By Sean Hyson, C.S.C.S. Men’s Fitness
As a guy who prefers to get in shape with weights, you probably walk by your gym’s aerobics studio and scoff. But when there aren’t old ladies in there—and the weight room is crowded—you can use the dance floor for an intense body-weight workout that requires only a gym towel. The secret to the aerobics room is its waxed floor: The slippery surface can be used to perform exercises with a challenging stability component.
Perform this as a circuit, completing as many reps of each exercise as you can before going on to the next. Rest as little as possible between exercises. Complete three to five complete circuits, resting one minute between them. You can use a folded gym towel to slide on, or pick up a pair of Valslides ($30; valslide.com). Furniture sliders also work.
Trainer Tip: Take It Slowly. Due to the element of risk, perform each rep smoothly and with full control.
1. Hip-extension Leg Curl
Lie on your back on the floor and rest your heels on two towels or Valslides. Drive your heels into the floor and bridge your hips up. Simultaneously bend your knees 90 degrees to perform a leg-curl motion.
2. Sliding Chest Flye
Kneel on the floor (as shown above) and place two towels in front of you. Rest a hand on each towel and let the floor support your weight. Slowly spread your arms apart, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Lower your body as far as you can, then bring your hands back together.
3. Sliding Reverse Lunge
From standing, rest the toes of one foot on a towel or Valslide. Push your leg back, your foot sliding along the floor. Slowly lower yourself until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Perform as many reps as you can on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.
4. Alligator Walk: Get into pushup position and rest your feet on Valslides or a towel. Keeping your abs braced, “walk” forward on your hands as far as you can.
MF Bonus Tip: Trying to control your limbs while they slide across a waxed floor presents the slim but threatening possibility that you’ll lose control and slip. That means your muscles must fire extremely quickly to keep you balanced. You’ll notice that the muscle activation you get from performing the sliding chest flye is much greater than you experience doing a flye with dumbbells, so expect to get fewer reps than you’re used to.