Exercise Safety

Fit Bits

Mary Anne Fantauzzi, owner of Total Body Trifecta in Saratoga Springs, has demonstrated that "everything old is new again" with an innovative use of an abandoned fitness prop. Remember the lateral slide from the 1990s? If you don't, a slide is a flat vinyl board with bumpers on each end. Sharyn Kalinkewicz, an ESA Certified member and charter member of Total Body Trifecta, is pictured to the left of this article demonstrating the Slide. The participant wears special cloth booties over his or her exercise shoes and begins on the bumper at one end. He or she "pushes off," slides across the very slippery surface, and is stopped by the rubber bumper at the other end.

Mary Anne tells us about the class that she created, which makes use of the Slide, the Yoga Sticky Mat, and the Body Ball to condition core muscles.

Shake and Shape Your Bootie, Wearing Booties!

Lateral Slide Training is back at Total Body Trifecta Fitness Studio in Saratoga Springs, New York. I discovered several slides while cleaning out my garage and decided to put them back into action. I had a problem: only five slides but many more willing participants.

A creative solution resulted in a circuit class called "Bootie Camp," which combines sliding with core stabilization exercises using a pair of booties, a sticky mat and the slide. My new class's alternating format can accommodate ten people at a time using five slides.

I need to preface this explanation of the class by emphasizing that its goal and primary objective is core stabilization and not aerobic conditioning or fast sliding across the board. With that in mind, the setup is one slide sandwiched between two sticky mats. The participants wear booties over their sneakers throughout the circuit portion of the class stepping carefully from the bumper of the slide to the mat for each exercise. The transition is controlled and cued by the instructor. The foot that ends on the bumper remains there (for stability) and the foot that is on the slide steps back on to the sticky mat, which is positioned behind the slide. Now, both feet are stable, and the instructor cues the participant to reposition their body with both feet on the mat. In addition when exercising on the mat in a plank position the head is above the chest/heart, and none of the exercises are performed lying supine or prone.

With that having been explained, let's go back to the beginning. The warm-up allows two people to share one slide as they shuffle, "windshield wiper, and lunge with one leg" rhythmically at one end of the slide, and then, they shimmy across the slide passing each other, to reach the opposite bumpers and repeat the warm-up movements on the other bumper. Arm movements are coordinated to mimic the legs thus raising the core temperature of the body in a fun and gentle way. The use of teamwork adds another dimension to the class as partners motivate and encourage each other.

Next, Team A and Team B are established. Team A begins on the slide and Team B on the sticky mat. The circuit consists of ten segments of slide, which alternate with ten segments of mat exercises. The cadence of music is low to moderate (128 BPM or under) to allow the participants to maintain proper form and balance. To remind you again, the goal is not aerobic conditioning (not elevating the heart rate into a target-training zone) but is core stabilization.

Sixteen reps of each movement (8 Right, 8 Left) takes approximately forty-five seconds to one minute. Remember, the lateral sliding exercises are performed with the focus on core and muscles and are performed at a low intensity not allowing the heart rate to enter an aerobic conditioning level.

Fit Bits

The exercises are listed below.

  • Slide 1: Inner Thigh Squeeze: engage adductor muscles moving out/in
  • Sticky Mat 1: Plank on elbows: move R foot out & in 8x's. Repeat L foot 8x's
  • Slide 2: Basic Slide Side to Side
  • Sticky Mat 2: Plank w/straight arms: Spiderman legs knee to chest R 8x's then L 8x's
  • Slide 3: Basic Slide with Squat at the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 3: Forward lunges with R leg 8x's then L leg 8x's
  • Slide 4: Basic Slide with Knee Lift at the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 4: Rear lunges with R leg 8x's then L leg 8x's
  • Slide 5: Basic Slide with Hamstring Curl at the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 5: Thread the Needle/Straight Arm Planks: R knee toward chest, cross midline of body, knee toward chest, extend to plank alternating R, L (16 total)
  • Slide 6: Basic Slide with Abductor lift at bumper with inside leg
  • Sticky Mat 6: Curtsy Squats (also called Rond de Jambe) R leg 8x's then L leg 8x's
  • Slide 7: Basic Slide with Knee Extension (front kick across midline) at the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 7: Side Squat with one leg then pull across midline 8 R then 8 L
  • Slide 8: Basic Slide with Calf Raise at the Bumper
  • Sticky Mat 8: 2 legged Pike with Straight Arm Plank – 16 reps
  • Slide 9: Basic Slide with Gluteal Extension/External Hip Rotation at the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 9: Tuck and Straight Arm Plank – 16 reps
  • Slide 10: Nordic Track/Cross Country – face the bumper
  • Sticky Mat 10: Core Crawl Planks: on elbows and toes crawl 4 counts forward and drag toes on the floor then crawl 4 counts back – (Forward/Back = 1) 8 reps

The cool-down repeats the warm-up on the slide. Then, a series of static stretches are performed for lower and upper body. Post-stretch-conditioning exercises consists of abdominal crunches and oblique work on a body ball without booties so participants are more stable on the sticky mat surface. This is followed by a deeper series of stretches for all major muscles groups.

Throughout the class, it is important for the instructor to cue proper form for the feet (evert the bumper foot so the toes hit the ramp first and the knee remains aligned over the center of the toes), legs (knees are slightly bent to widen the base of support), core (engage the abdominals and maintain neutral spine) and arms (use muscle control and not transferred momentum to get across the slide). Sticky mat work may require modifications for those with wrist issues, weak abdominals, or if the exercises are too intense (slow down the cadence, reduce the number of reps, provide active rest periods for 10 seconds between alternating legs). Always keep the head above the heart when performing the core stabilization exercises on the sticky mat and keep the aerobic sliding segment at a low intensity. The exercises performed on the mat are always in the plank position and never lying in a stationary prone or supine position. Before entering this class, participants should have an initial moderate level of balance combined with the ability to step backwards and lower to the floor (as instructed by the trainer) as well as rise to a standing position. The entire class takes forty-five minutes and is a unique nonimpact, challenging way to work the core, increase stabilization, and improve balance and coordination. So shake and shape your bootie while having a great workout in the process.

For additional details about the class format or individual exercises or to ask questions about "Bootie Camp", contact Mary Anne Fantauzzi, ESA STAR AMERICA safety trainer at totbtri@aol.com.

ESA SAFETY NOTE: ESA recommends using a lateral slide that is made with a rubber ramp up bumper (not a block) to allow maximum biomechanical efficiency for ankles, knees, and leg muscles; See ART150 for a complete explanation of lateral slide safety guidelines.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 25 May, 2011, 21:05)