6 Moves for More Stability

Louren

In the “bang for your buck” category of fitness equipment, sliders are a close runner-up to resistance bands. They’re cheap, versatile, and easy to store or take on the road. And if your current core routine is feeling a little played out, adding a set of sliders to the mix will definitely spice up the experience.

The Benefits of Slider Core Exercises

“Core sliders are a great tool to introduce variety and challenge to some common core-focused exercises,” Yusuf Jeffers, NASM-certified personal trainer and USATF-certified running coach in New York City, tells Runner’s World. “They create an unstable training surface and intensify moves by creating a balance challenge.”

As a runner, it’s important to keep your core muscles strong and engaged, as they help stabilize your pelvis and keep your posture in check. A weak core can actually shortchange your performance and cause movement compensations, which may lead to injuries.

Developed by Jeffers, the following core slider workout includes six exercises that target the core but also deliver a full-body strength workout, thanks to compound movements.

If you don’t have sliders, you can use several everyday household items that slide and glide across the floor. If you’re working on hardwood or tile, try using small hand towels or socks. If your workout area is carpeted, paper or plastic plates will work.

One note before you dive in: This workout is advanced. Before you try it, make sure you can hold a plank position with confidence.

How to use this list: Perform the exercises below as a circuit, using the transition time as an active rest between exercises. Complete 2-3 rounds, resting up to 2 minutes between rounds.

Each move is demonstrated by Jeffers in the video above so you can learn the proper form. You will need a set of sliders (or one of the substitutes mentioned above).


1. Reverse Plank to L-Sit

core slider workout, reverse plank to lsit

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: Supporting your bodyweight as you move between a reverse plank and an L-sit demands strength in the quads, hips, back, shoulders, and arms, Jeffers says. “It’s also great for ab and hip flexor strengthening, both of which help with running power.”

How to do it:

  1. Start with heels on sliders, legs extended and arms behind you, fingers facing away from you.
  2. Lift hips up to form a reverse plank. Elbows and shoulders should be stacked over wrists, and body should form a straight line from ankles to shoulders.
  3. Engage core to draw hips back and under shoulders into an L-sit position.
  4. Hold, then slide back out to a reverse plank position.
  5. Repeat, alternating between reverse plank and L-sit, for 60 seconds.

2. Hamstring Curl

slider core exercises, hamstring curl

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: “The hamstring curl strengthens the hamstrings and glutes, two of the biggest and most important muscle groups used in aiding correct running gait,” Jeffers says. And in case you forgot, those glutes are an important player in the core, too, offering stabilization through the pelvis.

How to do it:

  1. Lie faceup on floor with arms at sides, legs extended, and heels on sliders.
  2. Engage core and press through heels and upper back to lift hips a couple of inches off floor.
  3. Bend knees and use hamstrings to slide heels toward hips so that ankles are directly under knees.
  4. Extend legs and slide feet back out, keeping hips lifted.
  5. Repeat, sliding the feet in and out, for 60 seconds. Hips stay lifted the entire time.

3. Body Saw to Pike

slider core exercises, body saw to pike

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: The body saw to pike fires up every part of the core, Jeffers says. “It works to build strength endurance in core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and internal and external obliques,” he says.

How to do it:

  1. Start in forearm plank position with balls of feet on sliders, weight on forearms, shoulders stacked over elbows. Engage core and glutes, keeping back flat so that body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Moving at the elbows, slide entire body back an inch or two.
  3. Then slide forward in a “sawing” motion.
  4. Next, use the core to flex hips, slide feet forward, and draw the hips upward in a pike position. Body should form a reverse V shape.
  5. Slide feet out and return to forearm plank.
  6. Repeat entire sequence for 60 seconds.

4. Spiderman Push-Up

slider core exercises, spiderman push up

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: The push-up adds an upper-body component to this killer core move, and by working the opposing arm and leg, you’re also mimicking movement patterns found in running.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a high plank position with palms on sliders, shoulders over wrists, forming a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Keep core engaged as you slide left hand forward until elbow is fully extended and simultaneously draw right knee out to the side and up toward right elbow.
  3. Slide palm and foot back and return to high plank position.
  4. Repeat with right hand and left knee, then return to high plank.
  5. Repeat, alternating sides, for 60 seconds.

5. Bird Dog

slider core exercises, bird dog

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: “The bird dog works muscles along thespine, abdomen, and glutes, which help with maintaining a neutral spine and preventing hypermobility,” Jeffers says. “Runners need this type of stability while moving.”

How to do it:

  1. Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists and knees under hips, balls of feet on sliders. Lift knees just a few inches off the floor. Make sure back is flat. This is the starting position.
  2. Keeping core engaged, simultaneously slide right hand forward and left foot back to extend right elbow and left knee.
  3. Slide hand and foot back to return to starting position.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

6. High-Low Plank to Windshield Wiper

slider core exercises, high low plank to windshield wiper

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: It may take a few tries to master this movement, but the full-body workout is worth the effort. “You use the shoulders, pecs [chest muscles], and triceps to move while building strength endurance in the abdominal muscles and working the quads, glutes, and hip abductor muscles to perform the windshield wiper move,” Jeffers says.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a forearm plank position with balls of feet on sliders, weight on forearms, shoulders stacked over elbows. Engage core and glutes, keeping back flat so that body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Place the right palm on the ground, then the left, pushing up to a high plank position.
  3. Keep both knees straight as you slide right foot up and out to the side and then back in a “windshield wiper” motion.
  4. Repeat with left foot.
  5. One arm at a time, lower back to a forearm plank.
  6. Repeat entire sequence for 60 seconds.
Headshot of Mallory Creveling

Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness

Mallory Creveling, an ACE-certified personal trainer and RRCA-certified run coach, joined the Runner’s World and Bicycling team in August 2021. She has more than a decade of experience covering fitness, health, and nutrition. As a freelance writer, her work appeared in Women’s Health, Self, Men’s Journal, Reader’s Digest, and more. She has also held staff editorial positions at Family Circle and Shape magazines, as well as DailyBurn.com. A former New Yorker/Brooklynite, she’s now based in Easton, PA.

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