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VIDEO: Bonus, your kids can enjoy a workout on the ropes, too

In part two in her series on working out using suspension trainers in your home, athletic therapist Jen Mark demonstrates how children and teenagers can safely use the equipment, too

The second part in our suspension training series is the best part! (Here's part one.) Working your upper body on the ropes is fun and a full workout, and because you are using your body weight, arms, shoulders, back and chest, you will really feel the burn. 

Generally with the upper body work, the closer your feet are to the wall/door, the harder the exercise. This makes you more perpendicular to the floor. Gravity will weigh on you more.

To make the exercise easier, move your feet away from the wall/door. You will be more vertical and less affected by gravity. Find a happy medium to be challenged while still doing the exercise properly. 

The suspension systems are great for kids to exercise with. Kids of any age can do body weight work. They enjoy the challenge! I find that adults will focus better on not wobbling around. The suspension systems add an element of instability making your core work harder. 

Young kids and some teenagers struggle to keep their core strong – making this a great tool to help develop core strength. Just keep reminding them what to focus on. I always say to my young athletes “Anyone can do it fast, I am more impressed with you doing it sloooow”.

I show a few exercises in the video, but there are many more. A quick Google or Instagram search reveals many ideas. Keep the concepts and rules that we have discussed in other articles.

Alignment is very important. You must maintain your posture throughout. This includes your wrists, keep them in neutral. The biggest break in alignment I see is floppy wrists. Keep them straight! 

Breathing out, especially when you lift yourself up, is vital. You are the weight now, so breathe out when you move against gravity. The suspension systems will help teach or remind you about body control. The straps will let you swing from side to side, use your core to stay in the middle. 

When purchasing a suspension trainer, especially for home use, add on a door anchor. This small but important attachment allows your system to be secure on the door. They generally do not come with these attachments. The anchor looks like a small pillow that stops the straps from sliding through the door. They don’t cost much, but they are priceless for home workouts.

We have discussed leg exercises, and now the upper body. Next week we will talk about core specific work using suspension trainers. Now that will be a lot of fun!

If you want to learn more about reprogramming your body or need guidance putting a routine together, let me know at [email protected]. I would love to help. 

Jen Mark is a Registered Kinesiologist, Certified Athletic Therapist, and Registered Yoga Teacher at Matrix of Motion Fitness Studios and Sports Medicine Centre of Excellence in Newmarket. Jen is currently the athletic therapist with the Markham Majors Bantams. Jen is also the head therapist and holistic director for the Junior Development Squad with the Men’s program under Field Hockey Canada. Jen uses her athletic therapy for exercise and manual treatments including soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations, and muscle energy.