Band Strength: Four Suspension Trainer Exercises
EXPERT ADVICE

Band Strength: Four Suspension Trainer Exercises

Business trips, vacations, six-month deployments to Afghanistan: Life throws a lot of roadblocks between a guy and his gym routine. But you don't need a weight room to stay fit. Suspension trainers – adjustable straps like the TRX ($190; trxtraining.com) that use body weight to strengthen muscles – make gym-worthy workouts possible anywhere there's a door, a pole, or a tree on which to hang the device. The straps give you an effective, and different, workout than the gym does by engaging your primary and secondary muscles in almost every exercise.

"When you do a push-up or a bench press, your muscles don't have to work as hard because the floor or bench is holding you up," says Frank Salzone, a trainer at Equinox in Manhattan. "The first time someone tries a chest press on a suspension trainer, they shake like crazy and think, What's wrong with my arms?!"

Nothing's wrong, Salzone says, except you're being forced to recruit underused stabilizer muscles, which support joints and larger muscles. Most gym machines target only prime movers, like the pecs and quads, ignoring stabilizers and causing muscular imbalances that can lead to injury. Suspension trainers won't bulk you up, but they will strengthen muscles for real-life activity, one reason many pro athletes use them. "At the end of the day, it's just nylon straps," says TRX's Chris Frankel. "But it beats the gym in every way because it trains the whole body as an integrated unit, giving you functional strength that's hard to get any other way." Launch Gallery >>

Facebook just added to your Activity: This Article

Close

Magazine

Style & Design 2014

Tech, Tools, Toys & the Hottest New Gear

Plus: When to Say No to Your Doctor

ON NEWSSTANDS NOW

Magazine

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.

How we use your email
X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Men's Journal and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

www.expandtheroom.com