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5 Types of Suspension Training Equipment For Your Home Gym 

Gymnastic rings being used for suspension training

Suspension training is a functional fitness form of exercise that uses your own body weight to create strength and increase mobility.


Whether you’re using straps, cords, rings, ropes or chains suspended from a single point or multiple vertical anchor points, this type of workout is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and push you to the next level.


There are many types of suspension training equipment available, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which pieces you need in your home gym. To help you out, here are five types of suspension training equipment that will help you get started on the right foot. 


Gymnastic Rings

Appearing at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, you can make a case that the gymnastic rings were the first form of suspension training equipment. Today, with the rise of calisthenics and bodyweight exercises, the rings are making a comeback.


Training with gymnastic rings has immense benefits, particularly their natural instability. As they swing from a long strap, these rings move even under the slightest touch—which means you must be present and concentrate each second on them to avoid swaying. This level of difficulty encourages strength and muscle building in your upper body and core. It’s not easy to pull or press your weight when using traditional bars; now imagine how much more challenging that becomes if the equipment is constantly moving.


Gymnastic rings are more versatile than you might think. Since they are suspended from two independent attachment points, you can customize the distance between them and use them for various exercises such as dips, pull-ups, and muscle-ups. They can also be used to support any form of exercise indoors or outdoors, allowing users to mount them on almost anything—whether it’s your ceiling, clothesline post, swingset pole, or even a garage beam.


Suspension Trainers and Straps

Suspension trainers, popularized by the TRX Training System, were game changers in the world of functional fitness and suspension training. While the single anchor point does limit some exercises, adjustable suspension trainers allow you to more quickly and easily get the exact length of the strap. This allows you to keep your workout flow moving and keep your heart rate up.


Not only are these straps incredibly lightweight, but they can be taken anywhere with ease. For example, they typically weigh about 2 pounds, making them ideal for travel or to take along on a hike.


Installing suspension trainers is a breeze and they can be used indoors in your home gym, or hung from the back of doors, playground, tree branches, or sturdy beams.


One of the most remarkable benefits of suspension trainers is that it has an ever-growing, supportive community with a range of workout ideas, classes, and advice on proper techniques.


Yoke Bar

This suspension training device gets its name from the yoke-like shape of the horizontal bar that hangs from a single attachment point. From each end of the horizontal bar, two chains are attached that provide a unique three-axis rotation to twist and maneuver not only back and forth but also sideways.


Unlike other fitness devices, the yoke bar creates a unique level of instability, allowing for three-dimensional movement to twist from the top anchor point, swivel forward and back, see-saw side to side, and even swing independently in different directions.


By introducing additional instability, you can engage more of your muscles—particularly in the hips, abs, back, and shoulders. This will increase functional training as well as balance and core strength.


Besides the adjustable chains, this system provides extra attachments that you can attach for a more comfortable handlebar grip when doing exercises such as push-ups and rows. Alternatively, if you’d like to do planks or superman squats, then there’s an additional padded strap option.


It can be a little tricky to get used to. We’d recommend the yoke bar if you’ve been doing some suspension training and are ready to level up or need a new challenge.


Swings

Yes, we’re talking about the swings on a backyard swing set or playground. Swings are a great and accessible way to get started with suspension training. In general, playgrounds are a great place to do calisthenics or other bodyweight exercises. Though not as versatile or effective as other suspension equipment, it’s still an excellent option for those who may be uncertain about trying this type of exercise.


You’ve probably been doing suspension training exercises just playing on a swing set growing up. So this equipment should be familiar. Just set the swing to the right height for suspended lunges, planks, and rows, or get your back dirty with some hamstring curls to hip presses. Play with a swing to see what other exercises you can do.


Suspension Anchors

Regardless of whether you use a yoke bar, suspension trainers, or gymnastic rings, the most important suspension training equipment is the anchor.


Anchors are designed to safely and securely hold your suspension straps or ropes so you can focus on your workout, pushing through an extra rep or getting into a difficult pose. They come in several shapes and sizes, from heavy-duty wall anchors to doorframe anchors, and the type you choose will depend on the type of suspension exercise you go with and where you’ll be using it.


No matter which type of anchor you choose, make sure it is rated to hold up to the weight and force that your exercises require. A good anchor should also be able to securely hold your suspension trainer in place, even during more intense workouts.


Final Thoughts on Suspension Training Equipment

With these tools at hand, you’ll be able to tailor-make your perfect at-home workout experience while still getting maximum results. From the straps, yoke bars, rings, and even the common swing set, there are a variety of pieces of equipment that can be used for suspension training. And with a bit of creativity and imagination, the possibilities for new workouts are endless. So don’t be afraid to get creative in your workouts—there are so many ways to use suspension training equipment to push yourself to the next level.

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