Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Suspension Training

Suspension Training
Giving all new meaning to the phrase "just hanging around."

Suspension training may be intimidating to the exercise novice. After all, any form of exercise with the word "suspension" in it may be off-putting to those who prefer to keep both feet on the ground at all times. As it turns out, however, not only is suspension training an effective workout, it's also an increasingly popular one among people of all abilities and levels of fitness. Here's a closer look at suspension training, along with why more personal trainers are using it to get results.

What is Suspension Training?

For starters, suspension training does not necessarily include actual suspension. Instead, it's a form of bodyweight exercise which uses an instability platform, consisting of elastic straps and a pulley system, to leverage gravity into increased resistance.

The origins of suspension training are hardly humble: it was first used by Navy SEALS to improve the effectiveness of workouts by adding another dimension to their practice.

Four Reasons to Try Suspension Training

The suspension training craze is sweeping the country with more and more people getting in on the elastic strap action. Still on the fence about whether to give it a go? Consider these four benefits offered by suspension training:

1. It's Fast and Effective

While bodyweight exercises are terrific, sometimes a more significant challenge is in order. Suspension training amplifies your exercise routine to provide a unique total-body workout.

In fact, recent research published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine reveals suspension training to be as successful as old-fashioned weights across measures including strength, power, speed and jumping ability. Said study author José Luis Maté-Muñoz, Ph.D., "Instability training provides an optimal stimulus for developing strength levels."

2. It Works Your Core

Experts agree: A strong core is everything. Unfortunately, many forms of exercise overlook the importance of core strength -- a mistake which not only compromises performance but also increases the risk of injury.

Conversely, suspension training automatically engages the core every time you clip in and workout. Says one New York Times write-up on the trend, "The beauty of suspension training...is that you can't help engaging your core to steady yourself."

Furthermore, with increasing evidence pointing to the benefits of functional training, exercise scientists herald the synergistic approach of suspension training.

3. It's Adaptability for People of all Fitness Levels

Just because suspension training was invented by Navy SEALS doesn't mean it's inaccessible to the rest of the population. Under the supervision of qualified personal trainers, this approach offers advantages to people of all fitness levels -- from novices to elite athletes.

4. It's Portable and Inexpensive

Point one addressed the comparability of suspension training to weight systems regarding the outcome. Two areas where they're not comparable? Portability and cost. Weights and large exercise machines are not only stationery due to their heft and unwieldiness but can also cost thousands of dollars more than a simple suspension system.

One last thing to keep in mind about suspension training? While it has tremendous potential from a fitness perspective, it can also result in injury without the proper techniques in place. This is why personal trainers are an essential part of the process. With the appropriate knowledge, training, and experience, they are uniquely positioned to help their clients minimize the risk of injury while maximizing the effects of suspension training.

Interested in learning more about suspension training and other fitness methods? Request information from SOCHi today to learn more about whether a personal training career is right for you.

Learn More at Southern California Health Institute Newsroom

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