Total Body Workout With Gliding Discs

If you really want to spice up your workouts, adding new tools is one great option. Gliding Discs have been around for years and are great for adding intensity and forcing your muscles to work in a completely different way.

Because you're pressing into the discs for each exercise, you increase the resistance beyond your body weight, making your workouts more effective.

This total body workout takes you through a variety of exercises for both the upper and lower body using Gliding Discs. Not only will you build strength and endurance, many of the exercises will challenge other areas of fitness such as balance, stability, and core strength.

You'll work multiple muscle groups while also engaging your stabilizer muscles for a challenging total body workout.

Keep in mind that you don't have to have Gliding Discs. If you have hardwood floors, you can use a towel or paper plates. If you have carpet you can also use paper plates or any type of plastic disc you have on hand.

If you've never used Gliding Discs before, you might want to stand near a wall to practice the moves. It's easy to slide a little too far if you're not used to doing these types of exercises.

Do this workout on its own or add it on to your usual strength routine for variety and challenge.


See your doctor if you have any illnesses, injuries or other medical conditions. Practice the moves with some support first until you feel comfortable with the exercises.

Equipment Needed

Gliding discs (or paper plates), various weighted dumbbells and an exercise mat.

How To

  • Warm up with 5-10 minutes of cardio
  • Perform the exercises as shown, resting briefly between sets.
  • For a shorter workout, complete 1 set of each exercise.  For a longer workout, complete 2-3 sets
  • Modify according to your fitness level and avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort 

One-Legged Squats

Woman working out on a gliding disc
y3s0rn0/iStock/Getty Images

These one-legged squats will really challenge your balance. Take your time 

  • Stand holding weights and rest the left heel in the middle of the Gliding Disc.
  • Keeping the abs engaged and the torso straight, bend the right knee while sliding the left heel out in front.
  • Press into the Disc with your heel to increase the resistance.
  • Squat as low as you can while keeping your knee from going too far over the front foot.
  • Straighten the right leg as you slide the left foot back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg, resting for 20-30 seconds between sets.

Sliding Lunges

These sliding rear lunges engage the lower body muscles in a different way than traditional lunges.

  • Stand with right foot on the Disc, toes resting in the middle of the Disc.
  • Hold onto a wall for balance if you need to.
  • Keep the weight on the left leg as you slide the left foot back.
  • Press into the Glider and keep the pressure on it as you slide it back and then in.
  • As you slide back, you'll bend the front knee into a lunge while keeping the back leg straight.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps on each side. 

Gliding Abduction/Adduction

In this Gliding Disc abduction and adduction move, you'll be in a plank position so you'll challenge your core, inner thighs, and outer thighs.

  • Begin on all fours in a plank position with the right toes on the Disc. If this is too challenging, come down on the left knee for support.
  • Keeping the back flat and abs engaged, press the toes into the Disc and slide the leg straight out to the side as far as you comfortably can, squeezing the glutes.
  • Be sure to keep the hip, knee, and ankle in alignment, pointing towards the floor.
  • Still pressing into the floor, squeeze the inner thigh to slide the foot back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

Gliding Hamstring Slides

These hamstring slides can be modified to be harder or easier. In this version, you're doing one leg at a time. If you want more intensity, try sliding both legs at the same time or alternate sides.

  • Lie down with knees bent and place the Disc under the right heel, foot flexed.
  • Lift the hips off the floor into a bridge position and, holding this position, press the heel into the Disc and slide it out in front of you.
  • Contract the hamstrings and continue pressing into the floor as you slide the right foot back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.  

Sliding Pushups

This version of a Gliding Disc pushup adds a whole new level of intensity for the chest and shoulders.

  • Begin in pushup position, either on the toes or knees.
  • Place your hands on the Discs, making sure they're directly under the shoulders.
  • Slide both hands out to either side a few inches and lower into a pushup
  • As you push up, slide the hands back together and repeat. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.
  • If this is challenging, alternating sliding the right hand out and then the left.

Sliding Lat Pulls

This sliding lat pull is on the gentle side, but you can easily add intensity by pressing harder into the Disc or doing the move from a seated position. In that case, you wouldn't slide all the way out, but just a few inches.

  • Lie on your left side, knees slightly bent and head resting on your arm.
  • Place your right hand on the Disc in front of your hips.
  • Press into the Disc and slide the arm in a half circle up near your head.
  • Contract the lat muscles and press into the floor to slide hand back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

Gliding Ab Slides

The Gliding ab slides are a tough core exercise, particularly if you do it with both hands at the same time. One modification is to do the exercise by sliding out one hand at a time.

  • Begin in pushup position on knees, hands directly below the shoulders and resting on the Discs.
  • Contract the abs and very slowly slide the hands straight out in front of you.
  • Only go a few inches at first to get a feel for the exercise. If you feel your back arching, don't go out as far.
  •  Slide back to start and repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.