Strength training has been defined as the primary way for the human body to become stronger and better naturally. There are various ways to train strength but most methods require the use of equipment such as free weights. Free
weights, like the popular gym staple barbell, are the most popular choice for strength trainers. But use of free weights may seem a bit daunting for some people and they’re more likely to use machines instead. Instead of using machines, you could use suspension training.
So What Exactly Is It?
Suspension training is defined as a method of strength training wherein the trainer uses a set of ropes and a frame to facilitate a workout utilizing their own body weight. This type of training uses both bodyweight and gravity to perform a multitude of exercises. The suspension allows the person to choose whether to increase or decrease the weight used in an exercise and therefore enables beginners both young and old to have a less intimidating approach to strength training other than the use of free weights.
This system of training makes use of various compound exercises which are multi-planar in nature. The very goal of suspension training is to develop strength, flexibility, joint stability, and balance in a holistic way all at the same time. Suspension training is a good addition to any type of training mainly because it works the whole body and provides a stable physique which can be used as a good warm-up before lifting heavy weights such as barbells. Suspension training is quite possibly one of the most preferred beginner workouts for those who are simply not able to lift weights comfortably.
Suspension training not only adds variety to normal, everyday bodyweight workouts but also adds a few exercises which are deemed exclusive to suspension training. Below are a few of these exercises:
- Single Leg Squat
The single leg squat is a difficult exercise to perform and suspension training allows the fitness beginner to perform this exercise because of the assistance of the being suspended. This type of suspension training exercise develops durability and adds much more difficulty in muscle use without exposing the muscles in the knee and the bones in the spine to stress therefore preventing any possible injuries.
- Atomic Pike
This exercise is popular among suspension training enthusiasts. This is a form of handstand push up with a twist. As the feet are suspended, performing a handstand push up then hinging at the hips not only adds variety but also difficulty. This enhances the whole body specially the core which must remain tight at all times.
- Single leg burpee
The Burpee itself is already an exercise that is hard to love but what more doing it with only half the leg power? Suspension training allows the use of only one leg when performing certain 2-leg exercises specially when only using one leg seems impossible.
Benefits of Suspension training
Weak or strong, young or old, you can use this
The fact that this equipment is very versatile, and also because it solely relies on your bodyweight. Suspension training allows training from the ground up which ensures safety and the learning of the fundamentals of bodyweight exercises. Eventually you will be looking forward to making the exercises harder.
It’s both cardio and resistance training
If you’re looking for some metabolic resistance training (or MRT for short) – Suspension training is the way forward. Suspension workouts help train functional strength and ensure the increase of cardiovascular endurance. It allows you to either perform an exercise with a fast pace or with a slow, controlled range of motion.
Versatility is a word not many equipment in the fitness world are allowed to have. Suspension training allows you to adjust his angles or his positions from standing to lying face down. The basic movements can be altered to make it easier or much more difficult which enables multiple types of exercises and movements.
Lightweight and portable
As far as weights go, the equipment used in suspension training is barely 3 lbs. This enables you to possibly bring and train with it anywhere. I’ve seen people use trees and lamp posts in the past – you really can take them anywhere.
Develops muscular balance
Suspension training requires a high amount of balance which stems mainly from the core. Because of its instable nature, the body will be trained to balance its weight at all times, improving your muscular imbalances.
A particular trait of suspension training is the fact that all exercises are low-impact, making it an ideal choice of training system for those who are coming back from an injury.
To do? Or To Not To Do?
Suspension training isn’t new but it’s gaining popularity due to various advertising particularly of the group called TRX. The key to suspension training is the fact that it requires an active balance at all times specially from the muscles of the core. This is one of the many reasons why people enjoy training with suspension straps. Despite its many benefits, it may still be not for everyone. You’ll be working against your own bodyweight and some people seek to work against more than their own weight. You can opt to train with suspensions or with free weights but at the end of the day, it’s the consistency, intensity, effectiveness and variety of your workouts that will display a more favorable response to your body.
You can get some great exercise and workout example from Dan Long – regarded as one of the go-to people when it comes to suspension training. You can catch him on his blog at KillModeTraining.com or you can check out his suspension training program – Suspension Revolution 2.0 here (you can grab my Suspension Revolution 2.0 review here)
Again if you’re looking to add some variety to your workouts then suspension training might just be what you’re looking for.
Until next time!
Take care and keep focused!