Empty out a personal trainer's duffel bag, and a suspension system is likely to fall out of it. Former Navy Seal Randy Hetrick created the first suspension system as a way to stay fit while on missions. The lightweight, portable device can be anchored to a study weight bearing surface. It uses the exerciser’s body weight and gravity as resistance to perform total body exercises. Since the body is partially suspended, the exercises require the user to engage the core and other stabilizing muscles. For best results, begin with a warmup, then eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise.
Place your feet securely into the foot cradles positioned directly under the anchor point. Lie on your stomach with your hands placed shoulder-width apart. Brace your torso by engaging your abdominal, butt and thigh muscles as you press up to a straight arm position. From here you can, open and close the legs; bring the knees towards the chest, then return to straight body position; go down to the forearms by bending at the elbows; hold for five seconds before going back to original position; and keeping the legs straight, pike up into a "V" formation.
Hold on to one handle in each hand, step back until straps are taut, feet shoulder width apart. Brace with the abdominals, lower body toward the floor, sitting back with hips no lower than 90 degrees from the floor. From this position, pull back up to starting position. Holding the squat, take two lateral steps to each side before coming back to the start position; as you pull up from squat, lift one knee. Alternate sides.
Walk back with one handle in each hand. Once the straps are taut, walk your feet forward until your elbows are bent by the sides of the body and you are leaning back slightly. The legs remain rigid for these upper body exercises. Slowly straighten out the arms. Engage your middle back muscles to pull back up. Add on to the previous move by opening the arms out to the side like a "T". Straighten the arms, turn the palms up and do a biceps curl to return to start position.
Learn How to Work the System
Before performing any exercises with the suspension trainer, make sure you can maintain the stability of your lower back with your abdominal muscles. Invest in a few sessions with a certified personal trainer before trying the exercises on your own to learn proper form. Gyms and studios offer small group training programs featuring suspension training for a more affordable experience.