A tool typically used by elite athletes is making its way into NYC studios and gyms.
Slide boards have been around for several decades now, but are not as ubiquitous as other studio conditioning favorites like TRX and rope pulls. Those looking to strap on some booties and hop on do have a few options, though.
The newest, Brrrn, opened last month in Flatiron with a class devoted to the slide board. The 45-minute workout uses 5-foot-long slide boards for exercises like lateral slides (think speed skaters) and “Travoltas” (think “Saturday Night Fever”).
Brrrn co-founder Jimmy T. Martin trained with them as a Division I wrestler. The studio has 34 slide boards by UltraSlide, the leading manufacturer, for a “low-impact, cardio workout,” he says.
Dogpound, a two-year-old TriBeCa gym that offers personal training, ups the ante by combining the lateral moves with battle ropes or lunges while sporting ankle weights.
Refine Method has been using slide boards since 2012. The studio, which specializes in high-intensity training, was drawn to its “unique ability to offer both cardio and strength exercises,” says programming director, Lonnie Poupard.
It uses custom five-foot and six-foot slide boards by UltraSlide at its three Manhattan studios for exercises like lateral slides, squats, lunges and pushups. Potential benefits include improving hip mobility and balance, Poupard says.
“The board is a fun way to introduce an unstable surface, pushing our clients to work harder and create the stability they would otherwise have on the ground,” Poupard says. “Not only do the stabilizing muscles of your hips work harder on the board, it’s also an amazing core workout, crunch free!”