“A Valslide helps you focus on control, core stability and range of motion, and it allows you to gain strength while lengthening your muscles,” says Erin Gales, ACE-CPT, who designed this workout. “And since all these moves are bodyweight-based, you’ll also fire up your stabilizing muscles to build strength and endurance.”
Complete these five moves in a circuit and challenge yourself to rest as little as possible in between. (It’s harder than you think!) Do a total of three rounds and rest 30 seconds between rounds, if needed.
Get onto all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands underneath your shoulders, back straight, head neutral. Place your left toes on top of the Valslide and turn your right toes underneath, then pick your knees up off the floor a few inches so your shins are parallel to the floor, back straight, head neutral. From here, lift your right hand and open your chest to the right side as you slide your left toes along the floor underneath your body and extend your left leg completely out to the front. Slide your foot back to the start and replace your hand. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Trainer’s Tip: As you return to the start, make sure your hips stay low so your knees and legs return to the proper position.
Get into plank with your hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Place your toes of both feet on the Valslide, legs together. Keep your arms straight and your core braced as you lift your hips toward the ceiling and pull your feet underneath you until your body makes an upside-down V. Pause briefly and then return to the start slowly and with control.
Trainer’s Tip: Make sure your head and neck stay aligned: As you reach the pike position, allow your gaze to come through your arms. As you return to plank, return your focus on the floor just in front of your hands.
No Valslide? No problem: Use a small hand towel on wood or ceramic floors, or a paper plate on carpet for the same effect.
Get into plank with your hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Place your toes of both feet on the Valslide, legs together. Maintain this body position as you walk forward with your hands and pull your feet behind you.
Trainer’s Tip: Brace your core to prevent your body from swaying side to side as you pull with your arms.
Alternating One-Arm Push-Out
Get into a push-up position on your knees with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees, hips and head aligned. Place the heel of your left hand on the Valslide, and as you bend your rigth elbow, slide your left hand out in front of you, arm straight. Extend your right arm and press yourself back to the start as you slide your left hand back underneath you. Continue, alternating sides.
Trainer’s Tip: As you pull your hand back underneath you, press down with it into the floor to accentuate the muscle contraction.
Get into plank with both feet on the Valslide, hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Keep your upper body in place as you bend your knees and slide your feet underneath you and to the outside of your right hand. Return to the start. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Trainer’s Tip: The goal here is not speed but control. Make each phase smooth and fluid, not bouncy.