Feeling uninspired by your regular home gym routine? Take it up a notch and step out of the box with suspension training. Although these dangling straps look unconventional, and maybe even intimidating, suspension trainers like TRX offer an awesome alternative to traditional strength exercises like hand weights, delivering full-body workouts that build muscle and boost flexibility at once. Haven’t tried it yet? Get ready, suspension training is guaranteed to make you challenge yourself in new ways. If you haven’t heard or seen how effective they are already, just wait until after your first session.
What is Suspension Training?
Suspension training is an exercise program that utilizes body weight, gravity, straps, and a secure anchor point to create resistance. It uses ropes or adjustable straps called “suspension trainers” that can be used for any fitness level or ability. This type of workout engages both your core muscles and stabilizing muscles, creating a full-body workout that delivers fast results.
Although there are other types of suspension training equipment, including gymnastic rings, this article we’ll focus on suspension training with straps and suspension trainers.
Elements of a Suspension Trainer
A typical suspension trainer consists of two adjustable straps with handles and foot cradles at each end connected securely to an anchor.
- Adjustable suspension straps: Constructed with strong webbing, these straps can adjust up to 12 feet in length, allowing you to customize your workouts as needed. The adjustable straps are one of the key benefits of suspension trainers, allowing you to experience the full range of motion for each movement, increasing body weight, and doing a variety of different workouts.
- Suspension handles: Made with comfortable foam padding so they are easy to grip while exercising.
- Foot cradles: Located beneath the handles are loops for foot cradles. This loop facilitates a secure placement of your feet on the trainer platform, making it easy to perform exercises such as pikes, planks, or mountain climbers with maximum stability and safety.
- Carabiner or clip: For extra security, be sure to clip your straps at the top with a carabiner in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This way you can effortlessly attach your trainer to different anchor points.
- Suspension trainer anchor: This is the most important part of the trainer and it should be securely bolted to the wall or door frame. It should also have an adjustable height feature so that you can adjust your straps according to your height and exercise needs.
How Do Suspension Trainers Work?
Suspension trainers work by using your body weight against gravity as resistance. As you move through exercises such as squats, push-ups, planks, rows, curls, and more; your own body weight provides enough resistance for muscle growth and toning without having to use additional weights or equipment. Additionally, because the straps are adjustable in length you can create exercises that target specific muscle groups which help you get the most out of each workout session.
Key Benefits of Suspension Training
From enhanced coordination to improved core strength, there are a lot of benefits to suspension training. Here are some of the top reasons we love suspension training:
With suspension training, you can get a comprehensive full-body workout with just one piece of equipment; making it great if you don’t have access to a gym or other fitness equipment.
As you move through suspension training, your core muscles are activated continuously, resulting in increased strength and stability over time.
Because many moves require stretching along with strengthening muscles, suspension training increases flexibility as well as strength which helps reduce the risk of injury long term.
Unlike many conventional forms of exercise, suspension training allows you to avoid lifting heavy weights off the ground while still providing an efficient workout. This helps protect your joints and minimizes any risk of injury.
Because most exercises can be modified according to difficulty level, everyone from beginners all the way up to advanced athletes benefit from using a suspension trainer.
Most suspension trainers cost less than traditional gym equipment making them an affordable yet effective addition to any home gym.
Most models are lightweight (typically under 2lbs) and compact making them easy to take on vacation or store away when not in use.
What Exercises Can You Do With A Suspension Trainer?
There are tons of different exercises that can be done using a suspension trainer. It’s really up to your imagination. And with a thriving community, you are likely to find the type of exercise you’re looking for. Here is a short list of exercises you can do with a suspension trainer:
- bicep curls
- triceps extensions
- chest presses
- shoulder presses
- hip thrusts
- mountain climbers
- hamstring curls
- side planks
- glute bridges
- Russian twists
- scissor kicks
- bicycle kicks
- leg raises
- Bulgarian lunge
- flutter kicks
- oblique twists
- superman holds
- burpees (yes, even burpees, sorry)
How to Choose the Right Suspension Trainer
If suspension training sounds like something that might be a good fit for you. You’ll want to make sure you choose the right equipment. When shopping around consider factors such as portability, adjustability, durability, and price range.
Most trainers are made from durable nylon, but you’ll want to make sure the suspension trainer can accommodate your weight. Also, make sure that the system also has the right anchor attachments.
Lastly, portability features should also be considered as some suspension trainers come with carrying bags or foldable frames for easy storage and transportation. Be sure to check out reviews of any model you’re considering so that you can get an idea of what other people are saying about it.
Is Suspension Training Worth Adding to Your Home Gym?
If you’re looking for an effective way to get fit that doesn’t require bulky gym equipment then suspension training might be the perfect addition to your home gym. Not only does it strengthen core muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury, but it’s also cost-effective, lightweight, and easily portable. And with so many types of exercises available with a suspension trainer, you can customize your workout plan to fit your specific goals. With a few simple tips for choosing the right system, you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your workout experience. So, yes, suspension training is definitely worth it. Get out there and give it a try.