Strength Training Series- Slide board split squat

Strength, August 04, 2016

Advanced single leg strength exercise.

Split squat on a Slide


The slide board split squat has been called the single best lower body exercise by many  top strength and conditioning experts. For triathletes looking to get the biggest bang out of their time in the gym, this exercise is a winner.


Don’t worry if you don’t have a slide board at your disposal, this exercise can be executed by using a towel on a smooth surface, a frisbee on carpet, or a piece of plexi glass.


The benefit of adding this exercise to your routine are many. First, it is efficient and effective by replacing several less effective strength exercises. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Single leg strength exercise that trains triple extension (ankle, knee and hip), specific to running and cycling.
  • One legged exercises train the stabilizers on the ankle, knee hip and trunk.
  • By sliding the non- working leg rearward, you are creating dynamic flexibility at the hip, essential to fast running, and commonly tight in triathletes due to sitting and cycling.
  • The sliding action of the non working leg moves the center of gravity rearward. This is important in taking stress off of the knee cap, which can be injured or aggravated during squatting and lunging exercises


Most athletes will find body weight sufficiently challenging to begin with. External loading can be achieved through the use of holding dumbbells, barbells, or attaching a cable to a waist belt, or ankle strap on the sliding leg.


How to do it:

  1. Stand with good posture with your weight on the working leg which is off the board, and the sliding foot on a bootie (Frisbee or towel).
  2. Lower the body down under control by bending the back knee as it begins to slide rearward.
  3. Slowly stop and stabilize the body when the sliding knee is 2-3 inches above the board.
  4. Rise up by pushing through the heel and mid foot of the working leg. You should feel the hamstrings and glutes working.
  5. Complete 8-10 reps on one leg before switching. Begin with 1 set , and gradually work up to 2- 3 sets before introducing external loads.