The use of suspension training has exploded in the past few years. Suspension training exercises are variations of bodyweight exercises that can all be modified based on your fitness level (squats, lunges, planks, push ups etc.) The suspension training is not fixed; all the parts move in space while the exercise is being performed. For that reason, using the suspension trainer increases the involvement of muscles of the core, shoulders, and glutes to perform each exercise and to stabilize the movements. Suspension Training is so popular because you can use it anywhere, either from the comfort of your own home or while you are traveling on vacation. It has an easy set-up, travel portability, compact size, so when you don’t have access to a gym you won’t lose out on valuable workouts.
Lets get started:
Securing and Adjusting
The suspension trainer needs to be secured to an object that is able to hold your body’s weight without moving or breaking. For example a tree limb may be tall enough, but it also needs to be thick enough to withstand your body weight as you perform exercises such as a chest press or push up. A set of monkey bars are ideal for setting up your suspension training but a tree limb or door frame are less ideal.
Suspension trainers have a strap with a carabiner. The carabiner is at one end of the strap, and the rest of the suspension trainer is attached to the other end. The carabiner and strap are looped around the object that the trainer is to be attached to. Then the carabiner is then attached to the strap through another loop.
The handles on the suspension trainer are adjustable, depending on the exercise, you may want them to either be closer to or further away from the ground. The distance depends of the exercise and desired difficulty. To modify the length of the trainer use the buckles on either strap. The buckles unlocks the straps attached to the handle. After the buckle is released, the handle can be adjusted upward or downward. The three length most commonly used are;
Full Length: Pressing Exercises
Mid Length: Standing Exercises
Fully Shortened: Rowing Exercises
Mid Calf Length: Ground Exercises
Four basic grips types, for each grip the thumb and fingers should be wrapped around the handles.
Prone Grip: (overhand grip) – the palms face down or away from the body (push up, chest press)
Supine Grip: (underhand grip) – the palms face up or toward the body (bicep curl)
Neutral Grip: (Thumbs up / Hitchhikers thumbs) – palms face in toward each other (low row variation)
Single Hand Grip: Single handed exercises. To perform single hand exercise, one of the handles is drawn through the other handle. After the handle is drawn through, it is used to perform the exercises.
Four basic body positions for the suspension training exercises and variations are possible using these four positions.
Supine Standing Position: This position is used during upper back, shoulder and bicep exercises. Handles are adjusted so they are shoulder height. Any grip may be used for the exercises performed in this position. Grip the handles and lean back with your arms fully extended. Your body should be straight from your shoulders, hip and ankles (one flat line). To modify the difficulty level of each exercise change the position of your feet, either closer or further away from the anchor point. Moving the feet further from the anchor will decrease the difficulty, moving the feet closer will increase the difficulty or the exercise.
Supine Lying Position: This position is used in hamstrings and core exercises. You will lie on your back with your feet directly below the handles. Then you will either place your hands on the handles or your feet in the handles, depending on the desired exercise.
Prone Standing Position: This position is used in chest and triceps exercises. Adjust the handles so they are at shoulder height, depending on the exercise you may be using either the prone, or neutral grip. Place the feet under the anchor point and extended your arms and lean your body forward. Keeping in mind you also want to keep the core stabilized by keeping you shoulder, hips, and ankles in line with one another. To increase difficulty, move your feet closer to the anchor, to decrease difficulty move your feet further away from the anchor.
Prone Lying Position: This position is used for push ups, advanced shoulder exercises, and core exercises. The handles are adjusted to mid calf length, so they are hanging just above the ground. Assume the push up position, with your belly facing the floor, and depending on the desired exercise your hands will be gripping the handles for the push up exercise or your feet will be placed in the handles for a core exercises. Once either your feet or hands are suspended in the trainer it is important to keep you shoulders, hips, and ankles in line with one another. This keeps the core engaged and ensures there is not a brake in the chain for transferring power.
Here is a killer workout for you to try in your new trainer!
Start by performing a 5 – 7 minute dynamic warm up. Be sure to perform dynamic movement that increase blood flow and target major joints of the body. Want a good warm up routine? Click here (Warm Up Routine)
Now here is how it works, perform each exercise for 40 seconds on, followed by a 20 sec rest. After completing each category move onto the next group of exercises. After completing the entire circuit that counts as 1 round.
Bene – Beginner: 1 – 2 Rounds total
Bene – Advanced: 2 – 4 Rounds total
- Y, T, I
- Chest Press
- High Bicep Curl
- Tricep Press
- Squat + Calf Raise
- Reverse Lunges + Knee Lift
- Side Lunge
- Wall Sit
- Hip Bridge
- Sprinters Start
- Jumping Jacks
- Body Saw
- Leg Lift
- Hip Drop
Bene – Advanced
- Y, T, I
- Chest Press + Arm Abduction
- Single Arm Power Pull
- Tricep Press
- Jump Squats
- Split Jumps
- Suspended Single Leg Lunge
- Suspended Side Lunge
- Hamstring Runners
- Burpee w foot suspended
- Mountain Climbers
- Plank Pistons
- Plank Pike
- Atomic Push Up
- Side Plank
Be sure to include a 10 minute cool down of static stretches targeting the entire body. Need a cool down routine? Click here (Cool Down Routine) We want to make sure that the soreness we feel post-workout is from the workout itself, and not from the lack of stretching.