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Fit Tip: Our Favorite Suspension Training Workouts
May 15, 2012 // Category: Fitness Advisor
Do you remember swinging from a tree branch or pulling up on the monkey bars when you were younger? Those were variations of what is called suspension training, a form of fitness that’s becoming more popular for integrating the body and mind into workouts.
You may have seen TRX® Suspension Trainer™ at your gym or learned about our new Synrgy360 training system that incorporates suspension training, but it’s also a practical workout you can try at home. Suspension training involves an apparatus made of nylon straps and handles that you can attach to a sturdy anchor in your home, or even in a door jam with a door anchor. You then use your body weight as the resistance to perform exercises that build power, strength, core stability, flexibility and balance.
Image via Behrendt & Rausch/FIBO
Suspension training works indoors and out. The beauty of suspension training is the portability of both indoor and outdoor workouts: you can take it to the park, the beach or even your own backyard. It’s versatile enough to throw it over a sturdy structure like a tree branch, chain link fence, goal post or monkey bars.
Grasp handles with arms extended, while maintaining a straight torso, pull body toward handles until hands are alongside body.
To get started, you want the sturdy anchor point to be approximately 7 to 9 feet off the ground. Then, by adjusting the length of the handles and the angle of your body you can make most exercises easier or harder. Try to find an area about 6 to 8 feet wide with a non-slip surface.
Lock your elbows, lean your weight forward, and lower body as far as you can keeping your body straight. Shorten your range if you feel strain in your lower back.
Suspension trainer systems are great for a fast and effective workout on all fitness levels. Start slowly and build up to more intense exercises once you become more comfortable. Most exercises involve pushing, pulling, legs and core. You are forced to work in multiple planes and use multiple muscle groups for all exercises, making the workout very functional. You’ll get your heart rate up when performing exercises one after the other with little rest in between.
With feet in TRX straps and hands on floor, perform traditional push up followed by oblique crunch.
If you are new to suspension training, you should start slowly and seek out help from a trainer if necessary. Check out the Life Fitness Academy YouTube channel for more top suspension training moves to try at home or at the gym.