best suspension trainer

Suspension Trainer: Test & Review

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

A suspension trainer trains your figure and balance. For this you have to be able to rely on good quality. Our excellent consumer portal has evaluated both external practical tests and buyer ratings as well as the reviews of fitness experts in order to present you the best models in a comparison.

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Suspension Trainer

What is a suspension trainer?

Since it is not always immediately obvious what a suspension trainer is, we will now answer this question in detail below. If you want to lose weight, want to get in shape or just want to do some sport for your health and well-being, you will automatically encounter the suspension trainer sooner or later. It is an effective sports device, which is used for home use but also by fitness studios. The functioning of a suspension trainer is based on gravity, a sense of balance and your own body weight. The Sling Trainger, as it is called in the original, is a piece of sports equipment that originated in the USA. At that time, they wanted to find a way for the military to enable soldiers to keep fit and train without expensive fitness equipment. The suspension trainer works without weights because your own body weight is sufficient. The complete device consists of a special belt system, which is characterized by straps and loops.

Some of the models have padded handles for a better grip. This combination of straps and loops is reminiscent of a rope jumping device at first, but the suspension trainer is by no means suitable for this. Holistic physical training is possible with the suspension trainer, as many exercises can be performed with this device. During the exercises, several muscle groups are usually used, so that the training time is shortened, which can be seen as a positive side effect.

The suspension trainer is either attached to the ceiling with a hook or anchored in a door. If the suspension trainer is well attached, use body weight and special postures to train specific muscle groups.

How does a suspension trainer work?

The suspension trainer usually consists of two straps, a pulley and a snap hook, which is responsible for attaching it. With this device you can train all muscle groups by changing your posture.

The suspension trainer is usually hung up, for example on the ceiling or between the door and the frame. At each end of the straps there are loops, which is where the device got its name from. These nooses can now be pulled so that you can raise and lower your body. It is also possible that the body is partly in a state of suspension, which makes the exercises much more difficult. In order to use the suspension trainer, some practice time is necessary, as you have to apply a lot of strength and skill to keep your balance in the various positions.

For all forms of strength and full-body training, stimuli must be exerted on the muscles. Dumbbell training causes a stimulus on the biceps, which leads to a growth of the muscles. With sling training, many stimuli are applied to different muscle groups, which makes the training more successful.

The stimulation of the muscles in all types of sport must be flexible and varied. The regularity in the repetitions is effective at the beginning, but soon the body no longer perceives it as a burden if it is carried out monotonously over and over again as training.

The construction of the device is quite simple and straightforward. The price situation can be explained by the qualitative materials, which have to withstand heavy loads. It has already been mentioned that there are handles at the ends of the straps. These can also be used as loops that are useful as foot straps. You therefore do not need several devices, but can actually use the suspension trainer for all exercises.

What is suspension training?

The sling training is a balance and full-body training that takes place through a sophisticated system of loops and ropes and uses your own body weight as resistance. The sling training not only strengthens the entire musculature, which is excellent for the torso and back, the need for balance has a particularly effective effect on the entire deep musculature.

Compared to other muscle areas, this cannot be trained directly. The deep muscles consist of deeper lying muscle layers that determine the processes and movements in the body in secret and thus enable the human being to keep balance or has good posture.

With increasing age, the stability in the area of the deep muscles decreases. This is especially true of people who do not move very much and are not very active in everyday life, including working a lot while sitting.

If the deep muscles are neglected, complaints soon arise. This can lead to back pain and incontinence, which can lead to a. can also be triggered by a weak pelvis. If, on the other hand, the deep muscles are trained, all muscle parts, active and passive, remain flexible.

In addition, the entire proprioception is strengthened. It is about the sense of the human being, who perceives the body position in space, conveys to the brain how the body movement has to be in order to orientate oneself in space. Training the deep muscles not only prevents pain, but is also a basis for coping with everyday life.

The exercises are implemented with the suspension trainer and carried out in such a way that your own body weight strengthens the muscles. This is possible due to the instability of the movement sequences and the suspension trainer, through which all movement sequences are determined. Muscle coordination is improved and the back is strengthened. The sling training also forms an intensive build-up program for arms and legs. The suspension trainer can increase the instability with a pulley and thus become even more intense.

A high level of basic stability is a prerequisite for the implementation of all exercises. If you want to start sling training, you should first warm up and strengthen your core and back muscles.

