Small cloth plates under hands and feet transform fitness exercises into a balancing act. How training with slide pads works – and what beginners should pay attention to.
Crawling, slipping, and sliding: What sounds like fun for children is becoming part of the fitness program of many adults. They put small round cloth tiles under their hands and feet and whiz across the floor.
Slide pads also called sliding pads, are not new inventions. “We used to do this in children’s gymnastics in the past,” says fitness manager Veronika Pfeffer of Fitness First. At that time still with pieces of carpet. They are still a good alternative for the home.
Towels or cleaning cloths are also an option, adds coach Dirk Dreher, who heads the company fitness department at the occupational health service provider Medical Airport Service.
Prerequisite: a smooth floor
The slide pads, which can be ordered over the Internet, for example, have the advantage that they can be easily cleaned and disinfected. “I can even stow them in a suitcase to save space and train around in the hotel room,” says Pfeffer. The only prerequisite: a smooth floor, on which it slides well.
Exercise on Slide Pads
With the documents, sports enthusiasts strengthen their entire bodies. There are exercises for the abdomen and back, buttocks, legs, and arms. For example, in the push-up position, place the pads under your feet or knees. Then pull the knees towards the nose and push away again. “The advantage is that I can playfully practice new processes,” says Tessa Temme, the sports scientist at the German Sports University Cologne.
Slipping makes everything more exhausting: the way in and out of a pose. “Especially the deeper, smaller muscles are addressed,” explains Pfeffer.
Expect sore muscles
Who wants to do it right, must make the largest possible movements. “In the beginning, you have to get used to something,” is Pfeffer’s experience. It is best to put only one foot on a pad and leave the other on firm ground. Then carefully try out how far it can slip, without involuntary landing in the balancing act.
In the beginning, you have to expect sore muscles. “The muscles are stretched while they are loaded, that’s unusual for a while,” says Pfeffer.
According to coach Dirk Dreher, the exercises are nevertheless suitable for almost everyone. He recommends it especially to prevent falls. “In old age, the sensorimotor skills get worse.” This process can be slowed down with the pad exercises.
This is how the floor is cleaned during sports
Even more ambitious athletes – such as runners – can benefit from the training. It promotes so-called core stability. This saves energy while running. Ideally, runners improve their times, says Dreher. For surfers, skiers, ball athletes, or figure skaters, the pads are also a useful addition.
How Slide Pads Works – Watch in the Video
Attention: Slide pads are not suitable for everyone
For training at home, the experts recommend that they first have instructed by a trainer. If you know the sequences, you can later use video to train. “For starters, you can take a mirror to correct yourself,” advises Dreher. If it does not work so well with the balance, a chair helps.
“What’s important is that I make the movements slow and controlled,” says Pfeffer. Exercising with the legs is healthier, paying attention to the knee-foot axis, says Temme: “So do not make X or O legs.”
However, the slide is not recommended for everyone. In joint damage, balance disorders, or severely limited mobility – such as arthritis – advise the experts. “If you have an acute herniated disc, you should only use the pads together with a therapist,” says Dreher.