There are literally dozens of small fitness tools that we utilize on a daily basis with our clientele to enhance their exercise program results. One of those tools are gliding discs which provide us with the ability to train in all three planes of motion and create diverse movement patterns which are not always possible to achieve without this type of fitness tool.
While there are a plethora of exercises possible with this fitness tool, two, that I have found to be unique and very effective, will be highlighted this week. If you do not have access to a gliding disc-type fitness tool, you may substitute paper plates. However, while paper plates are okay in a pinch, the actual discs are preferable and will last a great deal longer. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
*Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise, two/three times/week on non-consecutive days. Prior to beginning, rotate the shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up and inward. Shoulders/hips/knees/toes all facing the same direction throughout the exercise.
Disc Exercise #1 Supine Hip Extension/Leg Flexion – lying supine on the floor on a mat with the buttocks all of the way down to the end of the mat, place one disc under the heel of the right foot with both legs flexed, knees facing the ceiling and the soles of the feet on the floor with the legs approximately shoulder distance apart. Engaging the gluteus maximus (buttocks), lift the hips toward the ceiling creating a “glute” bridge, sustaining the bridge throughout the exercise. Keeping the majority of the body weight in the left heel, press the right heel out, deliberately creating friction on the disc, into the floor, similar to what you would experience if you were pushing your heel through deep, fine sand. Fully extend the right leg, without locking the knee joint, and then drag it back to the beginning position. This will deeply fire the hamstrings, so if you begin to experience cramping in the hamstrings, then lessen the gliding friction. Then, repeat on the opposite side. *Trains the gluteus maximus/hamstrings/nose to heels core.
Disc Exercise #2 Side lunge with medicine ball press + disc – stand with the legs together, the ball of the right foot placed on the disc very lightly, holding the medicine ball in both hands. With the body weight placed into the heel of the left foot, hinging from the hips, pressing the left buttock to the wall behind you, simultaneously allow the right leg to glide out to the right side without placing body weight on the disc. All of the body weight should be concentrated on the left foot/hip. Then, drive through the left heel and stand erect gliding the right leg into the beginning position. When in the downward phase of the exercise, the left hip/knee are flexed and the right leg is fully extended with knees/toes facing forward. Once you have mastered this movement pattern, then press the medicine ball over the head as you return to the beginning position. Repeat on the opposite side. *Compound exercise – trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes/hip abductor/adductor/deltoids and nose to toes core.