Two straps and your body weight. How hard can it be?
Actually, it’s harder than you might think… At least if you aim to get the most out of your exercise and at the same time avoid injuries.
Check out these suspension training common beginner mistakes and make sure you do not get caught in the rookie-trap yourself!
Suspension Trainer Common Beginner Mistakes To Watch Out For
You Are Starting The Exercise Positioned Wrong
If you’re not in the right position when starting the movement you will most likely end up struggling. You will either have your suspension trainer loose its tension in the straps or you will find yourself doing movements not targeting the intended muscles, – which might even hurt you.
Both your feet and your body should be positioned correctly to maintain a safe and effective exercise. The position of your feet and your body decides how hard/ heavy the exercise will be to perform. You do not want to stop in the middle of your set to adjust either the position of your body or your feet.
Make sure you actually know how to do the exercise before starting. If you are unsure, Google it or do a Youtube search.
If you want results you gotta do movements that build your muscles, not hurt them.
Your Core Is Not Engaged
When we are getting all drained for energy keeping that core tight is damn hard. And the bad news is you actually risk getting yourself injured when your core begin to sag.
Keep that back of yours safe by making sure your core is engaged at all times during the exercise. “Be” a surfboard against a wall, keep your body rigid with no bend.
“When engaging your core for stability, the goal is to create as solid a ring of muscles around your mid-section as possible. To achieve that, you have to activate your core muscles slightly outward, stiffening them to create a protective “cylinder” around your abdomen.”
Resource: yourfunctionalhealth.com – How to Engage Your Core Effectively
The Suspension Trainer Straps Is Not Tight
Come on! Keep those straps nice and tight!
Loose straps will both reduce the intensity and make your exercise ineffective. In addition the floppy straps can increase the risk of injury causing sagging in the mid-section of your body.
As a matter of fact you are doing the exercise all wrong if the straps are not tight trough the whole movement.
You should never, at no cost let the straps be loose!
You Are Scraping The Straps Towards Your Arms
Red marks on your arms and shoulders after suspended push-ups. Not Good!
Why are your arms all soar?
You have been rubbing the suspension straps towards your arms like you were trying to wax your car. Resting the straps on the skin makes the exercise easier, but it also makes the exercise way less effective.
Make sure to position your body in a way that you are able to perform the exercise like it is supposed to be done. If you are not able to do it without scraping the bands against your arms you will need to adjust your position.
In addition to driving your body trough the push movement, focus on using the stabilization muscles in your arms keeping the trainer straps away from your skin.
Once more, AWAY from your skin…
You Are Giving Up
Some days you’re just exhausted after work. Your energy levels are at a low and the exercises you usually do feels like moving mountains.
Argh, I hate those days!
But don’t let this ruin your workout. Instead of throwing in the towel adjust your body position to find a resistance you are comfortable working with.
Remember, the position of your feet and your body decides how hard/ heavy the exercise will be to perform.
It is better working out with less resistance than giving up or “cheating” (which may result in injuries).
Your Joints Are All Over The Place
Elbows all over the place, incorrect pelvis tilts and knees in unfavorable positions. When exercises get too hard the road to cheating is not long…
But cheating could get you in a lot of trouble, stop it right now!
Stop Using Momentum, Stay In Control
You should be in control of the exercise from start to end of the movement. Using momentum to swing your body trough the movement leaves you with an useless exercise.
This is a rule of thumb concerning all types of training. Either you are using dumbbells, rubber bands or suspension trainer. Going trough the gym you most certainly will see at least one individual throwing those dumbbells up while doing biceps curls. Looks pretty comical, right?
By staying in control you assure you are getting the most of each repetition while keeping you body safe from injuries.
Check out how Dan Long stays in control while showing you 3 suspension training core exercises for beginners:
You Are Not Focused
Using the suspension trainer, whether beginner or advanced, you have to stay focused throughout the whole movement of each exercise. You want to keep “mental contact” with your muscles at all time making sure you are engaging the muscles you are supposed to.
