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Body Slide Exercise

The Body Slide is the home exercise equipment version of the slide board, which is a lateral aerobic training device. In 1992, Cheryl Ladd was featured in many Body Slide infomercials. However, the Body Slide seems to have disappeared from the fitness market, and can only be found on eBay and certain fitness sites in Singapore. According to reviews, like many of the cheaper slide board models, the Body Slide was a dust magnet. Additionally, because of its flimsy design, the Body Slide had a tendency to move across the room. If you still want to find a low-cost slide board, you can place two hand weights on the bumpers of the slide board, and provide frequent cleanings with Windex, but finding a professional board might be a better option.

History of Sliding as a Rehab Tool

On January 18, 1992, "The New York Times" published an article about a sport conditioning device known as the Kneedspeed. The product was the brainchild of Jeff Markland, who was a former football player with the Miami Dolphins. Markland had injured his knee during a game in 1988, and was looking for an innovative form of rehabilitation. He knew that Olympic Gold medal speed skater Eric Heiden had built some sort of slide training device, and decided to build one of his own.

The product was called Kneedspeed. It featured a plastic rectangular board with a slick surface. There were two bumpers as at each end. You could place a pair of special booties over your shoes, and slide across the board in a lateral movement. Since the lateral movement patterns made active use of the adductor or inner thigh muscles, it became a popular rehab tool for groin and medial knee injuries. Many recreational and professional skaters and hockey players use it as an injury prevention tool.

History of Sliding in the Fitness Industry

The manufacturers of Kneedspeed eventually developed a fold-up version of the product for studio use. Molly Fox was one of the first elite fitness trainers to discover the product. She added Kneedspeed classes to her Molly Fox Studio in New York City. Then in the early 1990s, Reebok added Slide Reebok training as an addition to its Step Reebok programming.

Slide Board Fitness Benefits

Depending on how it is used, the slide board can either be used for aerobic or muscle-strengthening exercise. When used at a fast pace for a minimum of 20 minutes, the slide is an effective form of aerobic exercise. It is also an efficient exercise for toning the hip, gluteal and leg muscles, especially the muscles of the inner thigh.

Since the Body Slide was made by the manufacturers of the inner thigh training device known as the Thighmaster, one can speculate that its creators believed that it would be an attractive product for women who wanted additional inner thigh toning while performing aerobic exercise. The fact that sliding is one of the few inner thigh exercises that can be performed as a closed chain movement makes it even more beneficial. Closed-chain exercises are performed with your foot in contact with the floor or exercise surface. This type of exercise enhances compression forces, which stabilize the joint and prevent injury.

Slide Board Biomechanics

There are three phases of slide board exercise. The exercise begins with a push off from one of the bumpers. The glide across the board is the second phase, and the contact with the opposite bumper is the third stage. Beginners usually perform the slide in an upright position. Seasoned sliders can use an athletic ready position, which involves flexion at the waist and at the knees. This position involves increased activation of the hamstring and gluteal muscles.

Types of Slide Board Exercises

In addition to the basic sliding movement, there are a number of sliding exercises that can be performed in the center of the board. For example, you can perform a "slide jack," which is a jumping jack without the jump. Stand at the center of the board and slide your legs apart and together. Additionally, you can do gliding lunges, as well as movements that resemble cross-country skiing. You can also place the booties on your hands to combine a push-up with a chest fly. Start with your hands on the board. Bend your elbows as if you were performing a push-up. Stay in the flexed position and slide your hands together. Finally, slide your hands apart and open your arms.


Despite its benefits, the slide board never really became popular in the fitness industry. Since the gliding movements were not commonly used in daily activities, many participants found that it was far too challenging. The fact that home versions of the slide board, such as the Body Slide, were an inferior product can be another reason for its lack of popularity. However, its lack of popularity should not detract from the fact that it is a highly efficient form of exercise. Consider combining slide training for five- to 10-minute intervals, in conjunction with other types of aerobic exercise.


Avoid slide exercises if you are pregnant and are experiencing excessive joint laxity.

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About the Author

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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