl component. Resist the slider wanting you to drop down even faster.
- A two to four second controlled eccentric should do it, although you could play around with tempo. Try lowering in six to eight seconds just for fun.
- Once you're fully flat on the floor, pull your heel back in toward you, then repeat.
- To progress these, try placing a small weight or barbell across your hip. To make them easier, just use both legs at the same time.
5 – The Straight-Arm Walk
This will work your entire core, lats, and shoulders. It can be a real lung-burner too.
As you pull forward, you're doing somewhat of a straight-arm pulldown, firing up your lats. On the way back, your shoulders will get involved, all the while you're resisting a drop of your hips. If you've got the space, they can offer some effective variety to your workout routine.
- Get in a plank position with both feet on sliders.
- Tense your entire body and begin to drag yourself forward.
- Keep your arms straight and engage your lats on each "step" your hands take.
- Once you've reached a certain distance, begin to reverse the action. Engage your shoulders and push back to the start. Yep, push backward.
- These can be done for distance or time. Go heavy over shorter distances (using a weight vest), or try more of a conditioning-based approach using timed work intervals.
- Your progression is the addition of a weighted vest or some chain loading across your hips for additional instability.
6 – Partial Range Slider Crunch
This looks like a half-assed roll-out, but it pummels the abs. Bonus: You'll smoke your lats and triceps, too.
As you can see, these crunches have an accentuated action at the top. Usually during roll-outs, this flexed position wouldn't be loaded much. But with this, the loading takes place in the fully flexed position where your rectus abdominis is shortened.
An NT Loop works well here since the band is in contact with your skin, but a regular rubber band will work too. It all hurts just the same.
- Set your knees on a cushion and loop a band just above your wrists, coming from a slight downward angle.
- Get on all fours with wrists, elbows, and shoulders stacked.
- Maintain straight elbows and engage your lats. Try to resist your hips from rocking back throughout.
- Do an abdominal crunch while pulling the sliders in and against the band.
- Imagine pulling your ribs towards your pelvis and flex your abs hard. You should feel total engagement of your abs and lats throughout.
- To progress, use a higher resistance band.
Sample Full-Body Circuit
Pick and choose any of the exercises above to slot into your own workouts. Alternatively, if you're short on time and resources, try this big-hitter circuit:
- A1. Slider Body-Saw
- A2. Slider Reverse Lunge – Left
- A3. Slider Reverse Lunge – Right
- A4. Slider Push-Up Flye Combo
- A5. Slider Eccentric Hamstring Curl – Left
- A6. Slider Eccentric Hamstring Curl – Right
- Week One: Do 20 seconds of each exercise, 40 seconds rest between each. Go for 3-5 rounds.
- Week Two: Do 30 seconds each exercise, 30 seconds rest between each. Go for 3-5 rounds.
- Week Three: Do 40 seconds each exercise, 20 seconds rest between each. Go for 3-5 rounds.
- Week Four: Change exercises, or start from week one again with more weight/resistance than previously used.