Suspension training is a form of resistance training, which uses your own body weight. It’s performed using a set of suspension straps, which are anchored to either a door or stable object or piece of equipment. The reason this type of training is so beneficial is because it focuses on developing strength, balance, flexibility, and joint stability simultaneously.
There are multiple products out there, but the most common is the TRX suspension training system. A lot of gyms now carry this equipment. I have the Lifeline Jungle Gym XT suspension training straps, which I have anchored to a door.
This workout is a beginners workout, which covers a lot of basic moves using the suspension training. Don’t be fooled though! This is a full body workout, which you will definitely feel the next day! This workout is harder than it looks, and you will surprised on how challenging it is to just use your own body weight. If you have never used this equipment before, here is a instructional video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gagl23KZs0U
Complete 2-3 sets, with a 1 minute break between sets. All you need is the suspension training kit! I will provide pictures so you have a visual of what your body should look like for proper form.
Bicep Curl (15 reps) – Stand facing your anchor, holding a strap in each hand with your palms facing up and your arms straight out in front of you (chest level). Your body should be tilted back on an angle with your legs straight. Bend your elbows and bring the handles toward your body. Slowly straighten your arms back to start. Be sure to keep body in straight line prior to curl. Make this harder by lowering yourself, decreasing your angle to the ground.
Low Row (15 reps) – Position your body facing your anchor, with your body at a 45 degree angle (or lower) to the floor holding the straps straight out from your chest (palms facing each other). Pull yourself up by bending your elbows back and next to your ribs. Straighten your arms back to start. Keep body in straight line with your legs straight. The straighter your body is to standing, the easier the move will be.
Push-ups (15 reps) – Stand with your back to the anchor, holding the straps at chest level with your arms straight. Your body is at an angle, leaning into the straps. Bend your elbows out to the sides, bringing your chest between the handles. Push up and return to start. Make this move harder by lowering closer to the ground.
Single-Leg Lunge (10 reps/leg) – For this exercise you will need only one strap – or if you’re using the TRX you will create one strap. Lower the straps to about calf level. Stand with your back to your anchor and place one foot into the strap, your knee should be bent about 90 degrees. Make sure your are at least a couple feet away from the anchor. Lunge down on your standing leg, bringing the suspended leg back. Place your hands on your hips, or out in front of you. Straighten the standing leg and return to start. Complete all reps then switch legs. Make sure that you aren’t bending your knee past your toes.
Oblique Twist (15 reps) – Stand facing the anchor, holding a single strap (combined strap) with both hands. Lean back with your arms straight out in front. Using your core, pull yourself up straight by rotating your torso and arms to the left, keeping the arms straight and together in front of your body. Return to start and repeat by twisting to the right. (1 rep)
Hamstring Curls (15 reps) – Separate the straps and lay on your back facing the anchor, placing a heel in each strap. Keep legs are straight and lift your hips off the ground. From here curl your feet toward your butt. Slowly straighten your legs. Keep your hips lifted for all reps.
Hip Raise (15 reps) – Again, lay on your back with your heels in the straps. Keeping your legs straight, lift hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes. Slowly lower your hips back to the ground briefly and repeat. If this is too difficult, bend your knees (see picture)
Side Plank Twist (10 reps/side) – Get into side plank on your forearm with your feet in the straps (top leg slightly in front). Raise your free arm straight up and twist your torso and curl the arm under your body. Rotate back to start. Complete reps then switch sides. For more of a challenge, perform this with your balancing arm fully extended.
Tricep Extension (15 reps) – Stand with your back to your anchor, holding the straps straight out in front at head level or higher with palms away from you. Bend your elbows, bringing the handles toward your head, keeping your elbows steady. Straighten your arms back to start. Position your body at more of an angle to make the move harder.
Rear Deltoid Fly (15 reps) – Stand facing your anchor on an angle, arms straight out in front with palms facing each other. Separate your arms out to the sides opening up the chest, pulling yourself up. Keep your legs straight, arms can have a slight bend in them. Return slowly to start.