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Build your legs with sliders.
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In looking around the home for things to use for exercise, furniture sliders probably aren't the first thing that come to mind. They can be used for a highly challenging and rather different home leg workout though. Sliders tend to have one smooth and one carpeted side, and for a leg workout, you'll need smaller sized ones, preferably oval-shaped. You may also be able to find exercise-specific sliders at your local sporting goods stores or online.
Longing for Lunges
One of the best ways to use your sliders is for lunges. The advantage you get with sliders is that there's less impact than with a regular lunge, as your foot stays in contact with the ground the whole time. Stand with your feet together and place your right foot on the slider and left foot on the floor, then slide forward with the right, bending your knees until both are at roughly 90 degrees. Pause briefly, then bring the right foot back in line with the left. Slider lunges tend to be better for people who suffer from anterior knee pain, according to physical therapist Brian Schiff, who also recommends backward and sideways slider lunges.
Forget your hamstring curl machines and opt instead for slider leg curls. These are performed by lying on your back with each heel on a slider and your hips raised off the floor. Start with straight legs and bring your heels in toward your butt by bending your knees and lifting your butt and hips off the floor. To make these more challenging, strength coach Ben Bruno suggests doing them one leg at a time or draping a weighted vest over your hips so it's harder to get your butt off the floor on every rep.
Getting Your Cardio Fix
Work your legs and cardio system at the same time with slider mountain climbers and squat thrusts. For the mountain climbers, assume a pushup position with each foot on a slider. Slide your right knee forward until it nearly touches your right elbow, then move the left knee toward the left elbow as you slide your right leg back. Keep repeating this sequence in a fast, smooth action so the legs alternate on every rep. For squat thrusts, get in a pushup position again, but with both feet back. Bring both knees forward at the same time, then straighten both again. According to the "Shape" magazine website, sliders help keep your form strict. Regular squat thrusts are challenging, so people often take mini-breaks to make them easier, but the momentum generated with sliders makes this impossible, thus increasing the exercise difficulty.
If you're training in a gym, add in a slider exercise or two each leg session for a bit of variation. For home training, however, sliders can play a much bigger role in your workout routine. These exercises work well in a circuit, perhaps combined with an extra core or upper-body move. Try 10 to 15 reps of a lunge variation, 10 to 15 of a slider leg curl variation, then 30 to 60 seconds of mountain climbers or squat thrusts, before finishing your circuit with 10 to 15 pushups and a plank for maximum time. Take a one to two minute breather, then go again. As you get more fit, try to rest less, do more reps or use more difficult slider leg exercises.