The sling training is an excellent addition to the classic strength training and offers the possibility of doing the training at home thanks to the suspension trainer. In general, the suspension trainer can be used almost anywhere, for example on a door in the house, by a hook on the ceiling or outside where the ropes can then be placed around the branch of a tree.

The beginning can be implemented with simple exercises, which are then strengthened as you get used to the exercises and are even more effective. Of course, you need your own suspension trainer.

Advantages & areas of application

The suspension trainer has been used in physiotherapy since the 1980s. There the trainer was used to build muscle after operations or broken legs. We owe the fact that we now call the suspension trainer sports equipment to the US Army, who took the suspension trainer with them to foreign missions and confirmed the positive effect of the device. Since then, the suspension trainer has become an integral part of fitness studios. It can also be used at home. Due to the small footprint, you can take the suspension trainer with you on vacation or business trips.

The suspension trainer is mainly focused on building muscle and trains strength endurance. The small otherwise neglected muscle groups are addressed and trained with this device. Since muscle groups close to the joints also benefit from the exercises, it is advisable for beginners to start training slowly and gradually increase. If you overdo it the first time, you can damage your joints. Since the exercises affect intramuscular coordination, core stability is trained in addition to the muscles. When performing the exercises, the body is first brought into an unstable position. By keeping the balance, the trunk is brought into a stable position, which requires great effort. But even when doing exercises with the legs, the entire body is kept under tension and the muscle groups are stabilized due to the attempted balance.

In the fitness area, on the other hand, the suspension trainer is an excellent addition to strength and endurance training. The sling system is particularly space-saving and can be used individually at home, in the fresh air and in the fitness center. It is only important that the suspension trainer can be attached somewhere.

With pure strength training, individual muscle areas are worked on. This is mostly done on equipment or with dumbbells and weights. The sling training, on the other hand, does not require isolated exercises, but rather reaches the entire muscle area down to the deeper layers. This not only strengthens the muscular skeleton, it generally brings greater performance and fitness.

Anyone who assumes that the suspension trainer will soon be exhausted is wrong. Because a new level of difficulty can only be achieved with a minimal shift in body position. The Sling Trainer is therefore ideally suited for long-term training. Exercises can be done both standing and lying down. The positive thing about the suspension trainer is that it can be used anywhere and anytime. Even during the lunch break, the suspension trainer can be wedged in the door so that you can do a few exercises.

Physical therapy

The suspension trainer is used for sports training and physiotherapy. In the latter area, joints damaged by the suspension trainer can be relieved, as they are hung in the loops of the suspension trainer and a previous incorrect load is compensated for.

The weak muscles are specifically worked on, which can be rebuilt particularly gently with the suspension trainer. While certain joints, including arms or legs, are relieved of strain, the core muscles are built up and the use of the suspension trainer has to work harder, which trains the posture in a new way and thus improves it.

Back pain and physical instability

Back pain is a complaint that hardly anyone escapes. This is not only due to the age-related changes in the muscles, but also to modern times, in which activity hardly requires much movement if it is not addressed specifically through training. Many conditions are relieved; physical exercise is not necessary. As a result, back problems are a widespread disease that can occur due to both overuse and underuse.

The back area including the spine consists of a network of deep and active muscles. This will support the entire trunk. If these muscle parts lose strength, symptoms are inevitable.

The back muscles can be strengthened again through exercises on the suspension trainer. The joints are spared and only minimally stressed, since you hang your legs in the slings with simple push-ups. Although this enables intensive training, it is not uncomfortable for the user, especially when he is struggling with pain. In addition, movement control, posture and coordination are promoted, and mobility and balance are improved.

Suspension training as fitness training

In the fitness area, on the other hand, the suspension trainer is an excellent addition to strength and endurance training. The sling system is particularly space-saving and can be used individually at home, in the fresh air and in the fitness center. It is only important that the suspension trainer can be attached somewhere.

With pure strength training, individual muscle areas are worked on. This is mostly done on equipment or with dumbbells and weights. The sling training, on the other hand, does not require isolated exercises, but rather reaches the entire muscle area down to the deeper layers. This not only strengthens the muscular skeleton, it generally brings greater performance and fitness.

What types of suspension trainers are available?

The structure of a suspension trainer is usually always the same. There are two different versions, one for beginners and the other for professionals. The suspension trainers for beginners do not have a pulley and are therefore more stable in use.

This means that you have a belt system that is firmly connected and immovable. When attached to the ceiling or in the door, the two straps can no longer be adjusted and enable beginners to keep their balance. This system is not suitable for professionals, as they require higher requirements. Therefore there are suspension trainers that have a reversing role.

