As temperatures drop and much of the U.S. enters the coldest months of the year, exercise routines are altered and adjusted to accommodate the icy conditions outside. For athletes preparing for Spring, outdoor sports, continuing training efforts during the chilly off-season is crucial to their success when warm weather returns, and competition begins. Using a slide board can be an excellent way to achieve your training and fitness goals for traditional outdoor Spring sports including tennis, baseball, and track and field. Read on to learn how.
Training for Spring Sports with a Slide Board
- Tennis: Slide board training helps to simulate movement on the court and encourage quick and powerful lateral movement.
- Baseball: Exercising the core and lower body allows players to train for optimal performance at bat and in the field.
- Track & Field: Working out with a slide board strengthens stabilizers that support the major muscle groups track and field athletes count on to succeed in their events.
Slide boards are an ideal training tool for tennis players, as they can be used to very closely imitate a player’s movements on the clay court. With the average player’s stroke taking place within 2.5 meters of their ready position, an 8-foot slide board like the UltraSlide 8H provides a perfectly sized way for athletes to build their skill in a realistic setting.
Slide boards are also used for training your body to execute explosive lateral movements, a key component of a tennis player’s performance. With slide board exercises such as skaters or striders, muscles are challenged to engage in powerful side-to-side sliding that will prepare and strengthen them for similar movements on the court.
Baseball players count on strong, stable upper bodies and powerful legs to bat, attack the bases, and field successfully. Rotational power from the core is especially important, driving energy from the lower body through the upper body while carrying out pitching or batting. Exercises using slide board moves like side plank tucks and single leg mountain climbers condition the core’s muscles to efficiently support the upper body and provide stability for key motions in baseball.
Being able to quickly run bases and navigate stretches of the outfield can make for game changing moments in baseball. Conditioning and building the major muscles groups in the legs, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, gives players the strength they need for speed and power. Slide board movements like forward and reverse lunges work these important muscles and prepare them to do their best.
Track & Field
Slide boards have long been a staple in training programs for track and field athletes and for very good reason. Lateral training allows track and field athletes to strengthen and condition the muscles less utilized in the linear movements required to accelerate forward, allowing for more balance and stability. Building these stabilizer muscles helps to prevent injury by ensuring that the muscles surrounding joints such as the knees, hips, and ankles are prepared to support the body’s weight and its motions during track and field events.
The months of your off season are time for essential training for your Spring sport performance. Athletes in traditional Spring sports such as tennis, baseball, and track & field can incorporate slide board exercise into their strength and conditioning regimens and see the benefits when it’s game time in the coming months.
UltraSlide slide boards have benefited teams, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and rehabilitation patients worldwide for more than 25 years. Relied upon by professional and collegiate strength and conditioning coaches, sports medicine professionals, leaders in fitness, personal trainers, and home fitness enthusiasts, UltraSlide slide boards provide fun and challenging lower-body workouts and are highly effective functional training tools.