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Slideboard Training | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: corrective exercise, Running

Slideboard Training

by on Feb 23rd, 2009

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Recently, I’ve made a passing mention to slideboard training and its utility to the distance runner. For those who don’t know, a slideboard is a piece of equipment that was initially intended for those involved in skating sports as a way to help perfect technique and condition outside of the winter season.

My initial experience with slideboards occurred several years ago, when rehabbing with Vic Rakhshani.  The board was one of the key components to training.  After having left and remaining healthy for quite some time, the same injury flared up once more.  After evaluating my training logs and reading Mike Boyle’s Sports Hernia articles and Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine, I realized that the slideboard may have been my missing piece.  While I recognize that runners do not “skate” during their sport, I still find it to be an invaluable piece of equipment.

Runners should be sliding for several reasons.

1.  Complete Development of Movement Ability.  Runners tend to have, as a result of their sport, a great deal of proficiency in the sagittal plane, however, when moving in the frontal and transverse planes, they move horribly.  Physical therapist Gray Cook would recognize this as an asymmetry, and asymmetries have been shown to increase the likelihood of injury.

2.  Stress of Hip Adductors and Abductors.  The slideboard movement provides an eccentric stress of hip adduction, and a concentric stress of the abductors.  For those with many types of knee pain, this can be a great help as the abductors tend to be highly under-active in runners.  Again, this development in the frontal plane can help create balance around the hip.

3.  An Excellent Cross Trianing Mode.  As it can provide a strong metabolic stimulus wtih a relatively low impact the slideboard can be an excellent addition to a cross training program of both healthy and injured athletes.  The additional fitness, while not movement specific to the sport, can still serve as a great general stimulus for overall development of both aerobic and anaerobic endurance.  The key is in how the workout is arranged.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of why the slideboard can be a good addition to a runner’s programming.  Our goal is to achieve optimal balance, and anything that breaks a runner away from his normal patterns can be a good thing.

Train hard, train smart,

Carson Boddicker

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  • Mark Wold November 30, 2010

    Carson, I was injured this summer after an 18 mile run. PT Diagnosed weak hamstrings/glutes. After several weeks of effective exercise therapy, I realized I had an 8ft professional sideboard in my garage (bought it 18 years ago during a skating phase). I started using it after riding my bike on rollers. 5 minutes, then 10, now up to 20 2-3 times a week in addition to running and cross country skiing (classical style). It has been only a month but it has made a huge difference in my leg strength and my return to running. Thanks for the reinforcing articles on the slideboard for runners. It really is an effective tool!

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