Suspension Training: Two Workouts to Build Functional Fitness

When you’re short on time, space and kit, bodyweight training is an effective option to improve muscular strength and size. But you can’t really work your “pulling” muscles, like your back and biceps, and are limited to how much you can progress each move to keep your muscles growing.

That’s why you should invest in a suspension training system. Not only does it offer a total-body workout and allow for many upgrade progressions, it also works your muscles harder: for example, press-ups done with suspension training kit activate significantly more muscle fibres, especially in the rectus abdominis (the sheet of muscle that makes up your six-pack), than doing the move on a stable floor, according the Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine.

Try this five-move workout to sculpt a rock-solid set of abs, even if you only ever work out at home.

Directions

This workout has five moves, with the first four moves paired in supersets. Do all ten reps of move 1A, rest for 10sec, then do all ten reps of 1B, then rest for 60sec. Repeat this for four sets, then move on to moves 2A and 2B and follow the same pattern but for 12 reps per move. When you move on to the final move, perform it as a straight set. Focus on keeping your core and glutes engaged throughout every lift to keep your body stable and to work your muscles more effectively.

1A Press-up

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 10sec

How Start in a press-up position. Lower your chest, then press back up powerfully.

Why The instability of the handles works your chest muscles harder to maintain good form.

Progression Start with your hands closer to the floor to work your chest, shoulders and triceps harder.

1B Inverted row

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 60sec

How Lie with only your heels on the floor. Pull your chest up towards your hands. Lower slowly.

Why As well as your biceps and back, your core must work hard to keep your torso stable.

Progression Starting with your heels on a raised surface works the muscles through a greater range.

2A Bicycles

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 10sec

How Start with your feet through the handles. Draw one knee in at a time, then back out.

Why It works both your core, to stabilise your torso, and your lower abs, to bring each knee in.

Progression Holding your knee in place for a second after you draw it in will increase your core’s workload.

2B Glute bridge

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

How Lie with your upper back supported and your feet through the handles. Raise your knees.

Why Raising and lowering your knees activates your glutes and your entire core region.

Progression Hold the move at the top for a two-count while squeezing your muscles.

3 Roll-out

Sets 4 Reps 6-10 Rest 60sec

How Hold a handle in each hand. Lower your chest as far as you can, then reverse to the start.

Why Your abs and core get fried keeping your torso stable as you lower and rise.

Progression Hold the bottom position for a one-count before you return to the top position.

NEXT: EMOM Push-Pull Workout

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