Beginner’s Guide to Suspension Training
September 19, 2016
All of the buzzwords thrown around in the fitness industry can make it confusing to navigate. Not only is it tough to keep them all straight, but it’s even tougher to figure out what works, and what will work for you.
Since one of our primary goals is to make fitness—or better yet, movement—easier for everyone, we want to first break down what the heck suspension training is, and then let you know how it applies to your own health and wellness.
So, what is suspension training?
Suspension training comes in various forms, but in a nutshell you can think of it as exercise that uses your bodyweight against gravity to build strength, increase balance and flexibility, enhance stability, and give you a great cardio workout while using minimal space and equipment.
Rather than target one body part or muscle group at a time, suspension training exercises engage your entire body and allow you to add intensity to movements that you naturally perform each day (eg: standing up, bending over, lifting, pushing, squatting, etc.).
Who can benefit from suspension training?
Anyone and everyone. It’s a practical way to take a workout on the road, or to get in an all-in-one comprehensive workout at home. It’s an awesome supplement to any weight training program, and a great altogether alternative if your joints don’t agree with the stress of weightlifting. It you’re a cardio fiend, it can make you faster and improve your endurance, and if you’re just getting started…it can make you faster and improve your endurance.
In short, no matter your fitness flavor, suspension training is a solution, an enhancement, and, honestly, pretty fun.
Now, what sets Primal 7 apart in the suspension training scene, is that it has all of those qualities, plus a safer and more accessible design by way of its interchangeable elastic bands. These enhancements provide up to 400 pounds of assistance for those challenged with physical limitations due to age, injury, size, or skill-level.
This type of assisted suspension training is perfect for beginners or folks trying to get back on the fitness horse after an injury because it’s safe for everybody and every body. From Parkinson’s patients to elite athletes, from very young to very old, from able-bodied to less able-bodied, virtually anyone can safely benefit from it.
That all sounds great, but does assisted suspension training actually work?
Damn right, it does! In a multitude of ways:
You get more core activation
For one thing, assisted suspension training does an exceptional job of strengthening your core, which is basically the control panel for the rest of your body. A strong and balanced core (ie: your abdomen) makes every movement, from standing up, to cleaning, to hoisting kids on your hip, a lot more safe and stable while promoting longevity.
Nearly all suspension training exercises necessitate your core remain active in order to perform them because your core is what keeps you stable throughout the movement.
If that all sounds like gibberish, think of it this way:
Consider the difference between sitting down in a chair and sitting on a stability ball. When you sit on a chair, your body doesn’t have to do much to keep you there; but, if you’re sitting on a stability ball, your core automatically activates to prevent you from falling over. This same type of healthy instability is how suspension training enables your body to safely do a ton of work without it feeling like a ton of work.
You can make workouts progressively more challenging
A good exercise program will meet you where you are and provide for safe progressions as you get stronger and develop more balance, and assisted suspension training does just that. You can make incremental adjustments based on your ability and ensure the movements feel safe, secure, and organic, without undue stress on your joints.
For instance, if you can’t yet do a full push-up on your own, Primal 7’s performance band can get you comfortably in a perfect push-up position and allow you to work all of the right muscles without compromising form. As you get stronger, you can decrease the amount of support and eventually progress to more challenging movements.
You’re training movements that matter
Not only does assisted suspension training work all of your muscles, but it works them in the same harmonious way that they’re naturally worked when you’re standing up and sitting down, going up stairs, carrying groceries, pushing open a heavy door, and the countless other ways your body moves throughout the day.
In other words, suspension training treats your body as the complex, dynamic system of movement that it is, rather than a set of disconnected moving parts. This means you’re gaining strength and balance in the places you need and use it most.
How can you get started with assisted suspension training?
Well, this might be the best part of all: it’s super easy to get started with a suspension trainer. All you need is a doorway, a Primal 7, and the will to get stronger and healthier. Check out our YouTube page for a whole bunch of video demonstrations of basic exercises, then try your first suspension training workout here!