Suspension Training is a type of training that uses the body and gravity as the primary loading device and allows users to move within a variety of ranges of motion. With the majority of the training exercises, it’s next to impossible for the body not to engage nearly every muscle available in order to sustain and perform the movements. Because of the lack of stability within the suspension device, the body is forced to stimulate a large amount of stabilizers throughout each movement along with the prime movers and antagonist muscles. This obviously creates an increased demand on the body, upping the challenge of each movement, and offering a completely different approach to strength training than the typical world of resistance training you’re used to.
Suspension can be utilized as a primary exercise choice for athletes by basing the entire workout around the strap system for resistance and core work, or as a secondary movement system by either super-setting the movements with traditional body weight or free-weight movements, or using them as finishers after focusing more on dumbbells, barbells, and medicine balls as the primary exercise devices.
It’s said that the ‘rings’ have been around for nearly 2000 years and were invented in Italy. Suspension training came to light in Germany around the middle 1800s and quickly gained popularity and was first introduced into the Olympic Games in 1924 in Paris. The sport now known as ‘Still Rings’ is obviously still a major event in male gymnastics today and is very much the foundation of the suspension training we see today. In fact, movements like the Iron Cross, Muscle-ups, Hand Stands, and Dips were soon developed, and these are only a few of the incredible exercises many of the early innovators of this type of training performed. Popularity declined to only the hardcore gymnast until recently with the come back of the Rings.
During the 1990’s suspension training was developed and reinvented by US Navy Seals which at the time required a compact and versatile apparatus which could be easy transported and used on various missions and terrain. For the past 10 years or so is the portable training tool of choice my many military, police, firefighters and athletes worldwide. It has became hugely popular in mainstream for an alternative training method to stimulate large amount of muscles, increase caloric output, increase joint stability and core strength, and still aid in overall muscular strength, function, size, and power improving sports including tennis, golf, sprinting, rugby, soccer, martial arts etc. Try it you’ll get hooked.