As the fitness industry continues to evolve, we’ve seen many exercise modalities emerge which challenge and engage clients in innovative ways. Among these, suspension fitness has gained popularity, offering a highly effective and versatile training method that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Understanding Suspension Fitness and Muscle Activation
As you may already know, suspension fitness, often known as suspension training, employs bodyweight exercises performed using straps or ropes anchored to a fixed point. This setup allows users to leverage their body weight against gravity, providing variable resistance throughout each exercise. The instability of the straps forces the body to engage numerous stabilizer muscles, leading to increased muscle activation across the entire kinetic chain.
Research-Backed Benefits of Suspension Fitness
Numerous research studies have delved into the benefits of suspension fitness, particularly its impact on muscle activation and functional fitness. These findings have revealed compelling reasons for fitness professionals to incorporate suspension training into their programming:
- Muscle Activation Amplified: A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (2017) examined muscle activation during suspension training exercises and found that this training method elicited substantial muscle activation, particularly in the core muscles, compared to conventional resistance training. The nature of suspension exercises forces the body to stabilize itself, leading to a higher level of muscle engagement, promoting strength, and enhancing muscle balance.
- Effective Functional Training: Suspension fitness is highly effective for functional training. A study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science (2022) reported that regular suspension training sessions improved balance and functional mobility in older adults. The versatility of suspension exercises allows fitness professionals to tailor workouts that mimic real-life movements, enhancing overall functional fitness and promoting activities of daily living.
- Low Perceived Fatigue: The same study mentioned earlier in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (2017) also highlighted a lower perception of fatigue during suspension training. This means clients are likely to feel less exhausted while still achieving impressive results. Reduced perceived fatigue can boost client motivation and adherence to workout routines.
Empowering Your Clients with Suspension Fitness
Introducing suspension fitness into your training sessions not only offers a unique workout experience but also enables your clients to reach new heights in their fitness journey. Here are some tips to get started:
- Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the principles and techniques of suspension training. Enrol in workshops, attend certification courses, and study research articles to deepen your understanding.
- Progressive Programming: Gradually introduce suspension exercises to clients of varying fitness levels. Start with foundational movements and then progress to more complex exercises as their strength and stability improve.
- Individualize Workouts: Tailor workouts to match your clients’ specific goals and needs. Whether it’s strength training, core stability, or functional fitness, suspension exercises can be adapted to meet individual objectives.
- Ensure Proper Form: Emphasize correct form and technique during suspension training to prevent injuries and maximize results. Focus on engaging the core and maintaining stability throughout each exercise.
- Harris S, Ruffin E, Brewer W, Ortiz A. MUSCLE ACTIVATION PATTERNS DURING SUSPENSION TRAINING EXERCISES. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017 Feb;12(1):42-52. PMID: 28217415; PMCID: PMC5294946. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5294946/
- Pierle C, McDaniel AT, Schroeder LH, Heijnen MJH, Tseh W. Efficacy of a 6-Week Suspension Training Exercise Programme on Fitness Components in Older Adults. Int J Exerc Sci. 2022 Aug 1;15(3):1168-1178. PMID: 35991350; PMCID: PMC9362890. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9362890/
Expand Your Skillset with our Suspension Training Course
Suspension fitness offers fitness professionals and personal trainers a fantastic opportunity to engage clients with an effective and versatile training method. Supported by research that highlights its benefits on muscle activation and functional fitness, suspension training is a valuable addition to any fitness programme. By learning how to programme and deliver suspension fitness workouts, you can unlock the full potential of this training modality and elevate your clients’ fitness journeys to new heights .