We frequently use furniture gliders with our kids. They have the benefit of adding challenge to strengthening exercises, as well as on the flip side making some movements easier to help with improving quality. The examples I am going to give below are ways we have used them to improve quality.
First we made a game of furniture glider hockey. It was a little harder to maintain control in this game but it add fun to the challenge. We were working on hip extension with weight shift onto the weight bearing leg. What we also got was control with the foot and leg to line up the glider in the right spot! You could also adapt this to go sideways to work on hip abduction. If you wanted to add a strength component to it, more so that the control, you could add cuff weights to the ankles, or attach Thera-band to the ankle. A lot of it depends on what you are looking to do.
Since we saw that control was challenging we decided to focus on that a little more. Took out some of the fun but I’m sure with a little creativity this could easily be made into a game too. We used floor tape to create a line and then put a chair in front. The goal was to move the furniture glider along the line while keeping the toes pointed forward. As you can see in the video, adding the visual component and slowing down the movement allowed more practice for control and maintaining good alignment. Added benefit again is the increased weight shift and weight bearing on the stance leg!
Lastly we worked on heel slides with the furniture glider under the heel. We unfortunately didn’t get video of this action but what we found was that with increased hip flexion, other muscles took over and encouraged external rotation and abduction. To avoid that we worked on keeping the range smaller and balancing an object on the top of the knee. As soon as the object fell off, we knew that compensations were happening! By adding in the goal of balancing an object on the knee it helped to provide an added cue to decrease compensations!
What are some fun ways you have used furniture gliders?