The Slide is Back
Looking for a really new fitness routine? One that will work muscles you never knew you had? Surprisingly it's not new at all. It's called the slide and it first came out about a decade ago.
Slide training uses motions similar to speed skaters. These are functional movements called lateral training. Most of our movement and exercise is done forward and back. Lateral training brings in the side to side movements we use in everyday life and sports.
Slide training primarily develops and conditions the muscles of the legs and hips that make lateral motion possible. It is a low impact activity that not only conditions the major musculature of the lower body but also the connective tissue and ligaments of the knee, hip and ankle joints. This provides an injury protective mechanism. It also targets those hard to reach areas of the inner and outer thigh.
It's best to use a slide on a hard flat surface because balance is an aspect. Slides come with special socks worn over your normal athletic shoes so you can move easily from one side to the other.
Start sliding slowly. You can also vary the width of many slides. Beginners should choose a narrower width than more advanced students. The slide has "ramps" at each end". Start with both feet at one ramp and push using the muscles of the outer hip and leg, pushing down and away with the entire leg. Bring your legs together when your lead leg reaches the opposite ramp.
Sliding is an intense activity which will use muscles you haven't used in awhile. Begin with short sessions and build up. Because new muscle groups are involved some delayed onset muscle soreness may occur. If so, just take plenty of recovery time before doing your next slide class.
Lateral motion training such as sliding has many advantages. It is intense, increases cardiorespiratory fitness, increases leg strength and endurance, works areas not normally worked during normal front and back motion activities, reduces fat, provides injury stabilization and facilitates the use of lateral movements in everyday life and sports. The slide has definitely made a come back and everyone can benefit from lateral motion training.
About the Author: Dr Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness and health information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-ciach.com