In the last couple of years Suspension Training System made its way over to Australian fitness industry and now it seems most training facilities have it as part of its staple training equipment. Majority of the market in Australia is dominated by TRX brand but there are many other less known brands offering very similar suspension training equipment.Suspension Training System uses individuals’ body weight at different angles to work wide variety of muscles groups, aiming at improving strength, balance, core control, flexibility as well as functionality. Suspension Training System replicating almost any exercise that you can do with free weights or cardio equipment but with at least half of your body suspended above the ground in an inherently unstable position. As a result you tend to work much more through your deep core muscles as well as engaging smaller stabilising muscles, which will not necessary be used to the same extend with the free weights or machines.

Due to its popularity many people tend to use this equipment, without proper training or understanding.

Two popular fitness exercises that you often spot in the gym attempted incorrectly using TRX are upright pull and plank on forearms.

Upright Pull

Purpose/Muscles Targeted

  • Strengthens lats, traps, rhomboids and biceps
  • Helps to strengthen upper body and improve correct shoulder function

Correct Form

  1. Start with arms straight and lean back
  2. Pull body up and meet the handles
  3. Extend arms back to starting position
  4. Make sure to maintain neutral spine through the movement
  5. Squiz shoulder blades together at the top of the movement

Common mistakes

  1. Shoulders raised leading to over engagement of neck muscles
  2. Not bringing scapulars (shoulder blades together) at the top of the movement
  3. Failing to keep lower back in a neutral position (slumping lower back)
  4. Swinging hips forward to assist the movement

Plank on Forearms

Purpose/Muscles Targeted

  • Assist in strengthening core and helps with shoulder girdle stabilisation

Correct Form

  1. Start with knees and forearms on the ground
  2. Raise knees while maintaining neutral spine position
  3. Hold for the appropriate time
  4. Slowly comeback to the starting position

Common Mistakes

  1. Flexion of the thoracic spine (arching through middle to upper back)
  2. Forearms placed to far forward or to far back
  3. Not maintaining neutral spine for the whole duration (dipping through lower back)