Whether you are a roller sports enthusiast who is having trouble finding inline skating locations during the winter, an ice skater looking for ice time for practice during summer months or even a skater in the middle of an inline-to-ice transfer, it may be time to get your own portable simulated skating surface. A slide board can be used by inline or ice skaters to imitate inline racing, ice speed skating, hockey playing movements and even figure skating stroking. In fact, the slide board is very useful to many speed athletes who replicate many speed skating straightaway movements, and also use them as a training tool for striding, timing and rhythm. Slide boards are good balance training tools, too.
A slide board - sometimes called a lateral exercise trainer - looks a lot like a large smooth mat with blocks on each side to push off from and stop the sliding movements. Cotton socks or specially made nylon or cloth slide booties are worn on the athlete's feet to allow movement across the slippery formica, laminated aluminum panels or laminated wood panels of the mat.
A typical slide board is somewhere between one quarter inch to one half-inch thick, about seven feet long and sometimes the length of the board can be adjusted up or down to accommodate the height of the athlete who will use it. Adjustments can also be made to change the surface for other types of workout routines. Most slide boards are light enough in weight to be portable.
Using these boards as part of a skate simulation cross-training workout is easy and it is a good alternative method to work most of the major muscle groups all over any other athlete's body, too. You can enhance aerobics routines with a slide board, and these exercises can help improve muscle tone and definition. Use a slide board to assist in the development of your upper body strength and endurance and for developing arms and leg flexibility, agility and balance. And this is one way to get cardiovascular training done without much risk of hip injuries.
Try a Slide Board
A simple way to try a slide board workout for skating is to just wear socks or booties bootie on each foot to reduce friction and do side-to-side full lateral gliding movements across the board to simulate inline or ice skating strokes. The proper routine will improve balance, agility, speed and flexiblity in a low-impact aerobic workout. The side-to-side movement in this training method can help a skater develop strong quads for powerful strides and jumps, builds muscles in the inner and outer thighs and strengthens the ligaments of the hip and knee joints for skating stability. When used properly, a slide board also serves as a good training method for stride control, timing and rhythm.
A Review of Some Slide Board Benefits:
Improve hip stability
Increase hip strength and endurance
Reduce risk of hip injury
Improve skating balance
Improve distance skating
Burn extra calories
In addition to being used as a roller, inline or ice cross-training tool or in other sports or fitness training activities, a slide board can also be a helpful tool when it comes to rehabilitation after an accident, injury or even an extended illness.
Get a Slide Board
Purchasing this simple but effective lateral exercise trainer is relatively easy online. Many sporting goods stores that sell exercise equipment will carry several makes and models of the slide board. Most of the boards will come with simple instruction manuals that help new customers learn how to use the board to work specific muscle groups, as well as how to do simple maintenance and store the device properly.
In addition to commercially produced slide boards, there are also a lot of easy-to-follow plans - like the slide board instructions provided by Eddy Matzger - for building this lateral training tool. Eddy shows that slide boards are easy to make, inexpensive and are great for off-skate training.
Be sure to remember that slide board cross-training is just like any other workout – you must build up endurance by starting with short, slow workouts that eventually evolve into longer workouts.