Slideboards represent a neat and highly effective innovation in both cardiovascular and muscular development exercise. This is why these flat plastic boards are now so popular amongst both the guys in the NHL and minor league players in training after having spent years being a part of the figure skating exercise scene.
At a casual glance, these exercise tools look like nothing more than rectangular sheets of plastic with raised edge clamps but once you see them at work, you realize just how ingenious slideboards really are. Their basic design is quite simple; a thin and highly smooth rectangular sheet of plastic is clamped to two edge brackets that fit along ids shorter ends. Typically a slideboard measures out at 7 to 10 feet long and roughly 2 to three feet wide. Along with the board and brackets comes a pair of specially designed slippers that allow your feet to move across the plastic with virtually no friction.
As you can guess, the ultimate purpose of the board is simulating the movement and feel of a real ice skating rink, but without the inherent instability and embarrassment inducing open setting.
Hockey players in both the major and minor leagues have been using slideboards for several years to improve physical stability, hip movement form and develop certain important muscles in the thighs, lower abdomen and hip area. Additionally, the constant practice regimen provides a great cardio workout.
How you Can Benefit from your Slideboard
By taking advantage of its simulated skating abilities, you can use your slideboard in various important ways.
For one thing, if you’re a skating or hockey enthusiast, the slideboard offers you the benefits of exercising and perfecting skating maneuvers without any of the commonly experienced anxiety that you might get from being in an open rink and especially in front of other people. Furthermore, if you already have your movements on the ice well practiced, the plastic board will let you perfect them in numerous ways that affect your endurance, pose, balance and strength. At the same time, you can benefit from all these improvements without taking the risk of tumbling badly and injuring yourself as is common on the ice.
On the other hand, if you happen to be someone who doesn’t play hockey competitively or even that much for fun, this clever exercise tools still has something to offer you. To start, you can use it to try out a unique and distinct new exercise method that gives you all sorts of benefits not normally found with other machines or routines.
Secondly, improving hip stability, endurance and strength while building overall body balance is an absolutely worthwhile goal that isn’t always easily worked toward through other devices, jogging or even strenuous walking.
If you look at the slideboard critically, you begin to realize that not only is this not just a hockey player’s or figure skater’s toy, it’s also something that a highly diverse list of users can take advantage of. From the elderly who want to maintain or improve their highly important balance to young people who are engaged in competitive endurance sports and could benefit from a solid cardio workout that reinforces the hips and their critical pressure points.
Overall, considering with its simplicity of use, versatility for all groups and very reasonable price tag of $200 to $350 (given how long it will last you), the slideboard is a completely worthwhile exercise tool for your fitness arsenal.
About the author: Kennith Campbell writes for fitness sites. When he isn’t buying writing or reviewing Ultraslide, he spends his free time exercising with his girlfriend Emily.