5 ways to integrate suspension training into workouts
Suspension training has two outstanding components that make it a must for a freelance PT. They are that it is portable and the enormous range of exercises with it. Ideally though you never want to rely too much on one piece of kit, partly in case you break it or forget it, but mainly for variety as you wouldn’t want to build a whole training routine around one piece of kit. This would get dull for you as well as the client. So really you need to be able to use it as and when you can maximise the potential of the session:
- Use it outside in the park/garden
- Muscle group combos
- Better squats
- Ab circuit with other equipment e.g. med ball
Use it outside in the park/garden
Taking clients away from the gym/home and out in to the fresh air has a very positive effect on sessions (look at the success of outdoor boot camps). You only need to find a secure attachment point and in a park these are plentiful – you can use trees, posts, even kids climbing frames if it is quiet. If your clients don’t want to leave the home then either attach the kit to a door frame or if they have something suitable in the garden then use that.
You need to carefully plan your exercises, not only applying the usual rules of exercise prescription but if you are outside you may need to think about avoiding exercises on the floor or making provisions so that it is safe/clean etc. So use surrounding objects like benches for step ups and dips whilst bringing in the suspension kit for squats, chest and back work.
Muscle group combos
Another big advantage of the suspension training kit is the ability to move seamlessly from one exercise to another which can allow you to build up some great combinations. Muscle group combination exercises for example - four back exercises that flow together can be used either as a mini circuit or to allow more reps on exercises that many would struggle on e.g. reverse flyes are very difficult but easier if you intersperse the reps with other exercises.
So many people cannot squat properly and there are many reasons why a free standing squat may be difficult. The suspension training kit is a great aid to teaching correct squatting movement as it helps with stabilisation and correct spine alignment. This will allow for a deeper more effective and safer squat. For more advanced clients you can do more advanced moves like a pistol squat, these are fantastic for building up leg strength for sport, e.g. skiing.
Ab circuit with other equipment e.g. med ball
Clients will love the fact that every exercise you do with the suspension kit relies on a strong engagement of the core, however in the majority of these the core is static so bringing in other equipment like a med ball to do dynamic exercises like Russian twists will really compliment the suspension work.
Of course you should be stretching your client in your sessions, and if you do PNF stretching you can also teach them how to do this if they have their own kit so that they can improve on their flexibility when they are not training with you. The suspension training kit is particularly good for chest stretches as you can target the muscles at a variety of angles and it allows good control over the stretch.
A good PT will always be very selective of exercises, equipment and intensities that are best for the client and their goals and put themselves in a professional light.
If you’re interested in learning about suspended equipment training, and want to become qualified! Have a look at our Suspension Exercise Trainer course here>>.