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December 13, 2021 9 min read

As a gym newbie, novice, or pro, you have probably been introduced to most of the exercise equipment. You have familiarised yourself with training benches and dumbbells, elliptical trainers, and even treadmills. While these bulky equipment are no doubt essential to building muscle strength, there are smaller gym equipment that are just as effective at helping you get jacked.

It is no doubt that most gym enthusiasts make a common mistake of  thinking the bigger the exercise equipment is, the bigger the chance for muscle growth. While this is true sometimes, the smaller equipment, which is often overlooked, is sometimes a better choice for getting jacked. An example of this is the widely popular gliding disc.

Female Athlete Exercising with Sliding Discs

What is a Gliding Disc?

A gliding disc, also known to gym pros as a sliding disc or core slider, is a simple exercise equipment shaped like a frisbee. It is small-sized and although it doesn't take up half the room space; it is the perfect addition to your home or professional gym. Gliding discs are circular shaped, portable, and thin. They are extremely affordable, probably one of the cheapest exercise equipment available, and they take your simple exercises to the next level.

Although gliding discs might not look like much, it is interesting to note that when they are incorporated into your workout routines, they provide a low-impact total body workout. This is a safe option that helps you switch up your daily routines. While, of course, bodybuilding using weights and benches is equally important, it is sometimes advisable to take a break from these exerting routines.

It doesn't matter if you are a professional athlete or simply an enthusiast, gliding discs are a great addition to your arsenal. Gliding discs are a welcome radical change that is going to be the best decision you have ever made. We use gliding discs in an assortment of gliding exercises. Many people often opt for cheaper replacement options like the wearing of socks, use of paper plates, or the use of folded towels.

While these often make their ways to the gyms, they are least safe options to choose. The design of  gliding discs for the floor is preferably a smooth surface. They can be used on both the arms and feet for bodyweight exercises that involve the sliding of the limbs on the floor. Think of it like walking on ice, although this analogy is not perfect, as gliders are not as slippery as ice. Gliders help the limbs to move in any direction while maintaining contact with the floor.

They are safe as long as the exercise is safe, and they are a convenient break from overexerting exercises while still conditioning the body properly. This unique piece of equipment is versatile and allows for fluid movement of the limbs in any range of motion that engages various muscles of the body in low intensity.Needless to say, it is a fun way of engaging your upper and lower body.

Gliding discs come in various designs for adaptation of wooden floors, tiles, and carpets. Some gliding discs come with little tires beneath them for more fluidity in movements, others come in the plain old frisbee design with different ergonomic tweaks.

Why are Gliding Discs Important?

The big question everyone asks is “Are gliding discs worth the hype?” Do not be fooled by the innocent look of the small piece of equipment. While they are to be used for low-impact workout routines, they engage full-body muscles. Essentially, gliding discs are not only to build muscles but to burn fat, assist in cutting down your fat to muscle ratio, and gain strength. The principle of work to use a gliding disc is very simple. Once placed on the floor, you simply place your hands, feet, or both, on the disc. Once you are balanced, you can then glide around smoothly.

It doesn’t matter if you are doing mountain climbers, lunges, push-ups, even aerobic, dance or their varieties. What makes gliding disc an unusual upgrade from usual basic exercises is the lengthening of the body and the need to exert muscles to initiate friction. Basically, you use your body as your own brakes. While using gliding discs might not provide the muscle gains or muscle growth that high-impact exercises provide, it enables you to activate more muscles, leaving you breathless at the end of each workout.

Benefits of Gliding discs

The utmost importance of gliding discs is their ability to provide low-impact full-body conditioning. They are the perfect piece of equipment for beginners and individuals with preexisting injuries and make a great choice for interval training. Gliding discs are known for their ability to strengthen muscles like the core, biceps, triceps, glutes, and even hamstrings, depending on the exercise you choose  for your bro split. As a welcome plus, they provide stability and flexibility challenges.

We emphasize the importance of gliding discs on the core muscles as  the core is a central part in everyday tasks and even how good your posture is.

Besides activation of core muscles, gliding discs are a terrific choice for upper and lower body strengthening exercises. This, however, depends on your choice of gliding exercise. If you are looking for a low-impact steady-stare cardio exercuze, gliding discs are a welcome alternative solution. Incorporating gliding discs into your routine is a sure-fire way to get your heart rate up.

As cardio is a great way to burn fat, gliding discs can help to boost your metabolism without the need to get on treadmills. Even if you are not looking to burn fat, it is important to remember that  cardio is good for your heart health.

Gliding discs are a wonderful way to relax your body from the stress of high-impact exercises. The only difference is while you are taking a break, you are still breaking a sweat, improving your balance and agility, and working those abs.

5 Best Gliding Disc Workouts

1. Gliding Mountain Climber


The gliding mountain climber, also called the slider mountain climber, is almost identical to the standard mountain climber, with the only difference being the gliding discs beneath your feet.

