Suspension Training – Beginners Workout

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.

trx         trxhome

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.

junglegym

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.

bicepcurl

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.

lowrow

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.

pushup                easypushup

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.

trx-suspended-lunge

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)

Standing-Oblique

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.

hamstring curl

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)

trx-dem-0022

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.

                 sideplank1sideplank2

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.

tricepexten

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.

reardelt

Arm and Strength Workout

Today’s workout focuses mostly on the arms, but includes a combination of other areas as well. There are a series of supersets, which you will complete 3 sets of before going onto the next.

You will need a set of 5-10 lb dumbbells and resistance bands with handles (optional). Warm-up prior to this workout with 10-20 minutes of cardio. Complete 3 sets of each superset, taking a 1-2 minute break in between.

SUPERSET 1

2 Hammer Curls +2  Close pushups (4 reps) – Stand with feet hip-width apart holding dumbbells at sides with palms facing each other. Do 2 hammer curls, bringing the ends of the weights to your shoulders (palms still facing each other). Then crouch down with the dumbbells and kick your legs back, so that you’re in a pushup position on the weights. Do 2 pushups, then jump feet forward and return to standing (1 rep)

Roundhouse Kick Squat (15 reps) – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands up in fighting stance by chin. Squat down, then come up and kick your leg out front up and around, keeping your torso straight forward. (1 rep) Repeat alternating legs.

SUPERSET 2

Rotation Curl + Punch (10 reps) – Stand with dumbbels at your sides, palms in. As you do a curl, rotate the weights so the ends almost touch and your palms are facing up. From chest level punch both arms out forward, slightly rotating your wrists so your palms face each other. (1 rep) Return to start and repeat

Elbow Extension (10 reps) – Stand with feet together, hinged forward at your hips with elbows bent, with a lighter dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your uppers arms and torso still, extend your arms back straight and return to start.

Side to Side Kick Squat (10 reps/leg) – Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands in fighter stance. Squat down then come up and do a side kick as high as you can. (1 rep) Return to standing (knees soft) and do a 180 degree hop and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating legs – you should always be kicking to the same side

SUPERSET 3

Overhead Elbow Extension (15 reps) – Stand holding a dumbbell over your head with both hands, holding the end (dumbbell should be vertical) Keeping upper arms and elbows as still as possible, bend your elbows and lower the weight down behind your head, then extend the weight back up overhead. Be sure to keep your elbows pointing forward and close to your head.

Elbow Flexion Curl (15 reps) – Use a resistance band with handles. Stand in a staggered stance with most of your weight on your front leg. Strap the band around something close to the ground, or place it under your back foot. Lean forward with a straight back, arms straight at sides with hands back down by hips. Flex the elbows and bring your fists toward your shoulders. Slowly straighten your arms. If you don’t have a band, stand in the same stance but hold a light weight in each hand.

Forward Kicking Squat (15 reps) – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands in fighter stance. Squat down and raise up to do a forward kick, landing back into a squat. (1 rep) Be sure to kick with the top of your foot – lift the knee then extend the leg straight in a whipping action. Continue alternating legs.

Lower Body Combo Workout

This workout is all about the legs! There are only 3 exercises, but they will work all muscles from you calf to your glutes. All you need is a 5-20 lb dumbbells and a bench or step.

Complete 4 sets of the following exercises. Be sure to do slow and controlled movements with proper form.

Curling Stationary Lunge (20 reps/leg) – Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them down by your sides (I use 10lbs) Bring one leg forward and the other leg back into a wide lunge stance – keep this stance for the whole exercise. Place the majority of your weight on the heel of your front foot and drop your body down so that your thigh becomes parallel with the floor, your back leg should be mostly straight. Keep your back straight and push through your heel back up to starting position. Once you are at the top, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your shoulder to perform a bicep curl. Lower dumbbells back down to your side and return to lunge. Complete reps then switch sides. Make sure your knee isn’t bending past your toes. Pick a weight that challenges you – you want to almost be to failure.

