1a. DUMBBELL SQUAT
(Hits quads, glutes, calves and some of the hamstrings)
Grasp a pair of dumbbells and let them hang by your sides, palms facing in. Slowly bend the knees, lowering yourself into a squatting position, stopping the motion when your thighs are parallel with the ground. Next, forcefully drive through your heels, moving your torso back to an upright position. Note: Fix your focus on a spot directly in front of you and maintain that focus throughout each rep. Don’t lean forward excessively or round your back; maintain a natural arch as much as possible. Also, keep your elbows directly beneath the bar to maintain your balance.
1b. SUSPENSION ABS FALL-OUT
(Hits lats, abs, obliques)
Set-Up: Facing away from the anchor point (that is, toward the floor), grab onto the handles (palms facing the ground) and lean forward into a push-up position. The body should have a 45-degree angle relative to the floor. (Experiment to determine other angles depending on the intensity you want.)
Action: Keeping your arms straight (don’t bend the elbows) and your core locked, move the handles out above your head as if you were diving into a pool. Stop the motion when your upper arms are adjacent to your eyes, and then pull your arms back to the start position to complete one rep.
Don’t allow your hips to sag toward the floor.
Keep your abs tight and spine straight throughout.
To increase the difficulty, start the exercise from a more severe forward angle, which will bring your body closer to the floor, increasing the resistance.
- DUMBBELL LUNGE
(Hits quadriceps, glutes, calves and hamstrings)
Stand with feet together and dumbbells hanging at your sides, palms facing in. Step forward until the knee of the trailing leg floats a few inches off the floor; the knee of the lunging leg shouldn’t cross the plane of your toes. As you lunge, maintain an erect posture; avoid rounding the back or bending at the waist. Then push back on the sole and heel of the lunging leg, reversing the lunging action until you’re upright again and your feet are close together. You can lunge with the same leg until you’ve hit the required number of reps before mirroring the movement with your opposite leg, or you can lunge, alternating the legs until the set is complete.
3a. STIFF-LEG DUMBBELL DEADLIFT
(Hits hamstrings, glutes and calves)
With feet spread hip-width apart (knees bent slightly), grasp a pair of dumbbells, positioning them on your front thighs (palms facing down). In the start position you should be standing erect, pulling the shoulders back slightly. Then, while keeping the knees slightly bent to protect the joints, slowly bend forward at the waist, allowing the dumbbells to travel along your torso and thighs until your torso is nearly parallel with the ground. Using the power in your thighs and glutes, slowly reverse the process until you’re standing erect again, pulling your shoulders slightly toward the rear. Note: Keep your back straight as you bend at the waist and as you return to the upright position; don’t round it as you rep.
3b. SUSPENSION ABS PIKE
(Hits abs, obliques, hip flexors, shoulders, lats)
Set-Up: Assume a push-up position with your hands on the floor and your ankles inside the straps, which have been positioned at roughly shoulder height. Your feet should lie directly beneath the anchor point of the straps. For the start, keep your body straight.
Action: Without bending your knees, use your abs to pull your legs toward your chest by lifting your hips up into the air into a pike position. Raise your hips until they’re slightly higher than your shoulders. Pause, then reverse the motion and slowly return to the push- up position. That’s one rep!
To decrease the difficulty and reduce the stress on the shoulders, modify this action to perform a knee tuck by bending your knees and pulling them in and out, toward your chest. To increase difficulty, begin with your feet hanging slightly in front of the anchor point of the suspension device.
Keep your elbows, knees and spine fairly straight throughout this exercise.
Lower your body in a controlled fashion.
4a. SUSPENSION HAMSTRING CURL
(Hits hamstrings, calves, glutes, erector spinae)
Set-Up: Lie on your back with the soles of your feet in the straps, which should be positioned about 12 inches above the ground.
Action: Lift your hips towards the sky and bend your knees, pulling your heels toward your glutes. Pause for 1–2 seconds before straightening your legs into the starting position. Repeat.
Lift your hips using your glutes, not your lower back. Emphasize lifting your hips as high as possible on each rep.
To increase the difficulty, begin with your feet hanging slightly in front of the anchor point of the suspension device.
4b. SUSPENSION BODYSAW
(Hits abs, obliques, lats)
Set-Up: Assume an elbow plank position, with your forearms on the floor, elbows beneath your shoulders, and your ankles inside the straps, which have been positioned at roughly the same height as your shoulders. Your feet should be directly underneath the anchor point of the straps.
Action: Keeping your torso straight and locked, generating motion from your elbows and shoulders, move your body rearward and then forward, mimicking a sawing action.
Keep your elbows roughly shoulder-width apart.
Use a range of motion that you can control.
Don’t allow your hips to sag toward the floor.