How To Get A Full Body Workout With A Pair Of Paper Plates

Even if your gym is reopening, it’s still safest to stay home when you can, so we’re going to dedicate this month to DIY workout equipment. Today: the humble paper plate.

Paper plates make an excellent substitute for sliders. These are typically plastic circles that you put your hands or feet on top of, so that you can do exercises in which your feet (or hands) slide along the floor.

Shockingly, paper plates do this job better than store-bought sliders. A typical pair of sliders will have a hard plastic side that works on carpet, and a soft side that works (without scratching) on hardwood floors. Paper plates do both beautifully. In fact, on the wood floors in my house, the plates slide more smoothly than the sliders. And you don’t need a special type of plate; the cheapest, most basic paper plates work fine.

Upper body exercises

Sliding push-ups are a core exercise (actually every slider move is secretly a core exercise) where the sliders are under your hands. Start in a push-up position, then slide your hands out a bit wider than shoulder width, do a push-up, and return your hands to the starting position.

Side crunches use one paper plate while you’re sitting with one hip on the ground. See a video demonstration here: you put the paper plate under one hand, put your weight on that hand, and allow your hand to slide away from your body until you’re lying down (or as far out as you’re comfortable). Then return to sitting.

Lower body exercises

Mountain climbers are the classic slider exercise. Get into a plank position with sliders under your feet, and bring one foot forward and then the other.

Make it harder by pulling both feet in at the same time, like a tuck. Or keep one foot off the ground the whole time, and do the slide with the other.

Skater lunges work all the same muscles as lunges, but having to control your slide makes them more challenging. Have one foot planted on the ground, and the other on a slider. Slide that foot forward into a lunge, and then slide it back up until you’re standing.

You can do any type of lunge this way, including reverse lunges (the slider foot goes behind you) and side lunges.

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