Squat Calf Lift (20 reps) – Stand tall and hold 2 dumbbells up against your chest, or 1 heavy dumbbell in front of you with both hands. Place your feet out into a wide stance and point your toes out. Squat down so that your thighs become parallel with the floor, keeping your back straight and chest tall. Then come back up and lift your heels up and place all your weight on the ball of your foot.  Pause on your toes and squeeze at the top, flexing the calf. Release back down to start position and repeat. I use a 20 lb dumbbell for this.

Step-up Kick Back (20 reps/leg) – Hold a dumbbell in each hand down by your sides and stand facing a bench or step. Place your right foot on top of the bench and press through your right heel to bring your entire body up. While standing up at the top, lift left foot back as high as you can in a nice and controlled movement, while tightening up your left glute. Release leg and bring your left leg back to the ground, right foot remaining up on the step. Complete reps then switch sides. You can also do this with a barbell or sandbag on your shoulders, just be sure not to bend forward. For more of a challenge, try a higher step.

Total Body Interval Training Workout

Today’s workout is a full body workout, which you will be completing in timed intervals. Most of the exercises work more than one muscle group, which is the focus of this week’s workouts.

Complete 3 rounds of this workout. Each move will be performed for 30 seconds with a 10 second break. Rest 1 minute between rounds, and drink water when you need to. Keep track of how many reps you do per move, so you can improve on it in the future (I will post mine later, after I complete the workout). You will need a medicine ball and a set of 8-10 lb dumbbells. This workout should take you about 14 minutes.

Squat with Alternate Press: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells up at your shoulders. Squat down, rise up and twist to the left pressing up right arm straight overhead.  Squat and repeat by twisting to the right. Squat with your hips back and engage your core when you twist. This will work your quads, obliques and your shoulders.

Mountain Climbers: Start in plank, holding a dumbbell on each hand. Engage your core and bring left knee up and out by your left elbow. Quickly switch feet and bring your right knee up and out by right elbow. Do these quickly, without compromising your form or letting your hips droop. You will feel this throughout your core.

rowstart (Start position)

Plank Row to Double Row: Start in plank again holding weights with your feet wide. Do a row with each arm, bringing the weight up to your ribs.  Then hop your feet forward and bring them together and stand part way (so you’re in a chair squat) and do a double row slightly bent forward, bringing both arms up and weights by your ribs. Be sure to keep your butt back and your back straight. Place the weights back on ground and jump feet back to wide plank and repeat.

plankrow

(Plank Row)

Plank 1-2-3-4: Again, start in plank holding weights with your feet very wide. Hop your feet together, then forward 2 hops, then hop back to wide plank/start (4 hops). Be sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged.

Lunge with Knee Lift (left): Stand with a weight in each hand, and with the left foot stepped far back. Lunge down then come back up and lift the left leg up forward, bringing your knee to chest leaning back slightly. Land with your foot back in the lunge position and repeat.

Lunge with Knee Lift (Right): Repeat the previous exercise, but start with the right leg back and bring the right knee to your chest.

Squat with Ball Toss: Hold a medicine ball at your chest, standing with legs shoulder-width apart. Squat down, pressing your hips back . Come up and straighten your arms and tossing the ball straight up. Catch and bring it back to your chest and return to a squat .

Here are my results (in order performed)

Round 1: 12, 32, 4, 8, 8, 9, 18

Round 2: 13, 35, 5, 7, 8, 9, 20

I only did 2 rounds because my knees were bothering me. Still got an awesome workout in though, and burned ~150 calories in 10 minutes.

Weighted Yoga Circuit

Here’s a great yoga routine to finish up your weekend! I love this because it integrates yoga poses with weight, which help to tone all areas of the body. All you need for this workout is a mat and a pair of light dumbbells – no shoes required!

Complete this routine 3 times though, making sure to focus on your breathing and proper technique. The pictures provided are examples of the yoga poses (minus the weight). Enjoy!

