In recognition of the upcoming Winter Olympics in a few weeks, we wanted to give a shout out to our US Olympic athletes who perform their training and sports on slippery surfaces! Our February Exercise of the Month is actually a series of exercises using our Slideboard and is dedicated to all of the amazing Winter Olympians competing later this month.
The Slideboard is an incredible training tool for a variety of reasons. It can be used as an endurance and sprint training tool for all athletes, but is especially applicable to skaters and skiers, as the lateral movement pattern replicates the movement pattern used when skating and cross-country skiing. Because of the lateral (side-to-side) movement, these exercises engage key lower body muscle groups, such as the hip adductors (i.e. adductor longus), hip abductors (i.e. gluteus medius), hip extensors (i.e. gluteus maximus and hamstrings) and quadriceps. These muscle groups are key to performing dynamic lateral movements in sports, such as cutting, bounding, side-shuffling, and skating. Even better, using the SlideBoard is very low-impact so it can be a nice break from the higher joint load levels of activities like running and bounding.
In this video, we demonstrate how our athletes here at Elite Sports Performance in Stoughton and Foxboro use the slideboard for a variety of other exercises that benefit from a slippery surface. In the first video, the athlete demonstrates a lateral lunge, which targets the hip adductor (inner-thigh) muscles in a very functional pattern. Lateral lunges not only strengthen (and lengthen) the hip adductor muscle group, but can be very beneficial for decreasing the risk of hip adductor (groin) strains, which are one of the most commonly injured muscle groups while playing sports.
In the second video, our athlete demonstrates a reverse lunge on the slideboard, which recruits high levels of quad, glute, and hamstring activation, as well as eccentric hip flexion as well. This is a great, low-impact variation of the lunge movement pattern and a must in any comprehensive training program.
In the third video, we have a classic supine bridge and hamstring curl on the board. We typically encourage our athletes to perform the eccentric portion of this exercise (with the feet sliding away from the body) slowly, which focuses on the eccentric phase of the movement – that is, the hamstring muscles are under tension while also lengthening at the same time. This exercise is not only important for building hamstring and glute strength, but like the lateral lunge, is very effective at reducing the risk for hamstring strains, which are also one of the most commonly injured muscle groups in athletic activity.
Finally, in the third video, we have the challenging slideboard Body Saw, an awesome exercise for strengthening the abdominals. This exercise is a yet another plank variation – think of it as a dynamic version of the plank, similar to performing a roll out using a physioball or the COR-XT Functional Trainer that we use a lot here at Elite. As you can see, we put the slideboard to good use here at Elite and our athletes reap the many benefits of this versatile training tool!
We hope you enjoyed this installment of our Sports Performance blog series, and we hope you enjoy the Winter Olympics in a few weeks as well! If you or an athlete in your family would like to join the Elite Sports Performance community and try the slideboard for yourself, we offer Sports Performance and Athlete Training programs at both our Foxboro and Stoughton locations. To learn more about our programs for athletes of all ages and sports and how YOU can improve your acceleration, strength, power and performance in the process, click HERE or email us at EliteSPC@EliteFitCenter.com!