Most people think lifting weights or high-intensity workouts are the only way to build strength. However, suspension training can also help you build strength, as well as flexibility, stability and cardiovascular health. Unlike traditional means of strength training, suspension training simply uses a combination of your bodyweight and straps, bars or rings.
How does it work?
Suspension training challenges your body in unstable conditions. This forces you to consistently engage your core in order to be able to perform the exercises. In this case, gravity acts as resistance. This method helps you to build strength.
By using your body weight and keeping your core engaged in order to do so, you strengthen your core muscles. Although it may seem that you are exercising more in your arms and legs from the stabilising movements, your core is the one doing most of the work.
Experts have shown that compared to a normal plank pose, a plank pose combined with suspension training’s muscle activation is a lot more. This is because you have to engage a lot more to remain stable when suspended.
By engaging your core and relying on your arms a lot, suspension training can improve your posture. Controlling your stability and suspension with your arms works on your shoulders. Together with a strong core that supports your back and spine, strong shoulders can improve and strengthen your posture.
While your core does most of the work, suspension training strengthens your entire body. You need to use your body to stabilise and perform the workout, which improves its strength and flexibility.
The pivoting motions that come with suspension training, along with the suspension itself, can improve the mobility of your joints. It also improves the strength of the muscles around and in your joints, which makes them more durable and increases their range of motion.
Applied to exercises
When you take normal exercises and compare them with their suspension training version, you can clearly see the strength benefits:
- Press-ups (inclined): The work your chest, triceps as well as the front of your shoulders, but the instability of holding rings forces your core muscles and your shoulders’ stabilising muscles to be fully engaged to keep your body stable. This means you’ll be able to lift heavier weights.
- Triceps dip: The instability of the rings forces you to focus on your form and slow, good-quality reps. This forces your triceps muscles to work harder and more efficiently. It also engages your abs, lower back and glutes to keep your torso upright and prevent your legs from swinging.
- Abs roll-out: Using rings recruits more muscles to keep you balanced when doing abs roll-out.
Suspension training can be just as, if not more, effective as traditional strength training. By forcing your entire body, especially your abs, to engage during the workout in order to keep you balanced and stable, suspension training helps you to build more strength.
To learn more about suspension training, please follow this link.