It is the perfect piece of equipment for a home gym or travel workout because it is easily portable and can be used in any doorway or looped around something outside.
The suspension trainer allows everyone from the beginner to the advanced lifter to get in a challenging full-body workout no matter where they are.
Below are 10 Amazing Suspension Trainer Exercises for a Full-Body Workout:
1. Inverted Row – The inverted row is a great way to strengthen your back and work your core. It is a very important move for anyone that sits at a desk all day!
To do the Basic Inverted Row, hold a suspension trainer strap in each hand. Walk your feet out so you are leaning back. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be. Squeeze your core and glutes and press your chest out so there is tension between your shoulder blades. Then row up, keeping your body in a nice straight line. Row until your chest comes up to the handles and then lower yourself back down. Don’t let your hips sink as you lower back down. Also, keep your chest pressed out the entire time (do not let your low back arch though).
To do the Single Arm Anti-Rotational Row, place one hand across your chest and grab the strap in the other hand. Set up in a nice straight line, squeezing your quads, glutes and core. Do not let your body rotate. You want to move in a straight line as you row up and down. Pull you arm in toward your chest. Do not shrug your shoulder as you row. Drive the elbow back and pull your hand in toward the bottom of your pec. You should move as if both arms are pulling instead of letting the side not rowing rotate open toward the ground. To advance (or regress this move), change the incline of your body. The closer you get to parallel to the ground, the harder the move gets.
To do a Single Arm Rotational Row, grab one strap in one hand. Walk your feet forward to put your body at an incline. Reach the other hand up the strap as high as you can with the strap in your hand pulled in to your chest. Do not let your shoulder shrug. Then rotate the hand reaching up toward the ground almost as if you are doing a hanging side plank. Keep your body in a straight line and don’t let the hips sag toward the ground. Keeping your core tight, rotate back to the start. Do not shrug your shoulder as you row. Really feel your lat lock down to keep your shoulders from elevating. To advance (or regress this move), change the incline of your body. The closer you get to parallel to the ground, the harder the move gets.
2. Skater Lunge – A great single leg balancing exercise to strengthen your legs and really work your glutes. While advanced exercises may progress this to a move without the straps, they can also use the straps to help them slow down the tempo to make the move challenging in a different way.
To do the Skater Lunge, hold a strap in each hand. Walk back so there isn’t any slack in the straps and your arms are out in front of you. Lift one leg up off the ground. Lunge back with the lifted leg, but don’t let the foot touch down. As you lunge back, your front knee should bend as low as possible and you should sit your weight back in your front heel. Get as low as you can while reaching that back leg back. Then, driving through the front heel, come straight back up to standing without touching that back foot down. Complete all reps on one side before switching. To advance, slow down the tempo of the lower down or add in a hop as you come back up to standing (or maybe even both!). You can also add in a knee drive forward with the raised leg as you come back up to standing if you want.
3. Push Up – Push ups are a great way to work your upper body…actually your entire body! But beginners may need to do an incline push up and a suspension trainer allows you to do that. However, it can also be a very challenging incline push up for advanced exercises when done from a lower incline. Advanced exercisers can also use the suspension trainer to challenge their core even more during push ups by putting their feet in the straps.
To do a Push Up With Your Hands in the Straps, stand facing away from the suspension trainer anchor point with a hand in each strap. Walk your feet back so your body is at an incline. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be (the more of an incline the better off the beginner will be). Set up with your arms out straight in front of you in line with your shoulders and your feet together. Then, keeping your body in a nice straight line, lower your chest down between your hands. Keep your elbows from flaring up by your shoulders. You want your arms to create an arrow shape with your body. Then press back up. Keep your core tight as you lower down and press back up. Make sure your hands stay right outside your chest and don’t spread out wider than your shoulders.
To do a Push Up With Your Feet in the Straps, place your feet in the straps and your hands under your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and quads and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Keep your feet together and your body in a nice straight line as you lower your chest down toward the ground. Do not let your elbows flare out toward your shoulders. You want to create an arrow shape with your arms and body as you lower down. Then press back up, making sure your body moves together as one unit. Do not let your hips sag or rise up toward the ceiling. To make the move harder, make the suspension straps shorter. This will make it more of a decline push up. You can also walk your hands forward and pull the suspension trainers straps forward so that when you do the push up, the straps are trying to pull you backward. This is an advanced move to begin with. Do not attempt this if you can’t easily complete a perfect push up from your toes on the ground.
4. Chest Fly – A great way to really work your chest. And doing this move in the suspension trainer really works your core as well.
To do Chest Flyes, stand facing away from the suspension trainer anchor point with a hand in each strap. Walk your feet back so your body is at an incline. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be. Set up with your arms out straight in front of you in line with your shoulders and your feet together. Then, keeping your body in a nice straight line, let your arms open up. Your arms should be only slightly bent so that your elbows aren’t locked out. Open your arms out to the sides without letting them bend more. Do not let your arms flare up above your shoulders as you open them. Drop your chest in between your open arms and then pull your arms back together and move back to the top of the fly.
5. Mountain Climbers – This is a great core move because it works everything from your shoulders to your knees. It is also a great cardio exercise.
