AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

9077675 slideboard exercises 300x244 How to use slideboards for an extremely beneficial workout; just like the professional hockey playersHockey, whether pounding down the ice on a break-away, deking out a defender, or putting some extra power into a check, requires both phenomenal strength and agility. In order to get in shape like the professional hockey players, you’re going to want to do exercises which engage in both aspects and with slide-board exercises you can do both at the same time.

Designed at Northwestern University to train cyclists, the slideboard picked up steam among other sports training because of its ability for athletes to train with lateral movement a range of motion not often found in most gym equipment and one that, because it so often overlooked, can lead to tremendous results. While most exercises deal with front and back, up and down movement exercises like lat pull-downs, bench presses, tricep extensions, or hamstring curls the slideboard utilizes side-to-side movement to develop fine muscles, stabilizing muscles and the connective tissues at your joints.

Side-to-side skaters on the slideboard are a fantastic way to exercise the muscle groups used in skating without needing to be on the ice. To do the exercise, simply glide back and forth from one side to the other, keeping your balance and dipping lower and lower into the movement; the lower you go the more strength you’ll be building in your legs and core which is keeping yourself stabilized throughout the exercise. The fact that you’re not on the ice allows you to really dig in to the exercise and will make you, once back on the ice, explode with power.

You can also do modified squats with the slideboard, as Mike Green of the Washington Capitals does. Stand with one leg on the slideboard and one leg off, for stability; slide your foot along the board and dip into the squat. Be sure to maintain the proper form, you don’t want your season to be over because you blew out your back while training. Once you’ve worked both sides, several sets each, you can easily modify the exercise into a lunge. Turn your body so you’re parallel with the slideboard. Keep one foot on and one off, as before. Starting with your foot at the base of the slideboard, extend it forward and slide into the lunge. For an extra workout, you can move your whole body to the front of the board and slide backwards for a reverse lunge.

Legs aren’t the only muscle groups you need to work for better hockey performance, and luckily the slideboard accommodates those muscle groups too. Core muscles the abs, obliques and lower back are used in every aspect of hockey, from getting off the bench during a line change to skating, shooting, checking and fighting. The core keeps the whole of your body stabilized. The leg exercises above utilize the core muscles as well, but you can also use the slideboard to target this muscle group explicitly. Mountain climbers work well with the slideboard; simply grab one of the bumpers and walk your feet back and forth while in the pushup position. For a harder workout, try mountain climbers with both feet moving up and down the slideboard at the same time.

With the slideboard you can even grab your stick and a puck or ball and work on your stick handling skills while performing some of the lateral skaters. Try reaching your inner foot out and underneath you, tapping the ground, to sharpen your agility even more. Goalies can practice their skills while on the slideboard, too. Set the distance to six feet and have a partner shoot or throw balls/pucks at the “net.” You can always get creative and invent your own as well.

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About the Author: Kennith Campbell is a personal trainer specializing in slideboard exercises. Ken is committed to healthier living through diet and exercise.


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