Suspension Training For The Upper Body

January 12, 2015

Suspension training can be a great tool for rehab, staying in shape when you are on the road, metabolic conditioning, a recovery workout, or just a way to provide some variety to your training.  With this article, we’ll provide some ideas for upper body suspension training.  Not only do these exercise target the working muscles, but they require you to recruit muscles to stabilize yourself, balance yourself, and heavily involve your core.

 

For these exercises, you’ll need a suspension trainer and something like a pull-up bar to suspend it from.

 

Chest Exercise:

The first exercise develops the chest, shoulders, and triceps.  Begin with the suspension training hung above you.  The handles should be adjusted so that they are at chest height.  Grip the handles with a pronated grip.  Straighten your arms and lean into the handles.  Maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, step backwards until your upper body is supporting much of your weight.

 

Lower yourself to the handles.  As you do this, it’s normal for the handles to move out to the sides.  Lower yourself until the handles are even with your shoulders.  Extend your arms and reverse directions.

 

To make this exercise more challenging, lower the handles so that they are closer to the floor.  If that is not challenging enough, lift one foot off the ground while performing this exercise.

 

Upper Back Exercise:

The second exercise develops the upper back, shoulders, and biceps.  Begin with the suspension training hung above you.  The handles should be adjusted so that they are at chest height.  Grip the handles with a neutral grip.  Step forward so that you are under the handles.  Extend your arms and maintain a straight line from your shoulders through your ankles.  From this position, pull yourself towards the handles.  As you do this, keep your elbows in so that they brush your body.  Lower and repeat.

 

To make this more challenging, step forward more so that you are more directly under the handles.  Lower the handles towards the floor.  You can also perform this exercise with one foot off the ground.

 

Shoulder Exercise:

The final exercise primarily develops the shoulders.  Begin with the suspension training hung above you.  The handles should be adjusted so that they are at chest height.  Grip the handles with a neutral grip.  Step backwards a few steps.  Keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, lean backwards until the trainer is tight.  Begin with the handles close together in front of your body.  From this position, pull the handles apart and pull your body towards the trainer until the handles are even with your body.  Lower and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.  To make this exercise more difficult, perform it with one foot off the ground.

 

I usually advise people to perform suspension trainer exercises for time.  Combine these three exercises with a few kettlebell, heavy rope, and core exercises and you have a pretty good workout!