You’ve probably seen those purple gliding discs at your gym or even used them in class for moves like lunges and mountain climbers. If you have, you know those little suckers make moves surprisingly harder.

“Gliders engage your muscles in a contracted way and allow your muscles to stretch,” explains Nina Koulogeorge, a New York City-based trainer at YG Studios. “You also use more of your core when working with gliders; therefore, you’re building core strength at all times.”

While it’s common to use gliders for lower-body and core work, you can also use them to strengthen your upper body. Try Koulogeorge’s 20-minute workout below to work your chest, arms, shoulders, back and core.

If you don’t have gliders, thin washcloths work on hardwood floors, and paper plates or the cover of a magazine will do on carpet.

THE WORKOUT

Perform each exercise 3 times, resting 30 seconds between sets. When you’ve completed 3 sets of the first exercise, move to the next exercise.

TRAVELING FOREARM PLANK
(No gliders)

  • Stand at the side of the mat so it is perpendicular to you. Lower to a forearm plank with your forearms on the mat, shoulders over elbows, neck aligned and abs contracted.
  • Keeping your feet planted, move your right forearm to the right side of the mat, then move your left forearm to meet it so you are back in forearm plank.
  • Move your left forearm, then your right, so you are back to center.
  • Repeat the movement to the left side of the mat, keeping your feet in place. Then return to center.
  • Continue alternating for 30 seconds.

CRAWLING FOREARM PLANK

  • With your feet on gliders on the floor, come to a forearm plank with your arms at one end of the mat.
  • Contract your abs, and crawl up and down the mat on your forearms, keeping your hips square.
  • Continue moving forward and backward up and down the mat for 30 seconds.

FLOOR CIRCLES

  • On all fours with your hands on gliders, slide your hands forward so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • With your right hand, make a wide circle stretching out and around, keeping your arm straight and getting your abs close to the floor — keeping your abs contracted.
  • Repeat with your left hand.
  • Continue alternating for 1 minute.

ALTERNATING GLIDER PUSHUPS

  • On all fours with your hands on gliders. Slide your hands forward so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Keeping your left hand still, slide your right hand out to the right, and lower your chest to the ground like a pushup. Press back up, and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat, sliding your left hand out to the left.
  • Do 8 reps on each side.

GLIDER TRICEPS IGNITOR

  • On all fours with your hands on gliders. Slide your hands forward so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Keeping your left hand still, slide your right arm straight out until your abs touch the ground. Drive your arm back to the starting position, keeping your arm straight the entire time.
  • Repeat with your left arm.
  • Continue alternating for 30 seconds.


2 Comments

  1. Jeanie

    I’ve seen these at my gym before but never had the guts to try them out. I feared that i would look like an abolsute tool trying to figure them out. Even thought to buy a set and try it at home first before taking it to the gym.
    Good to know! Now I can try these exercises without looking like a fool! hahahh

  2. smitty

    I’m going to try this!

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