Rotating Half Jack (10 times/side) – Hold a dumbbell in each hand and step the right foot back and lunge into warrior 2 (starting position). Straighten the left (front) leg and turn to face forward, bringing both arms overhead (palms facing each other). Bend right knee 90 degrees into a deep side lunge and bend the elbows to bring the weights down past your chin. Return to standing and transition back to start position/warrior 2. Complete all reps then repeat on the other side (lunging to the left).

warrior2 (warrior 2)

Wide Stance Punches (20/arm) – Stand with feet wide and toes pointed slightly out with the weights at your chest (fighter’s stance). Lower into plie squat and hold as you punch across your body, slighly twisting the torso. Retract quickly and alternate arms. Be sure to keep your tailbone tucked and your core engaged.

High-Heeled Pulse (20/arm) – Stand with your feet together, elbows at eye level (palms facing each other). Lower into a squat and lift your heels off the ground. Alternate punching arms up and down slightly, while remaining on your toes. As always remember to keep your core engaged.

Warrior Crunch (10/side) – Stand in warrior 2 with the left leg bent, facing forward with elbows bent and weights up by your ears (palms forward). Rotate your torso to the right and straighten the left leg. Rotate back to the left as you bend the left knee and bring right elbow to left knee. (1 rep) Complete all reps, then switch sides.

Crescent Kick (15/side) – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides holding a weight in each hand. Step your left leg back into warrior 1, extending both arms overhead (palms facing each other).  Drive your elbows down by sides while bringing the left knee to chest, then kick leg forward leading with heal. Bend the knee and return to warrior 1. (1 rep) Complete all reps then switch sides.

warrior1 (warrior 1)

Dumbell-Free Upper Body Toning Circuit

This is a great workout to tone your arms, that you can do anywhere. All you need is about 15 minutes and a mat. This is very similar to a pilates workout, where you use your own bodyweight to build strength.

Complete 2 rounds of the 5 exercises.

Plank Arm Row and Rotate (10 reps/side):  Start in full plank, feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your hips level and lift your left hand off floor and bend elbow behind you to bring hand next to shoulder (row movement). Return to plank, then repeat but bringing the same elbow straight up toward the ceiling as your rotate to the left toward a side plank.  (1 rep). Return to plank and repeat alternating sides.

Dip Kick (10 reps/leg): Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lean back 45 degrees with palms under shoulders, fingers facing forward. Bring your left knee to chest, and lift your hips off the ground. Bend your elbows directly behind you and lower your hips while kicking your left leg straight up into the air. Straighten your arms and bring knee back to chest. Continue all reps, keeping hips lifted. Repeat with the opposite leg. You should feel this in your triceps.

Pilates Press (10 reps/leg): Start in full plank. Bend your right knee 90 degrees so your toes point up (start position). Bend your elbows directly behind you, keeping your arms tight into body and lower only a few inches toward the floor. Press back up to start and complete all reps with leg lifted. Repeat on other side.

Teeter-Totter (10 reps): Start in plank on your forearms with hands clasped. Press through your toes to move your body forward keeping your back/body in a straight line.  Bend your elbows so that your face is almost touching the floor. Press back with your shoulders (not hips) and to return to start.

One-Legged Down Dog to Upward Dog (10 reps/leg): Start in full plank. Lift one leg slightly, then push and straighten arms up into one-legged down dog. Try to keep both legs and arms straight, gaze back past foot.  Lower down and transition to upward dog bringing your head toward the ground and the up to the ceiling, lowering your stomach toward the ground. Be sure to keep your hips off ground and leg lifted.  (1 rep) Return to one-legged down dog. Complete all reps then switch legs.

IMG_0273 IMG_0258

Cardio Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a great workout to get your heart elevated and to burn a lot of calories! The idea is to keep moving and keep your core engaged – to not only tone your abs and make you sweat, but it will allow for better form and precision of your moves. Refer to my blog “Kickboxing Techniques and Guide” in my Workout Tips/Techniques Blog for a description of the moves, if you are unfamiliar with proper kickboxing form.

