Slackers aren’t always lazy. If you’re yet to join the growing collective of slackline enthusiasts, you’re missing out on a wonder-workout that hones both physical and mental strength. The tightrope-inspired exercise has major benefits, from better balance to a killer core. Here’s why it’s a playful workout to incorporate into your routine – and the best slackline exercises to boost your body’s potential.
What is slacklining?
Step on a slackline and you’ll soon understand where it got its name. It’s similar to a tightrope, only instead of being tight, it’s slack (as the name implies). The exercise involves balancing on an unstable line that’s suspended between two anchors – either on a workout machine or between two trees or posts (old school). Be prepared for wobbliness – this makes it hard to maintain balance, recruiting all kinds of muscles and activating your core in the process.
Best slackline exercises to add to your workout
They’re not just for walking from A to B: slacklines can be utilised in all kinds of ways. Mix up styles and techniques and make workouts fun by bringing these slackline exercises into your routine:
Start standing on the slackline close to an anchor point with your back facing it.
Lower yourself down into a seated position, positioning your butt cheek so it’s right of your tailbone. Keep checking in with your body – the slackline should not be on your tailbone.
Place your left foot entirely on the line, with your left thigh and left buttock as close to the line as possible.
Get your balance, then bring your right foot in front of your left foot, keeping both knees fall wide.
Find balance again, then slowly come to standing by rolling your upper body forwards and upwards. You should bring it through your wide knees and up over your hips.
Repeat until you get to the other side of the slackline, then return to the anchor you started at.
Slackline bench dips
Sit down in front of a slackline, at the centre point. Your legs should be straight out in front of you.
Place your right palm on the length of slackline to your right and your left palm on the line to your left. The unstable nature of the slackline will make your muscles work harder to maintain balance – you may have to lower it to maintain proper form.
Slowly lift your butt from the floor. Keep your body and legs straight. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your hands on the line directly below them.
Bend your elbows behind you and lower yourself until they’re parallel to your shoulders.
Pause, then straighten your arms slowly until you reach your starting position.
Repeat three sets of 10 bench dips.
Begin with both feet on the line, close to an anchor point.
Find a focus point on the opposite anchor point and get your balance.
Activate your core and slowly bend your knees.
Bring your buttocks as close to the slackline as possible without actually touching it. Leaning slightly forward can help this – remember to breathe.
Throughout the exercise, keep your arms up and out in front of you.
Once you’ve reached the lowest point, reverse the movements by slowly straightening your legs until you’re standing on the slackline.
Repeat the movement until you make it to the other side of the slackline, then return to the anchor you started at.