I am a huge fan of working out at home. Since I also work from home, I can literally go from desk to gym in as long as it takes me to wander down the stairs into my basement. I’ve been doing at home workouts for years so I have most of the goodies that I need (equipment and programs) accumulated in my little make shift gym, but what if you are just starting out and don’t have much space? Let’s chat about suspension systems.
What is a suspension system and why on earth would I use one?
A suspension system is exactly that; a system of straps that literally suspends your body & allows you to use your own body weight as resistance. Suspension system exercises are fantastic because they can be modified to suit everyone, from the earliest beginner to elite athletes and everyone in between. Exercises on a suspension system are easily scalable and almost always work more than one muscle group (great for core training!). Suspension systems also make for easy travel and quick setup when you aren’t at your home gym.
The most popular branded suspension system is the TRX (starting @ $200) and to be honest, although it seems expensive, you can do basically any exercise you can imagine with it, so it is a great way to start your home gym. I am a firm believer in investing in your fitness, so I honestly don’t think this is too much to spend if you are going to train a lot with this equipment. There are a lot of other versions available as well, most are less expensive and all have basically the same function. I’ve even seen a few pop up on Groupon from time to time!
OK, so you said invest in your fitness, but this is a post on DIY suspension system. What gives?
I have a hard time branching out from my fitness DVDs, so I made this DIY version as a way to test out how frequently I would use it before investing in the real deal. I was right; I’ve had this one set up for a bit and haven’t used it nearly as much as I use my workout DVDs. However, every time I see an Instagram video or a new post on Facebook where someone is using a suspension system, you better believe I hook myself up and give my muscles a little extra burn. It is one of my current goals to use my suspension trainer at least two times each week, as additional training to my DVD program. So, check in with me…keep me accountable!
I am 100% (200% even?) certain that a real deal suspension system offers more capacity and MUCH more safety, so definitely proceed with caution with this DIY version.
What kind of training can you do with a suspension system?
Probably easier to ask, what kind of training CAN’T you do? And to that I say, “I don’t know.” Honestly, everywhere from strength to flexibility, you have everything to gain from using this badass set of straps.
Here are a few of my favorite folks to watch for new ideas to throw into the mix:
Chalene Johnson has all kinds of fun videos posted to her Facebook page.
Scott Herman Fitness on YouTube has a video for any target area you can think of, and lots of great suspension exercises too.
Jenelle Summers offers some ab workouts that you can do with a suspension system OR a stability ball if you don’t feel like rigging this up at all, haha.
Sold. But I don’t wanna spend $200 either. Help me out?
You bet. Helping is what I’m here for! Here are the goodies I used to rig up my own system:
• Handles from an old resistance band (on the odd chance you don’t have these lying around, you can use PVC pipes)
• 2 sets Lashing straps (check auto section of Walmart, Target, etc…check the load limit!)
I more or less followed these instructions. Adapt however you need to fit your supplies/space, but keep it safe. Remember, at times ALL of your body weight will be suspended by this thing, so now is the time to get to know each other REALLY well. Trust.
Gather your DIY spirit and get to work! If you give it a shot, definitely let me know how you like it! I’d love to see your pics, share them here, tag me on IG (@create_your_joy) or post on my Facebook page! Cheers!