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Young lady doing arm exercises with suspension straps at gym.

Suspension Training: More Than Just Straps

By Taylor Meier MS, LAT, ATC, CHKD Sports Medicine

If you’ve ever watched a gymnast perform on the rings, you’ve seen an extreme version of suspension training. This mode of training uses gravity and body weight to challenge movement in multiple planes of motion. It has a unique ability to scale intensity across many levels of fitness. When used properly, it can also improve core stability. It is easily portable and can be used as a versatile mode of training on the go. Suspension training is one of the many modes of exercise used by our exercise specialists at CHKD.

Suspension training can be done with a variety of equipment including straps, ropes, and rings. Suspension straps are available in many gyms. You can also purchase a set for your home. These straps are a set of adjustable heavy-duty straps, with handles and foot cradles. They are a great introduction into the world of suspension training.

The straps are suspended by a single anchor point. Therefore, every movement involves the core. Whether performing a plank, a chest press, or a hamstring curl, the athlete will have to engage their core in order to maintain proper alignment and stability. It’s important to know which body parts should be stable and which should be moving during specific exercises. If an athlete is struggling with stability, the level of difficulty can be modified. This includes changing the angle of the straps or the angle of the body to the ground. You can also change the points of contact with the ground.

Suspension straps are light and compact. They can easily be set up using a door, a tree, or a sturdy beam. As a college athletic trainer with travel responsibilities, I’m on the road for half the season and my ability to bring equipment is limited. When used correctly, these straps can successfully challenge several athletes with a varying range of goals and fitness ability while on the road or out at practice.

To learn more about suspension training, as well as other exercises that would be beneficial for your child, call (757) 668-6654. Our exercise specialists will work with your child to develop a custom training plan.

Learn More 

In this video, CHKD exercise specialist Matt Palozola guides you through a suspension training workout. 

About CHKD Sports Medicine

About CHKD Sports Medicine  CHKD's sports medicine program offers the most comprehensive care for your young athlete. From diagnosis and treatment to customized rehabilitation plans, we specialize in physical therapy and injury prevention programs for active children and teens. Our team is composed of pediatric orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physician assistants, certified athletic trainers and pediatric sports medicine physical therapists.