To do Mt. Climbers, set up in a high plank from your hands and toes with your feet in the suspension trainer straps. Bring your right knee in toward your chest. Then drive the foot back out and bring your left knee in toward your chest. Go as fast as you can, alternating knee drives. Mountain Climbers should look like you are “running” with your hands on the ground. Beginners may need to go slowly to start or even do these from the ground.
6. Balance Lunge – A great leg move to challenge your legs when you don’t have weights. It also really works your core because you are balancing on one leg with the other leg back in an unstable strap.
To do the Balance Lunge, place one foot into the suspension trainer strap. Do not shorten the strap too much so that your foot isn’t up too high. Hop out on the other foot so you are in a nice wide stance with your back foot up in the strap. Then sink down, dropping your back knee toward the ground. Really sit back into the lunge. Make sure you aren’t going forward and that your front knee is not going past your toe. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of the leg that is back when doing this move. Beginners may want to use a super low box or do the move from the ground instead of in the suspension trainer. Beginners can even hold the straps in their hands as they perform a split squat from the ground to help them balance.
7. Ab Extensions – This is a great move to increase your core strength and even strengthen your lats. It is a combination of the ab roller exercise and a lat pull down.
To do the Ab Extension, grab a strap in each hand and face away from the suspension trainer anchor point. Lean into the straps and straighten your arms fully. Bring them above your head and lengthen as far as you can and then bring them back down to shoulder height. As you raise your arms overhead, you are going to lean forward more into the straps. The closer to parallel to the ground you are, the harder the move will become. You should not feel this move in your low back. You should feel this move in your abs, arms and quads. Keep your body in a nice straight line as you raise your arms up and then press your arms straight back down to come back up to kneeling.
8. Knee Tucks/Pikes – Another great core exercise to work everything from your shoulders to your knees. And you can even make this into more of a full body exercise by adding in push ups between each knee tuck or pike!
To do the Basic Knee Tuck, place your feet in the suspension trainer straps and your hands on the ground under your shoulders. Your body should be in a nice straight line. Then pull your feet in the straps in toward your body, tucking your knees in toward your chest. Once you tuck your knees in, you will straighten your legs back out. Do not let your hips sag as you straighten back out or your butt go up in the air. Keep your body in a nice straight line. Repeat, tucking your knees in and driving your legs back out straight. Beginners may do mountain climbers in the straps or even from the ground.
To do the Oblique Knee Tuck, place your feet in the suspension trainer straps and your hands on the ground under your shoulders. Your body should be in a nice straight line. Then pull your feet in toward your body, tucking your knees in toward your chest. As you tuck, bring them slightly to one side. After you tuck your knees in, you will straighten your legs straight back out. Do not let your hips sag as you straighten back out or your butt go up in the air. Make sure that as you straighten back out you move back center. Keep your body in a nice straight line. Repeat, tucking your knees in to the other side and then driving them back out to the center. Beginners may do mountain climbers in the straps or even from the ground.
To do the Pike, set up like you would for the knee tucks. But instead of tucking your knees in, you are going to keep your legs straight and bring your feet in toward your head. Pull your ankles in toward your head as you pike your butt up toward the sky. Keep your legs straight as you push your butt up and pull your ankles in toward your head. Pike as high as you can, then straighten back out and repeat. Do not let your hips sag down as you straighten back out.
9. Single Leg Squat – Single limb movements are a great way to work each leg without letting the dominant leg take over. Single limb movements are also a great way to progress basic movements without adding weight.
To do a Single Leg Squat, start by standing on one leg. Hold the other leg straight out in front of you. Hold a strap in each hand. Make sure you have enough tension in the straps to support you. You don’t want them completely tight but tight enough that there won’t be any slack as you lower down. Lower yourself down as low as you can without letting your heel come up. Sit back and down while keeping your chest up. Then driving off the heel on the ground, stand back up. Do not lean way forward or touch your raised foot to the ground. The lower you go in the squat, the more advanced the move will be. Also, to advance the move, hold only one strap in one hand instead of holding both straps.
10. Pull Ups – One of the best back exercises and core exercises out there. And with a suspension trainer, you can both regress and progress the basic pull up.
To do an Assisted Pull Up, place your feet on the ground underneath you and hold a strap in each hand. Set the handles so they are right at about chin height. The more firmly planted your feet are, the easier the move will be. Your goal is to use your feet as little as possible. Then hand down at the bottom with your arms out straight. Press your chest out and pull your chest up to the handles. Then lower back down. Use your feet only as needed.
To do an Unassisted Pull Up, hang from the handles with your palms facing away (you may also sub in chin ups or a neutral grip pull up). Press your chest out and draw your shoulder blades down and back. Then pull your chin up above the handles. Once your chin reaches above the handles, lower back down. Stay in control. Do not kip or swing. As you fatigue, you may swing a little on the last rep or two, but it shouldn’t be used to do reps quickly. The instability of the straps will make the basic pull up harder.
These are 10 great suspension trainer moves. Do not include all 10 in a workout. Pick and choose a few.
For some great Suspension Trainer Workouts, check these out:
- Full Body Suspension Trainer Workout
- The 15-Minute Back Destroyer
- Core Suspension Trainer Workout
- Lower Body Suspension Trainer Workout
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