Were any of you roller bladers out there bummed that you couldn’t go out because it was raining? Or did you ever have some secret fantasy of being Apolo Anton Ono? Well fret no more, because there is a piece of exercise equipment called a slideboard that allows you to skate in place. It’s a laminate 6-8” board with adjustable bumpers that provides a slick surface for you to slide back and forth like skating. You have probably have never seen it in your local gym, but rehabilitation and training facilities have been using it for years for low impact cardiovascular training, core and hip strengthening, and dynamic balance activities.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “I’m not a skater, so why should I use a slideboard?” The slideboard was initially developed by an NFL player to help rehabilitate his injured knee. The side to side motion helps strengthen the muscles around the hips as well as the quadriceps and hamstrings. It is most effective in strengthening the muscle on the outside of our hips called the gluteus medius which helps stabilize the knee and even the foot/ankle when we walk and run. In addition, multiple other exercises for the core, lower and upper body can be performed on the slideboard. So getting on the slideboard can get you in better shape and even make you a better skater without getting slammed against the rails at the roller derby.
Like with any new exercise there are a few things that you should be aware of in order to use a slideboard safely and effectively. It is a slick surface, so having good balance is important. Always start slowly by having one foot/arm on the surface at a time, before progressing to both limbs on the slippery surface. You can keep the bumpers close together for better control then move them out as you progress.
Check out these videos for slideboard exercise ideas or join our Total Body Fitness class on Tues evenings and Sat mornings to see how you can incorporate these exercises into your traditional routine.