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Can You Handle The Suspense - by Penny Lomas

Penny Lomas is an Australian health and fitness writer based in Melbourne. With extensive years in the fitness industry, Penny is a published fitness model and athlete, personal trainer and registered biosignature modulation practitioner specialising in hormone coaching, strength and conditioning, holistic lifestyle coaching, and body transformation. Penny is also a 3 x Oxygen Magazine covergirl and proud ambassador. To find out more about Penny you can visit her at www.pennylomas. com.au

What is suspension training?

You may have seen these curious cables hanging around your gym and wondered how to safely and creatively incorporate them into your routine, and although the TRX may have been developed for the Navy SEALs, that doesn't mean you have to be in secret-weapon shape to use it and enjoy its benefits. TRX suspension training uses two cables on your feet or hands to partially suspend your body and use your own body weight as resistance. The muscle groups you work, as well as how hard you work them all, depend on the positioning of your body on the cables. TRX takes advantage of gravity and your body weight to challenge every muscle, especially your core. Since you can even attach them to a door or tree, they're great for exercising at home or when travelling.

The Workout:

Incline Back Row

Targeting: Latissimus dorsi, Mid-Trapezius, Rear Deltoids and Biceps

Set-up: Standing equally balanced on both feet. Lean into a comfortable position. Keep your core tight and spine in neutral.

Action: Pull yourself towards the anchor point of the suspension trainer, focusing on the back muscles. 'Pinch' your elbows as close together as possible. Make the back row a bit more challenging by increasing the angle. Greater angle = more resistance.

Tip : On the last rep, try holding yourself in a static position at the top of the exercise while pinching your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds.

Chest Press

Targeting: Pectoralis major, Core, Front Deltoids and Triceps

Set-up: Adjust the handles to sit just under your armpits. Grab the handles and extend your arms to 90 degrees to your torso. Position your feet so your body is at a comfortable angle. Elevate your hands so the straps don't rub on your arms.

Tip : To mix it up you can rotate your hands to a neutral position to execute a narrow chest press targeting more triceps.

Action: Engaging your core and maintaining shoulder stability, lower your chest to the handles. Push yourself back into starting position by extending your arms. Ensure a neutral spine is kept throughout the entire movement.

Tip : Lower the cables to make the incline deeper and the resistance harder.

Biceps Curl

Targeting: Biceps brachii (long and short heads)

Set-up: Standing equally balanced on both feet. Lean into a comfortable position. Keep your core tight and spine in neutral. Hands are in a supine position (palms facing towards the sky).

Action: Pull yourself towards the anchor point of the suspension trainer, focusing on the biceps. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees to your chest and bring your fists to your forehead. Slowly lower yourself back to starting position.

Triceps Extension

Targeting: Triceps

Set-up: Standing equally balanced on both feet. Begin in a comfortable position with your hands at your forehead and your elbows as close to your midline as possible. Hands are in a pronated position (palms facing down to the floor).

Action: Extend your arms while maintaining a tight core and neutral spine. Slowly bring your hands back to your forehead.

Squat

Targeting: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Glutes

Set-up: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and your chest facing the anchor point, one cable in each arm at equal lengths. Standing equally balanced on both feet. Lean into a comfortable position. Keep your core tight and spine in neutral.

Triceps Extension

Targeting: Triceps Set-up: Standing equally balanced on both feet. Begin in a comfortable position with your hands at your forehead and your elbows as close to your midline as possible. Hands are in a pronated position (palms facing down to the floor).

Action: Extend your arms while maintaining a tight core and neutral spine. Slowly bring your hands back to your forehead.

Squat

Targeting: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Glutes

Set-up: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and your chest facing the anchor point, one cable in each arm at equal lengths. Standing equally balanced on both feet. Lean into a comfortable position. Keep your core tight and spine in neutral.

Action: Lower your hips until your knees are at 90 degrees. Ensure your knees do not pass over your toes and that your shoulders remain in a straight line from start to finish. Keep a neutral spine and tight core throughout the entire movement. Push up through your legs returning to the start position.

One-legged Squat

Targeting: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes

Set-up: Standing equally balanced on both feet. Lean into a comfortable position. Keep your core tight and spine in neutral. Raise one leg off the ground and keep it elevated, put all of the resistance on this leg. Bring the standing foot closer to the midline for balance.

Action: Lower your hips until your knee is at 90 degrees. Ensure your knees do not pass over your toes and that your shoulders remain in a straight line from start to finish. Keep a neutral spine, tight core and balanced hips throughout the entire movement. Push up through your leg returning to the start position.

Tip : If you are a beginner you can use your arms to assist.

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