Monday, June 4, 2012

Hey You! You're an Intelligent Person, Right? Don't Believe the Hype!

Simple equipment and willpower are all you need for the body of your dreams.

Just when you thought it was safe to read mainstream fitness media (books, videos, articles, whatever) BAM!

You run into a paragraph like this:

                                         'You can do without going to a commercial gym,
                                          but it will take thousands of dollars to properly
                                          outfit your home gym...working out at home
                                          will eventually limit your exercise selection...'

NOOOOO! Don't believe the hype!

That short paragraph above was paraphrased from a best-selling trainer's book on developing the ideal male physique. A book which has a great message, by the way.

However, you can get a great workout at home, with endless variety, without spending thousands of dollars! If you are sufficiently self-motivated, you can even reach certain athletic goals.

In fact, it is my view that not only do you NOT need to spend thousands on your home gym (unless you want to) but simple, inexpansive tools can create just as many challenges that WILL stimulate muscle growth and help you build/condition your dream body, whether you are male or female.

The Valslide

Case in point, The Valslide, shown below, is deceivingly simple. How simple? It costs about thirty dollars, comes in a package a little bigger than your hand, and is basically a molded piece of pretty plastic for your feet (and hands, but we'll get to that in a minute.) 

When I said deceivingly simple, this is what I meant. There are a lot of exercises you can do with these for the whole body, not just your lower body.


The Valslide lets you slide from side to side, backwards and forwards, on carpets, tiles or any suitable surface (if you have hardwood floors, use the booties below.) If you have ever seen the massive thigh muscles of Olympic speed skaters, you have an idea of how effective a workout this is.

(Serious quads)

But I have found this to be an excellent upper body tool as well.  With the slides on your hands, planks become a full range of motion exercise that works the pectorals, anterior deltoids, lats, triceps and of course your entire core. Here is a short list I like to do:

  • Elephant Walkout/Caterpillar Walk (From standing, put your hands on floor and slide out as far as you can, then try to pull back to standing)
  • Elbow to Extended Arms Plank (Get in a regular plank position on your elbows. Slide the arms out to full extension and pull your elbows back towards your waist.)
  • Star Plank or Iron Cross Plank (The Star Plank is a plank with arms and legs extended out to the sides. Imagine sliding the arms together and back out to the sides with the Valslides on. Wow. The Iron Cross is the same with feet together.)

Why use sliders of any kind? Variety. Intensity. Price.

For the price, you can take your bodyweight training to the next level. Because let's face it, while there may be thousands of bodyweight exercises, sooner or later we just want something more! A toy to play with, one that adds a dimension of interest or difficulty to our workouts.

Sliders do just that, and they are perfect for the homegym, traveling workout, or for use in a gym group workout space. They are effective too, and require a small learning curve for you and your muscles, so...

Start Slow!

This is a different workout, so start slow. Do as many repetitions in slow, perfect form as you need to before picking up the pace. This is especially important when you are on your feet. You don't want a groin tear in your first slider workout!

The same is true when using sliders on your hands. The Star or Iron Cross plank and the other exercises listed above are advanced bodyweight exercises! Go into them with a slow cadence and only as far as you are comfortable with.

You Don't Need Thousands of Dollars for you Home Gym

Ok, if you are a bodybuilder, maybe you do. But simple and inexpensive equipment combined with hard work and dedication will take you very, very far towards a solid, muscular physique. One that is ready to play any sport and excel at it.

Expensive gym equipment is just not necessary unless you want it. Even the inexpensive Valslides have a cheaper alternative, and I would be remiss in not pointing it out. Enter the EZ-Move Furniture Sliders:

A four pack of slides designed to move heavy furniture on thick, plush carpet for less than $15 bucks. These are flatter and not as colorful as the Valslides, but they measure 9 3/4" inches long and 5 3/4" inches wide. 

The one drawback? They don't come in green, sorry. 

Don't be fooled, these simple tools are an intelligent choice. You will want to keep them in your gym bag, suit case or car at all times, right next to the resistance bands and suspension trainer! 

Remember, you determine the body you will have. Your hard work and dedication is the most effective tool you have, so keep the equipment simple. Get your sliders as soon as possible and have fun!

Take a look at some great bodyweight workout routines you can do with your sliders:

Bodyweight Daily

Check out another of our favorite 'smart' choices for effective home gym equipmet that won't break the bank:  

Resistance Bands for Endurance, Muscle Building and Power

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