Glider Workout Equipment

Updated July 1, 2019
Young couple using a glider in park

Glider workout equipment has been designed to give the body an efficient, yet safe, workout. This versatile range of exercise equipment is suitable for both home and commercial use.

What Is Glider Workout Equipment?

Glider exercise equipment is designed to give the body a full workout. It combines cardiovascular work, which helps to strengthen the heart and the lungs while also burning calories, with building muscle strength. This full-body workout helps people of all ages and fitness levels.

Low Impact

A glider is powered by movement of the arms and legs, however the gliding action is smooth and this stops leg and arm joints from being strained. Glider workout equipment is regarded as offering low impact exercise. Low impact exercise is important for people of all ages, but in particular it is important for older people. As people age, exercise can cause problems with joints and can exacerbate conditions such as arthritis.

Muscle Groups Worked

A glider workout will work the following muscle groups:

  • Hips - Working on the hips is important for keeping hip joints flexible. Exercising hips is particularly important for older people.
  • Front and back of thighs - This area gives strength to quads and hamstrings - an important group of muscles. In addition to building strength, exercising this area also helps to give definition to legs.
  • Calves - Working out the calves helps to build leg strength.
  • Lower leg and shin - Exercising lower leg helps to build strength and give definition.
  • Shoulder - Exercise the shoulders for strength and flexibility. Low impact exercise helps to avoid long term muscle or joint damage.
  • Front and back of upper arm (biceps and triceps) - Exercising the upper arm helps to add tone to arms.
  • Chest - Working on this area is essential for total body strength as well as helping to avoid sagging muscles.
  • Back - Exercising the back helps to strengthen the body while also giving good stature. Many people suffer from bad backs and building good body strength using low impact methods will help to avoid back problems.
  • Abdominals - The stomach is one area that many people want to work on. Exercising the obliques will help strengthen the core.

Is a Glider Good Exercise?

Since the Glider offers a cardio workout, it should be considered good for people wanting this type of workout. Those looking to significantly build muscle will not find the Glider to suit their needs. But if your goal is to increase stamina while burning calories, then this is a suitable option.

Outdoor Glider Equipment

Popular in parks featuring fitness equipment, outdoor glider equipment use similar motion and the user's momentum to create movement. A great deal of stability is required for these outdoor gliders because most don't feature any method for increasing resistance. To make an outdoor glider workout more difficult, either increase your speed or engage your quad muscles more by bending your knees.

Using Glider Equipment

Gliders are simple to use and exercise routines can be undertaken at home with the minimum of training. Glider exercise machines often are supplied with a detailed user manual or DVD, explaining how to use the equipment. This is useful and can help the user to build up an exercise program. Although glider equipment is designed to give a safe and low impact workout, people with existing problems or who are new to exercise should consult a trained professional before using unfamiliar pieces of exercise equipment whether at home or in an exercise studio.

  1. Step onto the glider, placing each foot in the designated foot holds (right foot on the right, left on the left). Take care stepping onto the equipment evenly.
  2. Grasp the handles (right hand on the right, left on the left). Note that some Gliders have another option where you can grasp static bars instead of using the handlebars, but if this is your first time, start with the handles.
  3. Find a comfortable upright position in which you feel stable.
  4. If your Glider model features a console, turn it on and set your workout per manufacturer's instructions. If there is no console, begin your workout.
  5. Pushing the right handle forward, use your left foot to push the foothold back. Repeat on the other side. Do not lock your knees.
  6. The motion should feel like exaggerated walking with additional resistance.
    Air Walk Trainer Elliptical Machine Glider
    Air Walk Trainer Elliptical Machine Glider

Tips for Buying the Right Exercise Glider

There are many different types of exercise glider availables. Here are some tips to help you make the right purchase:

  • Location - Deciding where the glider is to be sited is an important part of the decision process. This will help to determine the best size and weight of machine. If the glider is not to be permanently sited in a room and moved around as required, a lighter and more portable machine may be necessary.
  • Ease of getting on and off - Some glider machines can be relatively difficult to get on and off. This is particularly the case for people new to exercise equipment or older people. Try the equipment in the store first and see how it feels before committing to buy.
  • Range of workouts - Sometimes cheaper machines have fewer workout options. This isn't necessarily a problem, however if you have special requirements then buying a cheaper machine that doesn't do what you require might be a waste of money.

A Smooth Exercise

A Glider offers cardio that might feel more like play. So many muscles are recruited in this workout, prompting caloric burn. As you stabilize your positioning, you utilize your core muscles and strengthen the muscles that help keep your body strong. Try this equipment out before making your purchase to ensure you enjoy the motion of the workout.

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Glider Workout Equipment