This entry was posted on October 19, 2010 by Brian Oates.
Throughout the year, especially during the offseason, we like to find new and unique workout products to add to our product line. The newest product that we are really excited about and have just added to our list of products is called the Valslide. The Valslide has an amazingly simple design but it provides a tremendous functional body-weight workout.
The Valslide was invented by celebrity trainer Valerie Waters and allows for a total body workout at just about any location. Normally I don’t tout generic workouts or generic workout devices to prepare athletes for the specific demands of their sport. However, this product is a phenomenal fit into an athlete’s workout, especially a throwing athlete because of the stability and strength it requires during the upper body workout routine. Now for those of you wondering what exactly is a Valslide, it’s two pieces of equipment that are approximately the size of your feet and have specially formulated plastic and non skid foam which allows for an athlete to perform dynamic movements in a controlled manner.
Because the bottom of the Valslide is made of slick plastic, it can be used on carpet, hard floors, or mats allowing for a versatile number of places to workout. When placed under the hands or feet, the Valslide can slide easily on these surfaces creating mild instability and constant tension on the muscles. During a Valslide workout an athlete’s body is forced to stabilize the core, and stay balanced while improving strength through dynamic ranges of motion. For those of you familiar with slide boards, the Valslide is comparable and offered at a much lower price.
Instead of trying to explain the types of exercises that are possible with the Valslides let me show you a video of some of the versatile full body activities performed with them.
As you can see from the video, the upper body exercises can be quite challenging. The further an athlete slides his hand or hands out from underneath the body the more difficult the exercise becomes. As the hands get further away from the center of the body the shoulder begins to stabilize these new and sometimes “awkward” positions which it is not used to being in. Also, as you slide the pads up and down and out and in the shoulders, scapula and arms are engaged supporting these movements. This of course is in addition to your core being locked into place.
The lower body exercises are great as well. These exercises require the athlete to slide into many unique positions that are constantly challenging the body’s ability to balance and control itself. Adding a balance disk, or a folding balance beam underneath the stable leg increases the difficulty of stabilizing the body. An athlete can focus on his glutes, hamstrings or quads while using the Valslides. After I worked out with the Valslides I noticed that many of the small muscles (the stabilizers) in my body were sore because they were engaged the entire time.
Exercises such as “mountain climbers” where the athlete is in a push-up position and pumping his legs toward his chest is an amazing abdominal and full body activity which can also be performed. Many of these exercises can be incorporated into the ATP explosive training regimen which I have often spoken about by having an athlete perform the exercise for 10 seconds or less and counting the number of reps.
The Valslides allow an athlete to target many different muscles and learn to control his/her movements while improving strength at the same time. So many of our athletes today, from youth to college, head to the weight room and pile on weights to get themselves stronger. The problem with this is that these same athletes struggle with controlling and moving their own body weight and certainly don’t need to add weight to their movements.
In general, no matter the sport or the specific activity within that sport the measure of success is defined in how well an athlete is able to move and control his/her body. The best way to improve the ability to control body weight is to perform dynamic body weight activities which challenge athletes by allowing them to push themselves to the edge of their balance capabilities time and time again. I highly recommend you try out the Valslides for yourself; they make for a very difficult but rewarding workout.
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments don’t hesitate to contact me.
Oates Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Since starting the company in 2003 with baseball as its primary focus, Robert and Gloria Oates, along with their son Brian, have worked diligently to develop a line of quality athletic conditioning tools that is unparalleled. We hope you enjoy our product line, videos, and blog. Contact us if we can help you in any way!