Get out your sliders!

As part of our "Things to do at home" series, this week we are looking at improving your gymnasts with a simple piece of equipment... sliders! Sliders are an excellent way to increase strength, flexibility and provide a solid foundation for great shaping, which in turn, benefits your gymnastics performance.

You can purchase sliders from bunnings (furniture sliders) or from sporting goods stores such as rebel sport or Kmart. The best part about these exercises, even if you don’t have store-bought sliders, paper plates, face clothes and A4 pieces of paper can also be used! Meaning you can start these exercises at home TODAY! :D

Grab your sliders and lets get into the exercises that will help improve your gymnastics, from the comfort of your own home…

You can also check out our ankle mobility exercises  and shoulder mobility exercises  from this series. 

Exercise 1: Single leg clock

This is a great exercise for hip and ankle stability. Place one foot on the slider and the other foot will stay grounded on the floor with your knee slightly bent (this will make your glutes fire more the lower to bend down!). With the foot that is on the slider, push it out in front of you until your leg is straight, then return it to meet your standing foot. Repeat this action out to the side and back. Imagine you are touching 12,3 and 6 on a clock face. Repeat this 20 times in total on each leg.

Exercise 2: Support lengths

Let’s get that core engaged with slider lengths! Before you start this exercise, make sure you have strength and good shaping in your front support position. Pushing up through your shoulders with your core on. You do not want to be “dipping” into your lower back.

There are a few options for this exercise so start from the basics and work up the progressions when you are feeling strong enough and your technique isn’t changing when you make the exercises harder.

Option 1: Feet on the sliders in front support position, walking hands in front for 10 steps

Option 2: Feet on the sliders in rear support position, walking hands backwards for 10 steps

Option 3: Feet on the sliders in plank position, walking elbows forward for 10 steps

Exercise 3: Bridge hamstring in/outs

Let’s fire up those hamstrings! Start this exercise on your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart on the floor, then lift your hips up to the sky like a glute bridge. The sliders are going to be under each foot. Quickly extend your legs out in front of you, keeping your hips lifted off the ground, and then return back to your starting glute bridge position. Repeat this 5-10 times.

Only extend your legs as far as you can go without dropping your hips. If that is only halfway straight, that is ok! You can also make this exercise easier by doing one leg at a time rather than double leg.

Exercise 4: Slider tuck throughs

Grab two low chairs and place them just further than shoulder width apart. Place both feet on the sliders and your hands on each chair. Start in rear support with your legs straight and tuck your legs through your hands to finish in front support. Repeat this action 10 times. For a more advanced option, try it with straight legs in a pike shape!

Exercise 5: Pike ups

Our shapes are going to be awesome after working on these! Start with both feet on one slider in a front support position. Lift your hips up to the sky, drawing your feet as close to your hands as you can with straight legs. Return back to front support and repeat 10-20 times. You can make this exercise easier by doing it with bent legs and making a tuck shape rather than a pike shape!

Exercise 6: Splits

Before you start with this exercise, make sure you go at your own pace and do not aggressively push your splits down. Your front foot will be on a slider, so you want to do this exercise CONTROLLED to avoid injury!

Start in a lunge position with your front leg straight and foot on a slider. Lower down into splits as far as you can go keeping your hips square. Think about drawing your legs back together as you pull your front leg back up and return to your starting lunge position. Repeat this action 5 times on each leg.

Using these exercises at home or in the gym? We want to see! Tag us in your social media posts @gymnsw