Glider exercise machines do just what their name suggests -- they glide from one position to another. Two types of gliders are common among exercise machines; one is an ab glider that works the abdominal and oblique muscles, the other is a machine that works the muscles of the legs. Both machines are quite simple to use. Before you use either machine, warm up for five to 10 minutes by doing some cardio exercise at a light to moderate pace.
Turn on the console display by pressing the console button. This will allow you to monitor your calories burned and the time elapsed during your workout.
Kneel onto the knee pads of the ab glider, and grasp one handlebar with each hand. Different ab gliders have different possible positions; some allow only a forward "crunch" motion, others allow you to loosen the frame and knee pad to work the obliques and core. To start, keep the frame locked and knee pad unlocked. Consult your user guide for locking and unlocking instructions.
Squeeze your abdominals to move your body toward the direction of your arms. Bend your elbows as you get closer to the handlebars of the machine, but avoid using mostly arm strength to pull you toward the handlebars.
Loosen and straighten your arms and allow the glider to move your body backward to the starting position. Repeat the entire motion 10 to 20 times, take a break, then perform a second set of repetitions.
Unlock the frame to allow the ab glider to move from side to side as you perform the pulling motion. This will allow you to isolate your obliques, starting from an angled position and then pulling yourself toward the handlebars with the muscles of the obliques -- at the sides of your abdomen. Consult your user guide to determine whether you have an unlockable frame.
Lock the knee pad, with the frame still unlocked, then swing the knee pad from side to side to further work the oblique muscles. In this position, the knee pad will not move to the "up" position near the handlebars, but instead swing from side to side with resistance.
Turn on the console to allow you to monitor your time elapsed and calories burned during your workout.
Adjust the resistance on your glider by turning the resistance dials to the left or right. Some models have this feature, some do not.
Step onto the right and left foot pedals, while at the same time grasping the right and left handlebars.
Push your right leg forward. This will cause your right handlebar to move backward at the same time. Keep your right foot and hand in that position while you move on to positioning the left side.
Push your left leg backward. This will cause your left arm to push forward on the handlebar.
Scissor your legs back and forth, allowing the arms to provide stability as they move in an alternate motion to the legs. As you continue the motion, you should feel your legs "gliding" back and forth.
Continue the motion for at least 15 minutes, or as long as you want to continue your cardiovascular workout.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.