Fitness

Suspension training, a form of body weight training, provides an extra challenge

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Suspend belief

Suspension training is an interesting variation to add to your home gym. Popular suspension equipment is the TRX and the Yoga Sling. These come with special features for home use and can be hooked to the door and used. Let’s look at the TRX — Total Body Resistance Exercise — which was developed by a US Navy Seal to stay in shape. While this doesn’t mean you must have a next-level practice, it’s best to have a basic fitness level to use it. Do avoid it if you have musculoskeletal injuries, such as back and neck pain or osteoarthritis.

The TRX can be bought online and comes with an instructional leaflet and video. Follow a progression strictly, as doing too much too soon can be harmful in the long run. It consists of two straps linked to a common suspension strap which can be hooked on to the door at a height of 7 to 9 feet. You will need about 6 to 8 feet of flat, non-slip surface to use this equipment. The straps end in two handles which are used as grips, when exercising. One can grip the handles with the hands for upper body exercises or hook the feet on to the loops for lower body and core work. You can exercise with or without shoes, building strength, flexibility and stability. It is a portable piece of equipment which is easy to store and to carry.

Make sure to warm up. Start the workout with the simplest exercises and progress to the more difficult ones, doing 16 to 20 repetitions or as per your current fitness level.

1 Squats

After setting up the TRX as per instructions, hold the handles, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and execute the squat. Progress to a single-leg squat.

2 Lats

From the same position as the squats, pull your body towards the TRX using the muscles of the back.

3 Biceps curls

From this same position, execute the biceps curl, using the strength from the biceps to flex the arms.

4 Lunges

Stand with your back to the TRX. Hook one foot into the handles and go into a lunge. Do both sides.

5 Tricep extension

From this position, grip the handles overhead and extend the arms to work the triceps.

6 TRX core

Facing away from the TRX, go down on your knees, and hook the top of the feet into the handles. As you take this position, make sure your knees are comfortably resting on the floor. Place both hands firmly on the floor, and lift your body into a plank. Your body should be flat, as it should be in a regular plank position. You can progress to the mountain climbers and ab exercises from this position. Advanced athletes can also do side planks.

7 Bridging

Lie supine, hook your feet into the TRX and execute the bridge. Start with the arms resting on the floor by the side of the body and progress to lifting both arms towards the ceiling.

Nisha Varma is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist. A monthly column with exercises for a home workout

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:25:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/suspension-training-a-form-of-body-weight-training-provides-an-extra-challenge/article30502934.ece

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