Here is the link: https://badunkafit.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/kickboxing-techniques-and-guide/

All moves are performed with a “fighter’s stance” – which is your arms up in fists in front of your chin, and your legs are loose and feet are staggered, and you’re on the balls of your feet (you’re light on your feet) I will tell you which leg is forward in your stance.

This particular workout will be a series of 13 combos, that you will perform 1 time through – unless you want to increase your workout and do 2 rounds. Each combo will be performed 10 times in the order specified, before moving onto the next. Complete these combos as quickly as possible, but be sure that your form is correct. Between each combo, you will perform 10 bobs, 10 bob and weaves, or 10 speedbags which I will specify in the workout. These are optional, and will give you an extra core workout – so be sure to keep your core engaged! I like to use weighted gloves to make the workout more advanced, but that is also optional.

COMBO #1 (x10): Right leg forward

  1. High Front Kick (Right)
  2. Side Kick (Left)
  3. Jab (Right)
  4. Cross (Left)
  5.  Hook (Right)

Bob and Weave (x10) – optional

COMBO #2 (x10): Left leg forward

  1. High Front Kick (Left)
  2. Side Kick (Right)
  3. Jab (Left)
  4. Cross (Right)
  5. Hook (Left)

Bob and Weave (x10) – optional

COMBO #3 (x10): Left leg forward

  1. 2 Hooks (Left, Right)
  2. 2 Uppercuts (Left, Right)
  3. 2 Jacks

Speedbags (x10) – Left leg forward (optional)

COMBO #4 (x10): Right leg forward

  1. 2 Hooks (Right,Left)
  2. 2 uppercuts (Right,Left)
  3. 2 Jacks

Speedbags (x10) – Right leg forward (optional)

COMBO #5 (x10):  Stand with feet even and wide with knees slightly bent

  1. 4 Forward punches (Right, Left, Right, Left)
  2. 2 Cross (Right, Left)

Bob and Weave (x10) – optional

COMBO #6 (x10): Left leg forward

  1. High Front Kick (Left)
  2. Back Kick (Right)

Bob/Duck (x10) – optional

COMBO #7 (x10): Right leg forward

  1. High Front Kick (Right)
  2. Back Kick (Left)

Bob/Duck (x10) – optional

COMBO #8 (x10): Stand with feet even

  1. 2 Jacks
  2. 2 Front Kicks (Right, Left)

Bob and Weave (x10) – optional

COMBO #9 (x10): Right leg forward

  1. 2 Knees (Left, Left)
  2. 2 High Front Kicks (Right, Right)

Speedbags (x10): Right leg forward – optional

COMBO #10 (x10): Left leg forward

  1. 2 Knees (Right, Right)
  2. 2 High Front Kick (Left, Left)

Speedbags (x10): Left leg forward – optional

COMBO #11 (x10): Start with left hip to target, on the switch your right hip will face target.

  1. Jab (Left), Cross (Right)  x2-
  2. 2 Uppercuts (Left, Right)
  3. Hop and switch 
  4. Jab (Right), Cross (Left) x2
  5. 2 Uppercuts (Right, Left)
  6. Hop and switch

Bob and Weave (x10) – optional

COMBO #12 (x10): Start with right leg forward, after knees switch feet with left leg foward

  1. 2 Knees (Left, Left)
  2. Hop and switch feet
  3. Jab (Left)
  4. Cross (Right)
  5. Hop and switch feet

Bob/Duck (x10) – optional

COMBO #13 (x10): Start with left leg forward, after knees switch feet with right leg forward

  1. 2 Knees (Right, Right)
  2. Hop and switch feet
  3. Jab (Right)
  4. Cross (Left)
  5. Hop and switch feet

Bob/Duck (x10) – optional

This took me about 18 minutes, and I burned about 200+ calories!