It’s not just for girls. Seriously. We know Valslides—the popular plastic sliding discs you see online and in some gyms—look like they’re for women, and, yes, some of them even come in pink. But they’re as masculine a training tool as the barbell itself. We’ll prove it to you with this workout program, which builds muscle and strength in just three sessions a week. Man up and try it!
How It Works
Valslides create instability. Place your hands or feet on them and it’s hard to keep your balance while you do an exercise. This forces your muscles to work harder and recruits other muscles to help stabilize you. All this extra muscle activation also adds up to more calories burned, so they’re an exceptional tool for fat loss. You can pick them up at valslide.com for $30—but if you have old furniture sliders (the things you put under the feet of your couch to move it), those work just as well. And if you have a slick wooden floor to train on, towels can be used as a substitute, too.
Perform each workout (Days I, II, and III) once a week. The exercise pairs (marked “A” and “B”) are done as alternating sets. Perform a set of A, rest, then do a set of B, rest, and repeat until all sets are complete. Then move on to the next pair. Rest 30–60 seconds between exercises in a pair; rest 90–120 seconds between pairings.
Ben Bruno is a trainer at rise movement in Los Angeles. Visit him at benbruno.com.
1A) Pushup Reach (above)
Reps: 5 (each side)
Get into pushup position with your hands on sliders. Brace your abs, then slide one hand out with a straight arm. Simultaneously allow your other elbow to bend, as in a pushup, until your chest almost touches the floor. Return to the top position then repeat on the opposite side.
1B) Reverse Lunge
Reps: 12 (each side)
Stand with one foot on a slider. Slide that foot backward, allowing your knees to bend until the back knee almost touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Reverse the motion, driving your front foot’s heel into the floor to return to the start position.
Hang from a pullup bar with hands outside shoulder width and palms facing forward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
2B) Eccentric Leg Curl
Lie on your back on the floor with your heels on sliders. Pull your heels in to your butt, push your hips as high into the air as they can go, and then, keeping your hips high, slowly allow your heels to slide out until your legs are straight again.
3A) Alligator Walkout (above)
Reps: Walk 10 yards
Get into pushup position with your feet on sliders. Brace your abs and walk your hands forward with straight arms so your feet drag behind you. If you don’t have the space to go 10 yards, walk backward and forward in place.
3B) Body-weight Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly out. Bend your hips back and lower your body as far as you can without losing the arch in your lower back.
1A) Pushup Flye (above)
Get into pushup position with hands on sliders. Allow your hands to slide out to your sides with only a slight bend in the elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Bring your hands back in toward your chest to return to the top position.
1B) Leg Curl
Lie on your back with your heels on sliders. Squeeze your glutes and abs and push your hips into the air. Keep them elevated as you bend your knees and draw your heels toward your butt. When your shins are perpendicular to the floor, reverse the motion.
2A) Body-weight Split Squat
Reps: 10 (each side)
Stand with feet staggered and bend your front knee until your back knee almost touches the floor. Push your front heel into the floor to return to the start position.
3A) Mountain Climber (above)
Reps: 20 (each side)
Get into pushup position with your feet on sliders. Rapidly alternate pulling your right and left knee in to your chest. Be sure to complete the full range of motion for each rep.
3B) Toe-touch Squat (above)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward. Reach down and grab your toes, then lower your butt toward your heels. From that position, raise your hands straight overhead and stand up.
Reps: as many as possible
Hang from a pullup bar with hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
1B) Body Saw (above)
Get into pushup position and bend your elbows so your forearms lie flat on the floor. Rest your toes on sliders. Brace your abs and pull your elbows in so your body moves forward, then move your body backward as if it were a saw. Keep your hips in line with your torso.
2A) Reverse Lunge (above)
Reps: 8, 1 1⁄2 reps (each side)
Perform as you did on Day I, but after you reach the bottom position, come halfway back to the starting position. Return to where your back knee is almost touching the floor, then reverse the motion, driving your front foot’s heel into the floor to stand up.
2B) Side Plank
Reps: Hold for 30 sec. (each side)
Rest your right forearm on the floor and turn your body so your right side is facing the floor. Lift your hips off the floor so that only your forearm and right foot are touching it. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position, bracing your core.
3A) Single-leg Eccentric Leg Curl
Reps: 8 (each side)
Lie on your back on the floor with your right heel on a slider. Straighten your left leg and aim it at the ceiling. Pull your right heel in to your butt, squeeze your core, and push your hips into the air. Then slowly allow your right heel to slide back out.
Reps: as many as possible
Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and keep your feet close together. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower your chest until it almost touches the ground. Push yourself back up.