These days, Suspension trainers are steadily gaining in popularity in the fitness industry – and for good reason. Body weight based suspension training is an effective method of resistance training that utilizes ropes, straps or belts that allow for a number of multi-planar, multi-muscle exercise movements.With consistent and proper use, these trainers develop functional strength, balance, flexibility, as well as core and joint stability.
Put plainly, they’re probably the best workout tool for your overall fitness.
Suspension Training – A Time Tested Concept…
It may seem like body weight based suspension training is a relatively new idea. However, acrobats, martial artists, soldiers and even sailors have been using their own body weight in conjunction with ropes, belts, straps and other variations for hundreds of years to hone their skills and keep in peak physical condition.
So, what makes body weight based suspension trainers so special? Here are some of the key benefits.
Benefit 1 – Suspension trainers are versatile.
Suspension trainers are versatile enough to be useful for everybody from the new-to-exercise beginner to the professional athlete.
Some of the same challenging exercises used by elite athletes can easily be made less challenging by providing support and a means for good form so beginners or even rehabilitation patients can start easy and gradually step-up resistance to build muscle and joint strength.
Simply altering the position of the feet or hands (depending on what exercise) and altering the body angle increases or decreases the amount of resistance. Moreover, narrowing ones stance can further engage the core muscles, while widening ones stance offers more stability and disengages the core area.
This degree of control allows suspension trainer users to adapt workout routines to their current fitness level and over time increase resistance to gain muscle strength, core stability, flexibility and metabolic conditioning.
Benefit 2 – Suspension trainers are portable.
In all my years of fitness and sports training, I personally have not come across a type of fitness tool that was so compact and lightweight, yet enabled users to perform practically hundreds of exercises.
Most suspension trainers are quick to setup and have designs that enable fast anchoring to any suitable overhead structure such as a solid tree branch, soccer goal crossbar, monkey bars, swing set or even a vertical structure such as a tree trunk or telephone pole.
Anything sturdy enough that can support your body weight and allow unrestricted movement will do.
Suspension trainers with a single anchor point design such as the TRX tend to be more portable and quicker to set up than the dual anchor point models like the Human Trainer and the Jungle Gym XT.
Benefit #3 – Suspension trainers are excellent for metabolic training.
Basically, metabolic training is exercising at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time. This will increase the bodies metabolic rate enabling a person to burn more calories during and even after the workout.
It’s a more effective way of building strength and losing weight than low intensity aerobic exercises such as jogging, stair climbers or swimming.
Suspension trainers are great for metabolic training because they’re especially good for transitioning between exercises. Fluid transitions between movements facilitates moderate to high intensity workouts since you’re using the same piece of equipment and only changing your body position to work a different set of muscles.
Benefit 4 – Suspension trainers engage the core.
The often ignored core area is a group of muscles between your hips and shoulders that stabilize your spine and pelvis.
These muscles are vitally important since they provide a stable base and foundation for ones body to move and function.
Suspension trainers, by their very nature, force the user to engage the core muscles to maintain proper technique and in some cases the movement would not be possible without core activation.
Benefit 5 – Suspension trainers are fun.
Exercising is something to be enjoyed and not a source of torment.
Kids are a great example. Their focus is fun and they get great exercise doing a variety of activities like swinging, climbing, running, rolling, and wrestling around the playground.
Suspension trainers have a similar inherent benefit. There is a vast number and variety of exercises possible with suspension trainers that virtually guarantee exercising never gets dull.
As well, each and every exercise can be adjusted to fit the fitness level of any exerciser from beginner to elite athlete simply by adjusting ones body angle to lessen or increase resistance.
These factors are extremely important for many fitness buffs including myself. If I get bored with exercise, I simply won’t keep at it.
Suspension trainers are uncomplicated yet incredibly versatile training tools that make getting or staying in shape fresh and fun! When it’s fresh and fun, you’re more likely to stick with it.