A gym that fits in a dufflebag- does this sound too good to be true? It is absolutely true! Welcome to Suspension Training.
The equipment needed for Suspension Training is simply a suspension strap designed to adjust to any person’s height requirements and a secure place to wrap it or hook it.
Suspension Training has been around for a very long time. It is basically just utilizing ropes and straps to create resistance through the gravity of one’s own bodyweight.
The difference between a pushup performed on the ground compared to a pushup performed on a suspension strap is that more muscles are engaged on the suspension strap in order to balance the body and maintain mobility throughout the movement of the exercise.
Also, suspension exercises require more core strength so the abdominal and lower back areas are toned more effectively than stable exercises performed on benches, machines, etc.
The most popular and well-known brand of Suspension Training is called “TRX” which stands for “Total Resistance eXercise”. It was popularized in 2005 when a former Navy SEAL developed and marketed a high quality suspension training strap that can be adjusted easily.
The military uses Suspension Training in much of its fitness training programs because of the overall effectiveness of the workouts along with the added convenience of being able to pack up and carry the strap in a small bag so easily.
Anyone involved in fitness can benefit from Suspension Training. Senior citizens can gently perform exercises at their own pace while competitive athletes can push their limits in all kinds of creative ways with the same suspension equipment.
One aspect of Suspension Training that makes it so universally appealing is that in order to adjust the resistance during an exercise all you have to do is move your body forward or backward by taking small steps.
This also makes the training more open and convenient for advanced techniques such as dropsets. You can perform a set of pushups standing at a high resistance, then as the muscles fatigue step forward to decrease the difficulty while continuing to stay in motion.
There are also numerous abdominal exercises that can be performed on Suspension Training straps which cannot be performed on other more common types of equipment.
Suspended Mountain Climbers are a good example of this. Placing the instep of each foot in the stirrups of the straps while maintaining a pushup position, you must move the knees in and out towards the chest in an alternating motion.
Suspension Training is a great method of fitness for anyone going through the process of rebuilding strength and mobility in their body following a surgery after an injury.
There is no risk of lifting too much weight. It is so much easier to regulate the resistance during the exercise because all that is needed is a slight change in body position.
Lifestyle factors play a major role in the consistency of workouts. One of the biggest reasons people always give as to why they have not been active with fitness is because of time.
With Suspension Training you can set it up in your office, at home, or even on the road while out of town. You can take it with you anytime you are travelling so it is much easier to stay on track with your workouts.
Not only is Suspension Training another option in the world of fitness equipment and formats, it is in many cases the better option.
Leg curls performed lying down with the ankles pulling the straps into the body while the core is elevated is one of the most effective and safest ways to work out the hamstrings.
If you want a new challenge to accelerate muscle growth and toning, then incorporate Suspension Training into your workouts.
Let your own bodyweight be your gym!
Sammy Cusimano is the founder of Genesys Training based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been a professional trainer since 2001. His experience with training clients ranges from competitive athletes to senior citizens. Cusimano’s goal as a trainer is to help clients safely reach their fitness potential and become the best version of themselves for overall health and wellness.