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  Make your own Slide Board

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A slide board is a slick mat with blocks on each side so you can stop and push off with your feet. Cotton booties are placed on your feet or hands to allow movement across the board. Slide boards have been used by hockey players, speed skaters and various athletes for decades.

Physical therapists use it to help patients recovering from ligament injuries or surgeries. 
Slide boards are now, however, part of the mainstream fitness world.

Slide boards are designed to improve strength and stability in the gluteals, inner thighs and shoulder stabilizers.  They can build the quick, explosive power you need for the court, field, or ice.  Slide board lateral training can improve power, change of direction, balance, agility, speed, flexibility and endurance.

It is also a low-impact, high-intensity workout that can help improve bone density. 
They provide a good aerobic workout that increases the heart rate.

To use, simply slip on a pair of nylon booties and start gliding. Your movements will approximate the gliding movements of inline skaters and ice skaters, but with a full lateral motion rather than a forward-propelling motion. 
Slide board lateral exercises are performed by starting in a standing or squatting position, and sliding from one side of the board to the other. The momentum of the movement is dependent on the use of hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles, along with the core. 
Lateral slide exercise can be intensified with ankle weights, as well as hand weights. Using full arm motions will work pectoral and back muscles.

Aside from the standard, lateral skating motion, that the board is meant for, there are plenty of other exercises that can be performed on the slide board.

  Slide Board Split Squats  can be performed with your bootie covered back foot on the slide board only. 
Your back foot slides backward while the front knee flexes (bends). 
This is
a single-leg exercise that blends unilateral (single) leg strength with general instability. Split squats on a slide board recruit most muscles in the lower extremity. 

Chest Fly Push ups  Line up perpendicular to the slide board with one hand on the floor (off the slideboard) and the other hand on the slide board with a booty on it.  Slide your booty hand out as you go down for a big chest stretch and pull it back in under your shoulder as you come back up.

Slide Board Planks  Planks on a slide board integrate shoulder and core stability with dynamic instability. Place both your hands inside cotton booties. Hands are about shoulder width apart, positioned flat on the slide board. Your arms are straight with the shoulders located directly over the hands.  Perform a circular motion with one hand while the other hand remains stable. Continue these arm movements for 10 seconds, then change arms. The exercise is terminated once you are unable to maintain your spinal stabilization.

Do It Yourself

You will pay anywhere from $175 to over $500 for a store bought slideboard.  However, I made 2 of them for about $50!  You will, however, need a circular saw, a caulk gun, a drill, and some basic knowledge of how to use them.  Here's the materials you will need to make 2 of them (since plywood typically only comes 4' x 8')...
  • 1: 4'x8' sheet of plywood
  • 1: 4'x8' sheet of white board (melamine)
  • 1: 2x4x8
  • 2: caulk tubes of liquid nails
  • 8: 3/8 x 3" machine bolts
  • 8: 3/8" wingnuts
  • carpet remnant (optional)

I preferred to make my slideboard 7.5 feet long.  If you do, you will want to first cut 6 inches off the top of the plywood and melanin sheets.

  • Measure and rip both the plywood and the melamine sheets in half (2 feet)
  • Run caulk beads of liquid nails all around, about an inch from the edge of your plywood pieces.  Use up the rest of a liquid nails tube by running about 3 more beads lengthwise.
  • Fit the melamine piece on top of the plywood (non-white side down of course).
  • Walk all over the white board in your socks to ensure that you have a tight fit.
  • Cut your 2x4 into 2 foot lengths
  • Drill 3/8" holes in the end of your 2x4 pieces, 2" from the end and about 1" from the side (see below) This provides more stability on the end blocks once they are mounted.
  • Once the liquid nails have had a few hours to dry, line up one of your end blocks at the edge of the board (1" side closest to the middle) and drill holes all the way through the slideboard, using the holes in the 2x4 as a guide.
  • Thread the machine bolts up from the bottom and secure tightly in place with the wingnuts. 
  • Repeat this step on the other side.
  • In order to make the slide distance adjustable, remove one of your end pieces, measure and drill 2 or 3 sets of holes every 6 inches.  This will allow you to move one of your end blocks and allow people of different levels to use it.
  • You can use a sander to clean up the edges of your slideboard as you see fit.
  • Spray your slideboard with furniture polish or armorall to make it more slippery.
  • A friend of mine picked me up a pair of paper booties from the hospital, but you can find them on eBay also under "medical shoe covers".  $20 for a pair of booties at a fitness store, or about $25 for a roll of 50 pairs of "medical shoe covers". : )

Start sliding... Enjoy!







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