  1. For the starting position, begin in a high plank or push-up position with the gliding discs at your feet. Your shoulders should be shoulder-width apart, with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Box your hip. Keep your feet hip-width apart with the balls of your feet on the gliding discs.
  3. Keep a straight form and engage your core as you pull your right knee towards your body as far as you can. Keep your left leg straight behind you even as your right knee approaches your chest.
  4. Slide your right foot back and, as you do so, bring your left leg towards your chest while keeping your core engaged. 
  5. Continue this movement without breaking form. Keep your back flat and your lower back straight. For a bit of cardio, pump your feet faster while ensuring to engage your core.

To make this gliding disc exercise more difficult, keep one foot on a glider with the other floating. Repeat the exercise stated above, but ensure that the floating leg does not come in contact with the floor. The gliding mountain climber exercise is perfect for core strength, engaging the quads, hamstrings, shoulders, chest, glutes, and back in what is a full-blown body workout. It makes for an exceptional strength training exercise and a perfect addition to your workout routine.

    2. Slider Knee Tucks


      While this slider workout seems to be low-impact, it's a sure way to get your arm, chest, and leg muscles fired up. Heads up: you might suffer DOMS as this exercise might kick your butt.

      To do the slider knee tucks:

      1. Begin in a high plank position. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart with your wrists beneath your shoulders and the gliders beneath your feet.
      2. Keep your legs straight behind you, your hips squared, and your back straight. Keep the balls of your feet set on the gliders.
      3. Engage your core as you pull both your knees simultaneously towards your torso. While it is a good idea to stop your knees just below your belly-button, for a low-impact variation, bring your feet towards your chest into a knee tuck.
      4. With your core still engaged and your palms firmly on the floor, slide your feet back out into the starting position. That is one rep. Repeat 10-12 times to complete one set.

      When done correctly, the glider/slider knee tucks help in glute activation, core engagement, and also helps in hip flexion. It is, however, important to remember to keep proper form always.

        3. Slider Push-ups

          Slider push-ups are the full-body workout you didn't know you needed. This variation is more tasking than regular military boot-camp pushups and requires arm strength and body stability. If you seek an additional burst of energy, PUMPED-AF can provide more muscle pump and better endurance.

          To do the slider push-ups:

          1. With the gliders underneath your palm, get into a high plank position. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and your hands straight.
          2. Straighten your legs behind you and keep your back flat, making your body form a straight line. 
          3. With your core engaged, slide both hands to the side as you simultaneously lower your body into a push-up position with your chest almost to the floor. Keep your body straight and your core engaged as you hold this position for a second.
          4. Slide your arms back to you in the starting position. Your wrists should once more be beneath your shoulders. This is one rep.

          The slider push-up is a full-body workout that challenges your upper body, core, and lower body. It activates the shoulder muscle groups, pecs, deltoids, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, and of course, core muscles. It also helps to target the hip flexors. The slider push-up helps in muscle strength conditioning and is also perfect for agility and stamina.

          For a lower-impact version, go through each step as stated, but instead of sliding out both hands until you end up in a push-up position, slide out one arm first, then the other. If you slide to the right side first, you do the left side next and continue to alternate. Although this would not engage the muscle as its predecessor would, it is also as good. It is important to keep proper form during this exercise. Do not sag your hips or raise it too high in the air.

            4. Lateral Lunge


              The glider lateral lunge simulates the standard lateral lunge or side lunge.

              To do this gliding disc exercise:

              1. With the gliders beneath your feet, stand with your feet hip-width apart. 
              2. Engage your core as you adjust weight to your left foot and bend your left knee. 
              3. Push your right foot out to the side as you continue to lower your body with your hip pushing out till your left knee is bent almost 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to the ground. 
              4. Push through yet back to standing position as you slide your right foot back to starting position. Repeat on the other feet.

              When done correctly, the glider lateral lunge helps to work the inner thighs, glutes, hamstrings, and core. It is a wonderful exercise to condition the body for stability and stamina. Combined with any other hamstring exercises, the glider lateral lunge is a perfect addition to your leg day routines.

                5. Hamstring Curl


                  To perform the slider hamstring curl:

                  1. Lay on your back on the floor with your arms straight. Position your feet straight out in front of you with your heels on the gliding discs.
                  2. Draw your knees towards you until it forms a 90-degree angle with your body. Brace yourself by placing your elbows on the floor for supporting and drawing in, tightening your shoulder blades.
                  3. Squeeze your glutes as you lift your body off the floor. Avoid arching your back and focus on lifting your body off the floor. Tighten your abs and glide your knees towards you.
                  4. Hold this position and slide your feet back out straight while still keeping your glutes engaged.

                  The gliding disc hamstring curl is a perfect way to target the inner thighs, hamstring, and glute. It is a powerful low-impact core workout. As usual, it is imperative to keep proper form in order to avoid injuries and activating the wrong muscle groups. Gliding discs are challenging but yet satisfying to use. They are affordable, convenient, and easy to move about with. There are a lot of glider exercise variations you can engage in and also, you can have fun creating your personal slider exercise routine.

                  Some of these exercises are simple enough to be made into home workout routines.

                  Armed with a gliding disc, the right exercises, and our RIPPED STACK, you are steps away from earning the toned musculature you deserve. It is also a good idea to get started with a personal trainer in order to practice holding proper form and avoiding injuries.

                  While gliding disc workouts are relatively low-impact, some of these exercises are more demanding than the others. It is therefore important to warm up the body by engaging in stretches.