Exercises at the bottom of this blog!
I was lucky enough, a few years back, to see the beginning of the craze of ‘suspension training’ – a term that has been protected now by TRX and a term that is interesting, only because by definition it suggests that your body is being held up in the air. In some cases this is definitely true, however the problem with this definition is that you may start falling into the trap of thinking that the supporting strap should always be in tension and that the body should always been in tension, braced or dare I say it, in neutral spine!
While putting together the outdoor training course, and the additional support material for the Specialist courses, I was forced to go back to different training tools, one of these being a TruFit unit, a strap similar to the Olympic rings and the TRX unit. It has some components that draw me to it though: it has two points of suspension and both a short and long strap position (as well as all the positions inbetween). As well as this, the guys behind it are open to having the ‘kit’ move in and out of slack and so this opens up a different perspective to the training altogether.
So if we redefined the training as Supported Training, I believe this would better reflect the way the straps act to either support, redirect or influence the movements that you put under them, in them, around them, toward them and everywhere else! This is not to rule out bracing completely, but to be coaching squeezing muscles, holding neutral spine and so on, could be potentially causing problems where people force form and then miss a natural movement. It could be the vital piece of movement information you need to improve your client’s performance.
The following is a set of movements we set aside for biceps. Using some more recognised movements for the biceps, where we aim to shorten the muscle against resistance, progressing to movements that require deceleration of shoulder extension and elbow extension at the same time. This would follow the thought process we use on our courses, of bones move, joints feel and muscles react (for the majority of the movement, if you want the full order it would probably be – 1. Motivation to do something, 2. Pre-movement physical responses, 3. Concentric initiation of movement, 4. Bones Move, 5. Joints Feel, 6. Muscles React!).