Valslides, created by Valery Waters, are an excellent addition to any fitness toolbox.
They are great for reducing impact during certain exercises or for intensifying Core and Abs exercises.
There are 2 types of Valslides that you can use, one is for use on Carpets and the other for shiny flooring like Wood, Stone or Vinyl.
Here are a list of my favourite Valslide exercises to get you started:
# 1 – Fast Mountain Climbers
A nice introduction to using the Valslide. You will have one Valslide under each foot while in the Push Up position. Next keeping your arms straight and core nice and tight you alternate sliding your knees to your chest. Start off slow to get a feel for the movement and then work on picking up speed. This exercise is not only demanding for your Core muscles but is also a great cardiovascular exercise. Perfect for beginners because it takes the high impact out of the movement. Try 30 seconds for a good pulse raiser!
# 2 – Reverse Lunge
Performing a Reverse Lunge with a slider under the moving foot adds a different dimension to the regular reverse lunge. As you bring the foot back through to the starting position you will notice that you will have to deal with the friction that the Valslide produces. Be careful that during this movement you do not just slide backwards and forwards without dropping the back knee. Remember you are still performing a lunge and not just a rear hip flexor stretch. Work on one side first and then switch to the other side.
# 3 – Hamstring Curl
This exercise is great for working into the hamstrings. Start by lying on your back with both heels on the Valslides. Next raise your hips and keep them up as you pull both heels in to your buttocks and then push them back out again. When you first start this exercise you may want to just pull in one leg at a time. Ensure that you straighten the legs at the end of the movement to fully lengthen the hamstrings.
# 4 – Slow Mountain Climbers
A beautiful Core exercise that works on stabilisation. The exercise looks very similar to the Fast Mountain Climber except the knee is brought to the outside of the elbow. The movement should be performed at a very slow pace allowing the Core muscle to engage correctly. The slower you move the more difficult the exercise. Attempt to keep your hips as still as possible throughout the movement.
# 5 – Side Lunge
One of the more difficult beginner exercises that requires good flexibility through the hips. Starting from a standing position place one Valslide under your one foot. Next slide that foot directly out to the side and push your hips backwards. Keep your chest held high and back flat. Keep pushing your hips backwards and leg out to the side until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Pause and then return to the starting position. The deeper you drop into the lunge the more you engage your buttocks.
# 6 – Forward Lunge
Very similar to the Reverse Lunge but moving forwards. You will find this lunge variation more difficult that the Reverse Lunge. Using a Valslide for the Forward Lunge teaches you to load the back leg in a different way because overloading the Valslide would throw you off balance. The friction produced from the Forward part of the lunge is also something that you would not usually have to deal with when performing a regular Forward Lunge.
# 7 – Clock Lunge
A great exercise to finish of the beginners section. The Clock Lunge works your Lunge pattern through all the different movements listed above. Start by performing the Forward Lunge with the right leg, then the Side Lunge with the right leg, and finally the Reverse Lunge with the right leg. Next switch legs and perform the Reverse Lunge with the left leg, followed by the Side Lunge with the left leg and finally the Forward Lunge with the left leg. Next switch legs and repeat. You will notice that you are Lunging around a clock in a clockwise direction: 12, 3, 6, 9 and 12 O’clock.
# 8 – Squat Thrust
Another good cardiovascular exercise that works the Core hard too. Set yourself up as if you are about to perform the Fast Mountain Climbers. Next with both feet on the Valslides pull your toes into your chest and then back out again. Keep your Core tight and ensure you complete the full movement to straighten your legs at the end. A great exercise if impact is a problem for you. Try 30 seconds without stopping to really get your heart beat racing.
# 9 – Double Lunge
One of my favourite Valslide exercises for testing the legs. You will have your foot on one Valslide and then imagine that the other foot is stuck to the floor. Next slide backwards into a Reverse Lunge and then Forwards into a Forward Lunge. Keep the pace fairly brisk and ensure that your knee gets as close to the floor as possible for every repetition. One repetition counts as forwards and backwards. Try 10 on each side for a nice leg workout.
# 10 – Alligator Walk
This tasty exercise works both your Core muscles and your shoulders too. I like the shoulder stabilisation that is required to perform this exercise correctly. Start in a Push Up position with your feet on the Valslides. Next with your Core engaged and back nice and flat start dragging yourself forwards on your hands. Only move your hands as you continue to walk forwards dragging your legs behind you. Find some room and move forwards for 10 and backwards for 10. If your hips start to sag towards the floor then stop the exercise.
# 11 – Hand Slide Outs
Very powerful Core exercise that can be modified depending on strength. Start in a Push Up position with your hands on the Valslides. Next taking it in turns slide your one hand out forwards as far as possible. Next return the hand slowly and repeat on the other side. The crucial part about this exercise is keeping the Core engaged and the back flat. Only slide your hand as far forwards as you can manage with good form.
# 12 – Reverse Lunge with Overhead Reach
A nice full body movement that lengthens the back and mobilises the rear hip flexors too. Perform the regular Reverse Lunge as mentioned in the beginners section. As the back knee drops down into the lunge reach up with both hands and look up at the same time. Next bring both arms down as you drive from the front leg back into the standing position again.
# 13 – Plank Slide Outs
A demanding Core exercise that requires a good deal of foundational core strength to begin with. Start in a regular Plank position with your feet on the Valslides. Next keep your Core engaged and hips up as you slide your feet backwards. Slide your feet back as far as your Core muscles can handle before sliding back to the starting position again. If you are new to this exercise work on only sliding backwards and forwards a few inches before really going for it.
# 14 – Push Up to Squat Thrust
A nice Valslide combination exercise that starts with a regular Push Up and then adds in a Squat Thrust. Begin the exercise in the Push Up position with the feet on the Valslides. Perform a single Push Up and then when back at the top of the movement pull the knees in and out for a Squat Thrust. Keep the pace steady and don’t sacrifice your form for speed. Keep that core tight and your hips up.
# 15 – Cross Body Mountain Climbers
A similar Core exercise to the Slow Mountain Climbers but this time a little more focused on the Obliques. From the Push Up position with the feet on the Valslides take the knee underneath the body and as close to the opposite elbow as possible. Return the leg to the start position and repeat on the other side. Keep the movement slow and controlled.
# 16 – Pikes
A nice core exercise that demands good core stabilisation as well as hamstring flexibility. Start in a Push Up position with both feet on the Valslides. Next keeping your legs straight pull your legs in towards you and push your buttocks up into the air. Try to get your feet as close to your hands as possible without bending your legs. Next slowly slide your feet back into the Push Up position.
# 17 – Side Plank Reach Through
This Core exercise works the side of the body as well as your Upper Thoracic mobility. Start in a Side Plank position with your top hand on a Valslide. Next sliding the Valslide along the floor take the hand underneath the body as far as possible. Rotate the body as much as possible as you reach through. Next pull the arm back through and start again. Move slowly throughout the exercise and keep your hips nice and high.
# 18 – Push Up Slide Outs
This exercise takes the regular Push Up to the next level and really challenges the one side of the Chest and Triceps. Start as with a regular Push Up but with both hands on the Valslides. Next as your descend down into your Push Up slide one arm out to the side as far as possible. As you push up from the bottom of the push up return the arm back to its original position. You can either work on one side for a certain number of repetitions or switch sides after every rep.
The above selection of exercises require no equipment other than the Valslides. You can, when you are comfortable with the Valslides, start to add loaded movements like Reverse Lunges while holding Dumbbells or a Kettlebell.
Take your Valslides with you wherever you go, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Have you tried using Valslides yet?