Suspension Trainer Intermediate Workout

This suspension trainer intermediate workout targets pushing, pulling, legs and core movements.

There are a few more movements added from the beginner workout. The movements selected are also more advanced.  If you find you are not quite ready for any of the movements selected, simply return to the beginner workout movement for that targeted area and continue to try to make progress there.

The warmup: consists of two full body movements targeting two types of hip and leg strengthen movements, with a push and a pull.

The main circuit: Perform each movement in sequence at a challenging resistance that you can still achieve the number of assigned repetitions. The resistance so be so much that is difficult to finish each set, but not so much that your form falls about, or you can finish the number of repositions.  Adjust your resistance as need, even if its mid set.

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 Intermediate 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 Beginner and Advanced Suspension Training workouts with video, to get an even better idea of how movements increase in intensity and difficulty.

Below is video and further instruction of each movement.

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Warm Up

Squat Row

This is an all-purpose foundational movement that reinforces squat form while also targeting the chain of muscles in the back and torso that are responsible for good posture.  This exercise will challenge those at a beginner-to-intermediate level and can serve as a functional warmup or part of a circuit program for more advanced levels

  • Primary focus: Legs and Back
  • Set-up: Straps shortened to mid-Length
  1. Face inward, holding the straps with a shoulder-width stance. Lean back slightly.
  2. Sit down into the squat by dropping your hips down toward the floor. When you get to the bottom, your arms should be straight and extended in front of you.
  3. Push yourself back up with your legs while simultaneously pulling your upper body toward the straps. Your finish position should be standing tall with your elbows bent at your side.

Tips and Progressions:

  • Those who spend a lot of time at a desk or behind the wheel would benefit from combining the squat press, which will help open up the chest and shoulders, with the squat row, which targets the large and small posture muscles of the back.

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Forward Lunge with Fly

A good total body foundation movement to teach the core to stabilize and assist movement of the upper and lower body simultaneously.

  • Primary focus:  Legs and Chest
  • Set-up: Straps fully extended
  1. Face outward, hold the straps out in front of you with your arms extended.
  2. Take a big step forward with one foot, and drop the back knee down toward the floor to go down into the lunge. At the same time, allow the arms to open up and move from the front to the side.  They should stay parallel with the floor and extend straight out from your shoulders at the end of the movement.
  3. To come back up, tighten your core, push back up through the front leg, and squeeze the muscles in your chest to bring your arms back together in front of you.

Tips and Progressions:

  • The emphasis can be shifted from the upper body to the lower body depending on which you push with more to get back up to the top of the movement.
  • This movement uses a lot of muscles at the same time and requires multiple larger muscle groups to work together.

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Main Circuit 

Feet Suspended Push Up

A great all-purpose pushing exercise.  This version of the pushing movement requires torso and upper body strength, as well as proper timing of the stabilizer muscles to maintain a straight body.

  • Primary focus:  Chest, Arms and Core.
  • Set-Up:  Straps fully extended and approximately 6-12 inches off the ground.
  1. Face outwards from the suspension trainer on your hands and knees with your toes in the cradles right underneath the anchor. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, and your thumbs should be aligned with your chest.
  2. Start by straightening your legs, which will lift your knees off the ground. Keep your body straight, and go down until your elbows bend to approximately a 90-degree angle.
  3. At the bottom, push through the floor to raise your body back up to the starting position as one unit.

Note: Keep you core tight, and don’t let your back or hips sag!

Tips and Progressions:

  • Keep the hands in line with the chest. The imaginary line between your hands should be directly under your chest (not your face).
  • The instability of the suspension trainer will add to the difficultly level of the traditional push-up. Because of this, holding your core position should be the primary focus during the movement.
  • This version of a push-up should not be attempted until you can perform several full traditional push-ups first. Become proficient with the traditional push-up by performing push-ups on your knees and progressing to full traditional push-ups.  Advance to suspending your feet at that point.

Pull-Up

This is a pull-up that allows you to assist and self-spot by pushing a portion of your body-weight with your legs. A great all-purpose pulling movement that makes pull-ups accessible to a variety of strength levels due to the option of self-spotting with your legs.

  • Primary focus:  Back and Arms.
  • Set-Up: Straps Super-shorted.  This will allow you more room underneath to perform this movement.
  1. Start by sitting on the floor directly underneath the suspension trainer, holding the handles, with your knees bent.
  2. Pull yourself straight up from the floor and up until your chin is level with your hands. Think about pulling yourself over an imaginary bar.
  3. Hold your position at the top for a second with good form, and then come back down in a slow, controlled movement.

Note:  Use your legs to spot you as much as you need to but as little as you have to.  Perform as much of the work as you can by pulling yourself up with your arms.

Tips and Progressions:

  • Keep the elbows out wide, shoulders back and chest out as you are pulling yourself up.
  • A variation would be to use a chin up grip with is a narrow reversed grip where the arms and elbows remain closer to the body and the palms face toward you.

