Suspension Trainers

By using your own body weight you can workout with natural movements using resistance. Suspension training using trainers like the TRX or Jungle Gym is a great way to build core strength and muscular balance - it's very mobile too.

Rather than heaps of weights and racks or machines, suspension trainers could be the answer for many home gyms. Using your own body weight as the resistance for training, there's more than 300 exercises for your upper and lower body thanks to this little gadget! Affordable, easy to store and great for your joint stability and mobility, this should be in your gym.

In effect the suspension trainer comes as two handles with lengths of adjustable 'webbing'. All you need do is fix it to stationery object and there's your workout ready to go. There are some differences between suspension training systems that allow for wide grips,single arm exercises and more - so check out what can be done with each and whether that suits you.

link to cross trainer buying guide

 

 

buying guides for suspension training

Suspension Training Buying Guide

Suspension training was born in the Navy Seals as part of their training, it was originally a way for them to keep fit whilst on deployment. It requires you using a suspension trainer which is essentially a length of adjustable straps which can be temporarily fixed to an anchor point to allow you to harness your body weight against gravity. You will then be working out in a suspended state.

The instability caused by the suspension develops serious strength that’s very hard to replicate with regular weights.

What Are The Benefits of Suspension Training?

You will build total body strength, great for the core and builds functional strength. Literally every move you make will challenge your core and coordination. It’s great for burning fat and building muscle In addition you can use it whatever your fitness level, it is very portable so you can travel with your suspension trainer. It also doesn’t take up much room.

 One of the other major benefits of this type of training is that you can also do it outside-in the park, the beach, or even in your own back garden. As long as you have a firm anchor, a tree branch, chain link fence, goal post or monkey bars, you are good to go.

One of the greatest benefits of suspension training however is the variety. If you are slightly bored with your normal weight training programme try this out!

A Word of Caution

Many suspension exercises do require you to have a degree of strength and balance. If you are new to exercise we would advise you to seek a personal trainer to help work with you on some of these exercises. Some manufacturers do produce beginners DVD’s that come with their products so do check these out.

Suspension Training exercises

You can do hundreds of exercises covering everything from biceps, curls, triceps. Some of the best known include the suspended chest press, suspended single leg squat and suspended crunch. The following exercises are particularly good for the core

Frog Kicks

With both feet in the straps flex your quads and push both legs out laterally. Using your lower abs pull both knees in towards your chest, squeeze both legs together and kick your legs straight back into the push up position.

Suspended Lunges

With your right foot inside both loops, walk out until your right leg is fully extended, this is your starting position. Slowly lunge forward until your quad is parallel with the floor. Then switch legs.

Hanging Dips

Set the traps at waist height, grab both handles, flex your triceps and press your body upwards off the floor into a full extension. Lean forwards slightly to engage the chest, stabilise the arms and torso and slowly dip downwards until your triceps are approximately parallel to the floor. Powerfully contract your triceps and chest and push back upwards into the starting position.

The Components of a Suspension Trainer

Most suspension trainers will have handles or foot stirrups, straps, buckles which allows you to adjust the length of the straps, an anchor and an anchor point. On the last point it is crucial that you have a solid safe structure which the suspension trainer is fixed. It must be able to support your body weight.

What to Look For When Buying a Suspension Trainer

DVD Manual

If you are new to suspension training buy a kit that will also give you a DVD, this will help you understand all the moves and exercises and ensure that you do this safely.

Quality Straps

Buy high quality straps. Some will come with really high quality carbon fibre buckles which are easy to use and allow you to adjust the length of the straps at the touch of a button. The composition of carbon fibre also means that they will last a long time.

Handles

Look out for a soft texture which means you can put your feet or hands in very comfortably.

Anchor Points

Many manufacturers make these so they can be hung over the top of a closed door without damaging the paintwork or door frames. Some designs also allow you to buy a wall mount kit so you don’t have to find a sturdy door.

Portability

If you want to take your suspension trainer around with you then look for one that comes with a bag and can be folded up fairly small, easy to transport around with you.

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