Slide pads/boards are used in training facilities and rehab clinics all over the world. These little pieces of plastic can help you move heavy furniture around the house and help build a stronger posterior chain/core all at once. They easily fit into your gym bag and cost very little money.
With that being said, these little guys absolutely brutalize your hamstrings. That may be a strong statement but, these plastic pads have brought some of the strongest lifters I know down a few pegs (me included…). Conventional hamstring curls are boring and when you get used to them, a progression is in order. You may have seen these mechanics before (as I have yet to be cleaver enough to invent a new exercise ) and if you have, hopefully this sparks a renewed interest.
You can find these pads on the inter-web through a variety of vendors. I purchased mine through Tumbl Trak because the gymnastics community uses these so they are durable and of good quality.
First up is the ole back of the leg region. These are wonderful because you have to stay tight throughout because a lot of people ruin the mechanic by flexing at the hips. By doing this, the client is now engaged in a rather interesting unstable bridge…Remember to stay tight in the middle, flex and extend at the knees only and do not sag!
Constant tension on the hamstrings are going to make this exercise more difficult to start. If you have a problem transitioning concentrically, slide your feet towards your butt (butt on ground), lower yourself down to full leg extension (with butt off the ground) and repeat by returning to starting position.
The hamstrings have two primary functions: knee flexion and hip extension. The usual hamstring curl machines focus solely on knee flexion. The slide pad rendition works your hamstrings through both primary functions. Since your time is precious, this will give you more value for your time in the gym.
Best way to put these into your program is towards the end of your leg day or whatever day that requires this type of activation. This is going to be a high volume exercise so do not but these before the big stuff.
What is the core? If you ask 20 people, most likely 20 will say “abs”. No worries, I once thought this too. The core to me is not only your abdominal muscles but your hips, lower back and even all those glute muscles back there. With the slider variation below, we are going to effectively hit all of those muscles.
Common issues with working the core is being too one-dimensional. Individuals often place aesthetics and comfort over their ability to improve their midsection. More specifically, people are too reliant on crunches and staying in the sagittal plane. Every day movement often requires us to move transversely and frontally as well.
To set his up:
- Set up in the prone position and have your non-slider hand underneath your shoulder.
- Be sure to maintain a neutral back and not not sag.
- Be sure to align your breaths with the movement of the pad.
- Make sure you do both sides!