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Sprinter Starts

This is one of my favorite movements because it improves strength, stability and power all with one movement.  It’s easy to modify and progress. It’s also a fun one.  It will help develop a strong leg extension that is required for forward propulsion and pushing up inclines. It will also improve stability and balance because you are pushing through one leg while controlling your body hanging on the straps.

  • Primary focus:  Legs and Hips
  • Set-up: Straps fully extended.
  1. Face outward with the straps underneath your arms. Place the handles between your thumb and index finger, and with your elbows bent and at your side, lean forward into the straps
  2. Go down into the movement by taking a large step back with one leg, allowing the front leg to bend.
  3. Come back to the starting position by pushing back up through the front leg and then finish the movement by driving the knee of what was the back leg up and toward your chest (like a person sprinting from the starting blocks).
  4. Repeat all repetitions on one side, rest, and then switch legs.

Note: Think making chicken wings with your arm and elbow position. It is OK if your heels come off the ground when you are leaning forward, but your body should stay straight like a board.  

Tips and Progressions:

  • Keep good torso position, and head and eyes looking forward during the movement. This will help maintain good alignment and posture.
  • Start slow and increase the speed of the movement when you feel comfortable with it.

To progress this exercise, add a hop to it.   Either a single small hop leaving and landing in the same spot, or a short double hop (think about putting a piece of tape down and hopping over it and back quickly at the top if each repetition

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Crunch and Suspended Sit-Up

Develops all around core, and hip flexor strength. This will give you a solid foundation that can better support the demands of all activites.

  • Primary focus: Core
  • Set-up: Straps fully extended and approximately 6 inches off the ground

Crunch:

  1. Start by laying on your back with your heels in the cradles, arms extended, and reaching toward the ceiling.
  2. Keep your arms vertical, and reach – up toward the celling until your shoulder blades are off the ground.
  3. Come back down, and as soon as you feel the floor with your upper back again, crunch back up to the top. This is a small but effective range of motion that targets the more superficial muscles in the abdominal area.

Sit-up:

Instead of stopping to come back down when you feel your shoulder blades are no longer touching the floor, continue to ascend until your torso is vertical, keeping the arms extended upwards toward the ceiling.

Notes: When doing the sit-up, strive to obtain full extension and reach for the ceiling at the top.  That little extra move will do wonders in developing muscles that will support good posture.

Tips and Progressions:

  • Both exercises are effective. The crunch is also more suitable for a beginner or someone who has difficultly performing more than 5 sit-ups with good form.  If you have difficulty with the sit-up at first, start with the crunch and progress to the sit-up later.
  • DO ONE OR THE OTHER. Don’t get caught in ‘no man’s land’ just going halfway up because that is as far as you can get.  That is not the progression and usually results in bad form.

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Reverse Fly

Targets muscles needed for good posture.  Also known as the “rear delt”.  You may have seen the big weight machines in the fitness centers that target this area.  This version is better (and requires less equipment) because you are learning to move and stabilize your body, instead of sitting down and moving a plate behind you.

  • Primary focus:  Upper Back and the rear part of the Shoulders
  • Set-Up: Straps fully extended

 

  1. Face the anchor with your arms extended and together in front of you, with a slight backward lean. Place your feet in an offset stance with one foot in front, and the other foot placed behind you.
  2. Keeping the arms straight, open them up and extend out from your shoulders. This will bring your body forward.
  3. Bring the arms back together to the front, holding good form as you do so.

Note: Keep your abs engaged, and do not allow your back to arch as you bring the arms back.  This is especially important to remember as you fatigue during the set!

Tips and Progressions:

  • This is a great exercise to train the core to maintain proper alignment while the upper body moves against resistance.
  • Those of you who spend a lot of time at a desk or behind the wheel during your day will really benefit from this one, as it will strengthen the back muscles that pull the shoulders back to help maintain good posture.

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Tall Kneeling Rollout

This is a more advanced version of the half-kneeling rollout. The core drives the arm movement in both cases, but this version requires more strength because you don’t have a foot forward to help support the resistance as you extend out during the movement.  Being able to hold your position with an extended body helps develop a strong and stable core and upper body.

  • Primary focus: Core
  • Set-up:  Straps fully extended
  1. Face inward, kneeling on both knees, torso upright, and holding the straps (place a pad, mat or rolled-up towel under the knees for comfort).
  2. Maintain good posture by making yourself tall, keeping shoulders relaxed, chest out, and looking forward. Tighten the core, lean forward, and extend the arms out in front of you.
  3. Return to the start by pulling up with both your hips and core, and bringing the arms back toward the body.

Note: It will get hard quickly as your body gets longer. Extend out to a position you can maintain with good form.

Tips and Progressions:

  • Starting further out will be harder, and starting further underneath the anchor point will be easier (refer to chapter 3).
  • Form is crucial! If you feel any pain in your lower back, don’t go out as far, or skip this one.

 

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!


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