Do It Yourself:
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.
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).
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.
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
(5/8" to 3/4")
- 1: 4'x8' sheet of white
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 floor wax 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". : )
- I've considered using
some carpet remnants around the 2x4 end blocks for a little bit of
cushion, but haven't heard many complaints yet when the booties
are put over sneakers. If you plan to wear socks only, I
would definitely reconsider that option.
Start sliding... Enjoy!
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
Split squats are a burner, and
there are a bunch of ways to do them. This suspended
version creates an unstable surface for your back leg as it
rests on the
Strength Apparatus (USA) , similar to one of
my other favorite versions with your back foot on a stability
ball. You will feel the burn in your quads and
hamstrings and, since it is a unilateral exercise (one leg),
you will help to work equal development in both of your legs.
Target: legs and butt
(quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals)
with your down planted firmly on the floor and your back foot
on a rung of the suspension strap that will allow your knee to
be at about a 90 degree angle. The movement starts by
pushing your back leg backwards until your front knee reaches
roughly 90 degrees. Be sure to try to keep your front
knee aligned but behind your toes.
Did I mention that I am a huge
Giants fan? Yes... I bleed
I was programmed at an early age when my father was a police
officer that worked security on the Giants sideline at the
Meadowlands back in the day... Great memories. So how
could I not take the opportunity to throw a little Giants in
the newsletter this month, after such an outstanding finish
to a questionable season and another Super Bowl win over the
Patriots no less!
Although I was not a big fan
when he first came to the Giants... Eli Manning of the is
the most durable quarterback in the National Football League
right now. Manning, 31, has started 130 straight
games, including the postseason, dating back to 2004 for the
Giants and he didn't miss a snap this season. He popped
right back up every time he was knocked down in the overtime
win against the San Francisco 49ers and didn’t turn the ball
over even though he was sacked six times and knocked down 12
The following was an
interesting interview with Eli by Men's Health that I
thought would be a little more pertinent to my newsletter
than my gloating about the Super Bowl Champions
"I never had any major injuries because I always focused on
mastering the most basic exercises, like pushups and
squats," said Eli
Manning, star quarterback for the New
York Giants. Smart move: Those exercises train big muscles
(like your glutes and those in your back) and smaller
stabilizers (like the ones in your rotator cuffs). That
balance is vital to excel in sports—and avoid injury.
When the season ends, Manning doesn’t jump right back into
training. "When you recover correctly, it allows you to work
that much harder and helps you push yourself to new levels,"
Manning says. He resumes with conditioning exercises, like
light running, circuit
training, and intervals, and then added weight training
with progressively heavier weights. This allows his body to
adapt, improving his strength and durability.
Touch your toes
"My father [former NFL star Archie
Manning] always stressed stretching when we were younger,"
said Manning. "It's the main reason I'm able to stay
healthy." Manning combines regular stretching with foam
rolling to keep his body primed during the season. To build
Manning-like durability, grab a foam roller and work your
hamstrings, quads, calves, back, and shoulders for 30 to 60
seconds each. For instructions, check out
You've heard that athletes visualize plays before they make
them—but Manning goes further than that: In the gym, he
pictures lifts before he does them. "You have to mentally
prepare for everything. The more you focus, the more intense
you become; and intensity leads to great results." Do the
same and focus on your routine, especially before complex
moves, said Mike Robertson, C.S.C.S., co-owner of
Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. Visualizing
details leads to better form, he said.
Create your own support team
When Manning is in New York in the off-season, he works out
with friends and teammates. When he's on vacation, he grabs
anyone he can. Really. He's recruited guys off the street.
"Anyone—even if they can't train at your level—can make an
activity somewhat competitive and help you push yourself
harder," he said. Science agrees: Researchers at the
University of Oxford found that men who trained in a group
tolerated pain significantly better than those who exercised
ref. Men's Health, February 06, 2012
Recipes for Health
I got a bunch of submissions for this recipe column. Thanks
for all the great ideas! For this month, I decided to post a
recipe that was sent to me by Michelle Summitt from Tennessee.
She found this smoothie recipe on
Allrecipes.com and I thought that
it was interesting. Not sure that I would have considered mixing
spinach, bananas, and grapes on my own... but I'll try anything
once! I'll have to say, it was surprisingly tasty! If
you can make it without your kids seeing you, it could be a great
way to get them to eat their greens!
Groovy Green Smoothie
Ingredients (2 servings)
1 banana, cut in chunks
1 cup grapes
1 (6 ounce) tub
1/2 apple, cored and
1 1/2 cups fresh
Place the banana, grapes, yogurt, apple and spinach into a blender.
Cover, and blend until smooth, stopping frequently to push down
anything stuck to the sides. Pour into glasses and serve. (estimated
Send me an
email with your favorite healthy
recipe with the ingredients, details,
nutrition information, whatever and I'll publish a new one each
It's Go Time!
It's still too darn cold for me! I want
to get outside again where the fresh air and sunlight give me
energy and tons of motivation to keep at it. I won't
complain too much though... it has been a pretty mild winter
so far for us. I've actually been able to get outside
for a few 5k runs (in my Kangoo Jumps) on the warm days...
that's not bad for February! But warm or cold, I still
try to stick to my basic game plan. If it's a cardio day
for me, I do cardio... whether it's outside or inside.
Remember... 48 hours rest between training of
any muscle groups... including abdominals. Plan your
week accordingly and figure out what you want to get
accomplished ahead of time. My current split is usually
chest/shoulders/tri, back/bi/neck, legs, cardio and I keep
rotating through. I normally don't plan a rest day,
because there's always something that pops up that causes me
to take one... and this way I don't feel guilty about it :)
Understand your schedule, your motivation, and what you can do
to help you to surpass your goals and plan it out. This
will provide you with focus and mental preparation to tackle
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youtube of the month -->
High Reps, Light Weights or
Low Reps, Heavy Weights?
ACE Fitness report on a popular exercise question