The Power of Suspension Training for Enhanced Athletic Performance

In the ever-evolving realm of fitness and strength training, professionals constantly seek innovative methods to enhance athletic performance. The recent study by Megahed and Tarek, published in the Pedagogy of Physical Culture and Sports (2023), sheds light on an intriguing aspect of fitness training: suspension training, and its impacts compared to traditional free weight training. This summary is crafted to guide fitness professionals considering integrating suspension training into their regimes, especially those coaching discus throwers or athletes where explosive power and dynamic balance are crucial.

Study Overview

The original study ventured to compare the efficacy of suspension training versus free weight training on athletes’ explosive power, dynamic balance, and specific performance in discus throwers. Conducted over eight weeks, with 24 male participants (average discus throwers) divided into three groups, the research assessed various performance matrices, including medicine ball throw tests, standing long jumps, a Y excursion balance test, and actual discus throw distances.

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Key Findings

The study’s results were compelling and hold valuable insights for fitness professionals working with clients suffering from obesity:

  1. Explosive Power and Discus Throw Performance: Both suspension and free weight training significantly enhanced the athletes’ explosive power and discus throwing abilities compared to the control group. Interestingly, the advancements in explosive power were similar across both training methods, highlighting suspension training as a viable alternative to traditional techniques. This aspect is particularly noteworthy for trainers working in spaces limited by equipment or seeking cost-effective training methods without compromising results.
  2. Dynamic Balance: A critical finding was suspension training’s superiority in improving dynamic balance compared to free weight training. Enhanced dynamic balance is indispensable in sports requiring control, agility, and coordinated movements under variable conditions. Suspension training, demanding the engagement of stabilising muscles, fosters improved proprioception and muscular coordination, invaluable for athletes’ overall performance repertoire.

Practical Implications for Us

  1. Versatility and Adaptability: Suspension training, marked by its simplicity, adaptability, and minimal spatial requirements, proves to be an efficient training tool. Its versatility allows customisation to athletes’ individual needs, providing a wide exercise variety.
  2. Enhanced Training Regimens: Given the comparable benefits on explosive power and superior improvements in dynamic balance, suspension training can be strategically incorporated alongside free weight exercises. It could also serve as an alternative, especially in contexts with limited resources or space constraints.
  3. Focus on Dynamic Balance: For disciplines where dynamic balance is pivotal, prioritising suspension training could yield better results. The engagement of a broader muscle spectrum and the heightened focus on core stability and strength are distinctive advantages.

The study underscores suspension training as a potent component in athletic training, particularly where explosive power and dynamic balance are paramount. For fitness professionals, this signals an opportunity to diversify training programmes, potentially optimising athlete performance with relatively low-resource investment. As the industry progresses, being well-versed in varied training modalities, including suspension training, will undoubtedly be an asset.


  1. Megahed M, Tarek Z. Suspension training versus free weight training: effects on explosive power, dynamic balance, and discus throwers performance. Pedagogy of Physical Culture and Sports. 2023;27(2):102-11. Click here to review the full research article 

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