Saturday, May 12, 2012

What Is Suspension Training? - Suspension Training

Suspension training has been gaining in its popularity in the past few years. This style of workout utilizes a set of straps that are anchored to a solid mounting point as well as your bodyweight to create an intense training session. Advocates of suspension training state that it is a great full body workout because, not only does it train the specific muscle group you are targeting, it also engages your core during every workout session. The basic concept is that you mount a pair of specifically designed straps and then perform various exercises that use only your own bodyweight as resistance.

 If done properly it is a very intense workout. I decided to mix up my workout routine a few weeks ago to use these straps that were just added to my gym. I had hit a bit of a rut in my workout routine and thought this might help me throw some variety into the mix. I asked a trainer for a few exercises to target the chest and he demonstrated three exercises. I was quickly humbled after my first set of pushups with my feet suspended by the straps. The exercise seemed simple enough. You placed your feet in the handles of the straps and then perform a pushup that is immediately followed by a type of inverted crunch that requires you to pull your knees into your chest then back to the position. This motion completes one rep. After 12 reps my arms were shaking and I could feel my abs and lower back muscles burning. Needless to say, the next day my abs and chest were pretty sore. This is a sign that I definitely went out of my comfort zone and my body had to adapt.

The system of training was made popular by a Navy Seal back in 2002.  The Seals had become very crafty at creating makeshift gyms out of their environment and whatever materials they had nearby.  I guess necessity really is the mother of all invention.  One thing to note is that critics of suspension training state that it can cause injury in people who have poor core strength or joint issues, so be careful.  If you are interested in giving it a try you might want to check out your local gym because they may have included a section for suspension training or plan to in the near future.  You can also purchase a set from the TRX website.

I have no plans to do this workout exclusively, but I will definitely be using it to mix things up a bit when I am at the gym.  I will either do a whole workout routine or just throw in a few sets from time to time. 


Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More