Suspension Training 101: 3 Basic Exercises for Killer Legs
One of the questions or comments I often get about training with suspension straps (I use CrankIT or perhaps you have TRX) – is that you can’t load up the weight for leg exercises.
While there is certainly the argument that classic weighted squats, clean and press, and deadlifts for example, are crucial in building muscle, strength and mass – I’ve found the suspension training system creates a unique opportunity to train strength, agility and muscle all at the same time without the need for heavy equipment.
Suspension straps do no necessarily replace the gym and your weights routine – however body weight exercises, training with a weighted vest or hand-held weights adds the extra oomph to the home gym or where ever you may be. You don’t need a gym to workout – I travel with mine everywhere.
- Just getting into using suspension straps?
- Looking for ways to keep your legs in tip top shape, train your glutes (ready for summer or for the snow depending what season you’re heading into)?
Then here are my top 3 picks for basic killer leg workouts for beginners.
a ) Safety: Before you do anything make sure you have your straps secured properly, have a non slip surface and think about technique rather than reps.
b) Take Your Time: Activating all your muscles sometimes means you need to slow down to allow them to engage correctly and not let the bossy muscles take over. Often our bigger muscles tend to over-ride the smaller ones and this leads to a lot of inactive muscle groups that you should be using for total body balance and fitness. Suspension training is ideal to start working away again on your balance – and ensuring the smaller muscles around your feet, calves, lower abs and triceps for example all get an isolated workout.
c) Train with a buddy: Makes it more fun, you can work in H.I.T high intensity training rounds and watch out for each others technique
1. Assisted Squat
Stand Facing the anchor point (where your straps are hanging from 🙂 and keep your arms out in front of you – do not “hang and bend” your arms with the movement – think of the as a static straight connection to the straps.
Lower your body into a squat position – I am showing a beginner version here. You can place a folded towel or block under your feet to assist with keeping your heels on the ground and achieving a basic squat. Ensure you keep your spine straight during the movement and balance your weight throughout your feet – i.e. not just toes or heels. Squat down and return to a standing position. Repeat this 10-15 times.
2. Split Squat
This is the same set up as the assisted squat but isolating one leg – and all your weight is on the front leg. You can start by resting the back foot gently on the ground and then lift the foot off as you go into the squat. Once again don’t bend your arms or pull on the straps too much – they are an anchor only for this exercise. Repeat this 10-15 times.
The better you get the straighter your back will get – pic shown – beginner version.
3. Assisted Lunge
Transition from the squats to a standing position with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Step back into a lunge position dropping your body weight down towards the ground but keeping your back straight and eyes forward. Keep weight through your front heel and return to standing position.
Advanced move: Hop between each lunge with a jump to change legs – jump up and back into a lunge position – keeping the same tension on the straps as a constant tension. Repeat this 10-15 times.
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To add resistance wear a weighted vest. Sand and grass offer a more challenging surface for stability.
If you are doing suspension training using a door inside – make sure others know it’s in use and anchor the straps if you can that the door opens away from you not towards you. Sounds simple but I have seen the reverse happen and it’s not fun.
Hope you enjoyed these 3 quick tips on training legs with suspension straps.
Enjoy getting out side and using nature as your gym, mixing up your routines and activating all your muscles!
Health and Happiness
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2 Anchors | Including door brace attachments
2 Adjustable Straps | With easy adjust cam buckles
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6 Karabiners | Over 1000 kg rated commercial grade clips
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