Sometimes all it takes to get a little fitter is the imaginative application of a tea towel. No fancy equipment, heavy weights or technical fabrics, just your basic kitchen linen, coupled with a hard floor. All set? Then it’s time to try out the sliding pike.
As well as doing wonders for your core strength, the sliding pike will improve your posture, balance and general flexibility. It’s likely to be a real struggle at first to adopt a proper V position, but you’ll quickly loosen up if you stick with it.
How To Do It
Start in a press up position with your feet resting on the tea towel. You’ll need a hard, smooth surface on which to perform the sliding pike. If your flat is entirely carpeted, firstly how do you keep your kitchen floor clean, and secondly, pick up a pair of paper plates to use as your sliders. For those who get really into sliding, you can buy a pair of sliders that have one smooth and one rough side, so they can be used on all surfaces.
Slowly raise your hips and pull your toes up towards your hands without bending your knees. The final position should look like an inverted V; you’ll feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Hold the pose for a beat, then slide your feet back to the start.
Make sure you keep your head in line with your spine and your core braced throughout. Aim for 10 to 20 reps in total.
For another core exercise, from the same starting position – with your feet each resting on a slider – you can transition easily into leg circles. Hold your upper body still and move your feet in wide, slow circles.
The sliding star is harder. Start from the press up position with a towel under your right hand and foot. Ease them away from you, lowering your body until your limbs are spread-eagled, taking care not to overstretch, then bring yourself back up to the start. Aim for five to 10 stars on each side.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.