This time of year, many people are committing to a New Year’s resolution to get fit. But unless you enjoy the exercise that you do, it can be really difficult to stick to a workout plan. If you’re one of those exercisers who is still looking for enjoyment in the whole thing, and perhaps wondering why it can’t be more like running around at recess when you were a kid, you might want to check out this workout that includes riding a slide.
Yes, this is for grown-ups, and yes, you do have to climb a set of stairs first to get to the slide. SpeedStairs is a combo stair-and-slide group training apparatus.
Inventor Collis Brown wasn’t necessarily thinking of fun and games when he came up with SpeedStairs, though. Instead, he wanted to offer low-impact speed training for athletes to offset their high-impact workouts. But he realized it could also help a wide variety of exercisers, including those going through rehabilitation after an injury and people with special needs.
On SpeedStairs, users perform exercises — from simply walking to doing dynamic three-step jumps — going up a flight of stairs on one side, and come down a slide on the other side. This eliminates some problems that can come with traditional stair training that require the participant to go down the stairs as well.
Here’s Brown (left) posing in front of SpeedStairs with his friend and chiropractor Jesse Mead, in a photo posted to the SpeedStairs Facebook page:
It comes with other exercise stations underneath, including a throwing wall and a medicine ball rack. It can also be customized with a speed bag, heavy bag, TRX bars and straps, resistance bands and a dumbbell rack.
Check it out in action in this video Brown posted to YouTube:
Not only is it faster (and way more fun!) going down the slide, according to the SpeedStairs site, Brown says it also helps eliminate the loss of proper running form that tends to occur when someone is heading down stairs. Running downhill and down stairs requires eccentric muscle contractions, which, if you’re not properly trained up for them, can cause extreme soreness and even lead to knee injuries. With the slide, no downhill running is necessary, eliminating these potential complications.
We should note that there are good reasons to include eccentric training in your workouts — if you’re already working out, and you aren’t battling knee problems or other injuries that make going downhill painful and difficult.
The SpeedStars machine is used as part of the physical education program at the Boys & Girls Club in Marshfield Massachusetts, and SpeedStairs have also been used as part of the games at the Massachusetts Special Olympics.
Would you like to incorporate zipping down a slide as part of your exercise routine?