Using fixed exercise equipment like machines at the gym you do not need to pay attention to the muscles other than following the pre-fabricated movement.
With the suspension trainer you are moving your whole body, making sure you are working the muscles you are supposed to takes concentration and mind control.
You Are Not Keeping Your Limbs In Position
Using gravity is both benefiting the suspension trainer and putting it to a challenge.
When unequal pressure is applied in the foot cradles or handles you could experience your hands or feet swinging up and down rather than staying in their position.
If you are experiencing this, stop.
Adjust the suspension trainer so that the straps are parallel. When going it to the movement concentrate on applying equal pressure to each strap and staying in control.
Remember to keep your core tight!
If you still cannot keep those hands and feet still, consider applying less resistance by adjusting your body position.
You Are Playing Pro When Still a Newbie
Master the basics before doing the super-advanced-technical-ninja style exercises the professionals do on Youtube.
“You need to have a basic level of fitness and coordination to get the most out of even the simplest TRX workouts and to be safe.
You should have a trainer working with you to be sure your technique is on target to help avoid injuries.”
Reference: webmd.com – TRX Suspension Workout: What to Expect
By jumping into exercises you do not have sufficient strength or technique to do properly, you sure as damn wont gain any strength. – If anything, you’ll gain a damaged back.
And you do not want that…
Sophie Manfredi From True Conditioning – The 3 Most Common Suspension Training Mistakes
Being a self thought hometraininghero myself, I had to ask a REAL expert for some advice.
Sophie Manfredi, Co-Founder and owner of the True Conditioning training community is an award winning certified Personal Trainer, nutrition Coach & TRX Qualified Group Fitness Instructor.
Sophie have coached 100’s of students using the suspension trainer and have seen a lot of TRX mistakes over the years… A perfect fit for the experts corner!
So, I asked her the question:
What do you think is the most common mistake people new to suspension training should be aware of?
And she hit me back with the following answer:
“As for the most common mistakes, here are my top 3:
1. Starting too far in. I would say Beginner’s tend to start to far in towards the anchor point, throwing off their body position. I encourage new clients to start at the end range of the motion, and if they find it’s too easy they can always move in to make it harder.
2. Gripping too hard on the trainer and tensing their shoulders. I focus on cueing staying relaxed through the shoulders and neck and keeping a light grip on the trainer.
3. Relying to much on the trainer. I find people over use the trainer in exercises like the single leg squat or single leg lunge which then takes the focus away from the lower body. Instead of leaning too far back like they are water-skiing on the trainer, we cue to maintain a light grip and to keep their weight over top of their heels.”
Looking at Sophie’s top 3 common mistakes I can honestly say that I have been guilty at all of these during my first time with the suspension trainer.
I started using the TRX about five years ago as I did not have sufficient time in my life to fit in a gym-visit during the day.
Hooking the suspension trainer up to my door frame gym bar, I both started the movements with my body in wrong positions, -and squeezing the handles like there were no tomorrow. And when doing squats, I nearly hang in the straps instead of using them as balance support.
We have all been beginners at some time, and even the coolest boys and girls in town can make mistakes. 🙂We have all been beginners at some time, and even the coolest boys and girls can make mistakes Click To Tweet
Final Words, No More TRX Mistakes
Yeah, the suspension trainer is an non-complicated piece of training equipment. And sure as damn, everybody can use it.
But as with all training equipment, you have to do the movement and exercises correctly if you want to see results.
As a beginner your first priority before applying heavy resistance should be to master the basics.
- Get to know the system.
- Work on your technique.
- Learn the basic exercises.
- Or do it the easy way; – take some TRX classes.
And to sum it of:
- Your body/ feet position and body angle decides the resistance of the exercise.
- Remember to have your core engaged during every exercise. Neglecting a tight core may result in back injuries and no more exercise in a while.
- Make sure to stay in control at all times during the movements of the exercise.
I trust these mistakes will never be present during your up-coming rounds of living room workouts.
Now, go and exercise!
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