Wed, April 01

Be Fit Fit! Let's Get Suspended!

Magdalena Romanska

Magdalena Romanska

In some circumstances, it is actually beneficial to get suspended! I am talking here about the current trend of exercising with so-called body suspension systems. The most popular of these is called TRX® and its basic part consists of a solid strap with loops to accommodate feet and two handles for the hands at the respective ends of it. You can hook it up over a bar, a tree, and even at the upper part of the door frame. TRX® and similar systems are readily available for purchase and they are very light, versatile, and easy to carry with you when you travel. They also take minimal space in the suitcase. Originally, the system was invented by an Army member while in Afghanistan: with limited supplies, that man managed to come up with a brilliant training system, benefiting the whole body.

I personally love to work with just the body weight. It is heavy enough to constitute a challenge and make us stronger, more agile, powerful and ready to endure it all! With the addition of a suspension system, the body weight training takes on a whole new dimension. Depending on your position, for ex., how close or far you stand from the TRX hook-up spot, the same exercise can be easy or very demanding. Then, there is that additional benefit of instability, which the suspension system creates. Typically, at one point or another, your muscles will start shaking while training with the system. It is a 'good" shake, meaning that the smaller, stabilizing muscles we were barely aware of kick in to support the bigger muscles we typically use. This results in us becoming stronger and more balanced, with the direct benefit of fall prevention, if it is your legs which are shaking.

Also, if executed correctly, the suspension system digs deep into your abdominals and lower back muscles. While you train with the system, you desperately need these core muscles to control your posture and perform the exercises without any added momentum. Overall, the suspension system should be a part of your weekly training. Most of the gyms have it, usually hanging unsuspiciously from the wall or a bar, attached to the ceiling, or even hooked up to the upper bars of the cable machines or so. I enjoy having it at my Studio, as well, and I use it extensively with my trainees: from simple warm-up movements to suspended planks and advanced movements, such as one-leg suspended lunges or mountain climbers. TRX® is fun and easy to use, so make sure you give it a try the next time you swing by the gym! Happy trainings!

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