Suspension Trainer Beginner Workout

This suspension trainer beginner workout consist of four movements focused on four different areas of the body. Pushing, Pulling, Legs, Core.

The movements selected are ideal for a beginner but can also be adjusted to add more resistance for the more experienced person. If you are just starting out, perform each movement with a more an easier resistance This will allow you to get a feel for using the suspension trainer.  For the row, you will need to adjust the straps. For the bicycle kicks you will use the feet cradles. Both of these are good opportunities to become comfortable doing these things.

Purpose: Develop general strength, stability and better core engagement during activities. This program will give you a foundation of muscle strength by developing the muscle fibers as well as neuromuscular firing patterns. This will improve the ability to activate and recruit muscle fibers for more efficient movement.  It will give you a solid foundation of strength, coordination and stability on the suspension trainer.

Remember with all strength training to work on both the opposing sets of muscles in your limbs and torso. Failure to do this eventually results in strength imbalances and asymmetries that may result in less than optimal movement, or even injuries.

Frequency: 2 times/week in combination with additional endurance and flexibility training sessions.

*The workout below is a jpeg so feel free to save and print for reference or to take you with you. 

Suspension Trainer Beginner Workout Summery is below. It is a jpeg so feel free to save and print for reference or to take you with youScroll down further for videos and further instruction of each movement.  Check out the Intermediate and Advanced Suspension Training workouts with video, to get an even better idea of how movements increase in intensity and difficulty.

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Hands Suspended Push-Up

This is an all-purpose pushing movement that increases both strength and stability of the upper body and core.

Focus: Chest and Shoulders.

Set-up: Straps fully extended

Steps and Notes:

  1. Face outward holding the straps, with a shoulder-width stance
  2. Step back and lean forward into the straps with the arms straight.  Get a board straight body position from your head-to-feet that you will maintain through the movement.
  3. Allow your arms to bend and lower your body until your elbows reach 90 degrees and are aligned with your shoulders. Don’t let your elbows get behind your shoulders.
  4. Push yourself back up to the straight-arm position, exhaling as you do so, and maintaining a tight core and straight body from head-to-feet

Note: Keep your arms up at shoulder level as you descend. Make sure you’re keeping your core tight and body straight (don’t allow the hips to sag) throughout the movement.

Tips and Progressions:

  • To make it harder, step back to load more of your body-weight onto the straps.  To make it easier, step forward to load more of your body-weight onto your feet.

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Row

This is another great all-around movement that targets the large muscle groups in your back.  It can improve posture by strengthening the muscles that pull your shoulders back.  This one is especially great for those who spend extended amounts of time at a desk, computer or behind the wheel.

Focus: Back and Arms

Suspension Length: Straps shortened to mid-length.

  1. Face toward the anchor point holding the straps with a shoulder-width stance. Now, step forward, lean back and straighten your arms.
  2. Pull yourself up until your elbows are bent and at your side, exhaling as you pull yourself up. Keep a solid core and straight body position from your head-to-feet, and your head aligned with the spine.
  3. When you get to the top, lower yourself back down by allowing the arms to straighten out again until you are back in the starting position.

Tips and Progressions:

  • To make it harder, step forward and place your feet further underneath the anchor. This will increase your lean, putting more bodyweight on the straps which is more weight you will have to lift.
  • Those at a more advanced level could try starting further underneath to make it harder. As fatigue sets in, step back to take some of the weight off, which will allow you to do a few additional reps per set.

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Basic Squat

Develops strength in the legs and hips. Mastering this movement will teach proper squatting form and give you a solid base for more advanced exercises. These include movements that combine the squat with other movements.

Focus: Legs

Set-up: Straps fully extended to mid-length

  1. Face inward holding the straps, with a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Keep the arms relaxed and shoulders back and drop your hips down toward the floor as if you were sitting on a bench behind you. Maintain good posture through your upper body, and your shoulders back and relaxed.
  3. When you reach the bottom, push yourself back up through your mid-feet, legs and core, exhaling as you do so.

Note: Knees should be directly over the feet during the squat.

Tips and Progressions:

  • This is a great exercise if you are beginner to learn the proper squat while receiving some balance assistance from the suspension trainer. If you are more advanced, it works well as part of a warm-up circuit.
  • The depth of the squat you descend to depends on your fitness level and the comfort level of the movement. If you are just starting out or have any knee or hip issues, a shallow squat is ok.

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Bicycle Kick

The hip flexion movement (when the knee is pulled toward the chest) targets the core and hip flexors. Strengthening these can improve your gait and benefit activities such as walking, running, stair climbing and stepping over objects.

Primary focus: Core and Hip Flexors

Set-up: Straps fully extended and approximately 6 inches off the ground

  1. Lay on your back with your feet in the cradles and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Before you start the movement, make sure you engage your core (think about tightening your stomach muscles as if someone was going to poke you in the stomach).
  3. Alternate pulling each knee toward your chest as you extend the opposite leg.  

Tips and Progressions:

  • The suspended bicycle kick is a great exercise for a beginner and will help you learn to engage your hip flexors, which will result in better walking and running mechanics.
  • Move out further to make it harder. This will provide more resistance and require more work done by you to overcome the gravity pulling you back underneath.
  • You can progress this movement by lifting and holding your hips off the ground during the movement.

Don’t have a Suspension Trainer yet?   Check out this blog on buying a Suspension Trainer and what to consider when choosing the best one for you.

Check out the Intermediate and Advanced Suspension Training workouts with video, to get an even better idea of how movements increase in intensity and difficulty!

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Has this information been helpful to you? If so, considering purchasing the Complete Suspension Fitness Book or the Suspension Fitness for Beginners. It is available in both hard copy and Kindle. I believe strongly that these tools and methods can help you obtain better health, greater fitness and more enjoyment in your chosen activities and endeavors.  All the information, workouts, and videos on this site are free. If you found value in this site, please consider donating a few bucks to help me maintain and add new content. I am just one individual running this and my only sponsors are you guys.  Feel free to contact me directly with any questions, feedback or thoughts at tracy@suspensionfitnessandbeyond.com. Thank you for reading!