This means that there is a belt that leads through the pulley from left to right, i.e. from each to the two handles. The pulley has the holding system with which the suspension trainer is attached to the ceiling or in the door. The pulley creates an incredible instability that only a trained body can handle. Beginners who first start exercising risk their health in using it and could sustain serious injuries.

The pulley enables the exercises to be intensified and can influence the instability that is necessary for muscle and deep muscle training. The quality of the rope and strap determine the stability of the suspension trainer.

The material and the workmanship are also different – made of wood, plastic or rubber. Sling trainers are available as fixed models made of ropes, handles and loops, but also with various options for adjusting and fixing the length.

Due to the fact that the suspension trainer works with the balancing act, both systems require a lot of effort that has to be practiced for a while. Experienced people who want to increase the level of difficulty can use a suspension trainer with a pulley. However, beginners are advised to use fixed systems, especially at first.

How are suspension trainer tested?

In our suspension trainer test series, we have put some of the suspension trainers through their paces for you. We spared neither expense nor effort to extensively test the suspension trainer. Since ordering via the Internet is also worthwhile in terms of price, which we will go into in more detail in a later point, we ordered all of our tested models from an online shop. Which also means that we also tested the delivery and the packaging.

How easily can a suspension trainer be used? Is it difficult to attach it to the ceiling or to jam it in the door. With clamping systems, we observed whether there was damage to the door. As there are different manufacturers with special systems, this point was particularly important to us, as the suspension trainer cannot be attached to the ceiling everywhere. Therefore, we also evaluated the possibility of the fortifications. Some of the suspension trainers can only be attached to the ceiling or only to the door or a pole.

In the practical test, we performed a few exercises. We always used the same exercises, which we naturally performed under the watchful eyes of a trainer. In our test series there were both beginners and advanced users who mastered different exercises on the suspension trainer. So that the test is kept within limits and does not have a negative effect on the health of the test subjects, the exercises were limited – just so that we could give an impression of how it worked. Comfort was also very important to us in our 2020 suspension trainer test. After all, training with the suspension trainer should be fun and not painful.

We also attached great importance to the material from which the straps and components were made. The load limit also differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Since professionals put on a higher weight due to the muscle mass, there are models that are suitable for a body weight between 100 and 180 kg. There are also differences in the load limit, which is also very far between 120 and 900 kg.

Materials

The suspension trainers tested and selected by us should particularly convince in the quality of their materials. The ropes had to provide stability and the loops had to be comfortable around the legs or body. The handles should make effective exercises possible and be comfortable to use.

Functionality and durability

All suspension trainers were checked by our testers for their stability, resilience and functionality and found to be good. Well-known exercises should show how much the ropes can be loaded, how stable the carabiner is and what effects the weight of the suspension trainer had on the training.

The entire sequence of exercises is based on the attachment of the suspension trainer, so that this fact was one of the most important criteria for our suspension trainer test. Since instability due to the harness and rope makes the exercise intense, it should be particularly easy to attach or hang up.

For our test, we tested the models both indoors and outdoors. All models could serve their purpose perfectly on the ceiling, on a wall, on a sports pole and on a tree.

What do I have to look out for when buying a suspension trainer?

Since the suspension trainer is exposed to a lot of stress, the first thing you should look for when buying it is the quality. This also determines the lifespan of the suspension trainer. In terms of safety, the quality of the materials is also crucial. Since almost all exercises place a high load on the belts, they must be able to withstand the load. Therefore, in order to prevent injuries due to poor quality, it is advisable to opt for a high-quality device straight away. The quality of the loops for the arms and legs should also be made of a stable and high-quality material. Pay attention to the belt clamps, as they must never lose their grip – even with jerky movements. In order to complete reliable training, it makes sense if you trust the suspension trainer and are aware of its quality. As a rule, you don’t like to train with inferior equipment, so that it soon collects dust in the next corner.

Another point to look out for is the adjustability of the length on the handle ropes. Individual adjustment options should be available so that you can optimally adapt the suspension trainer to your needs. In addition, it can happen that some exercises require an adjustment of the handle ropes. The adjustability of the skin rope is also important so that you can attach the suspension trainer to the ceiling as well as to a pole with different heights. This makes it easier to use if you also want to use the suspension trainer on vacation or on business trips.

Back to the leg and hand straps – if possible, it makes sense if you can remove the handles and even wash them. In this way you create a hygienic basis and also protect the material from further contamination. It is not uncommon for handles to stick together due to use and become hard and annoying handles. Make sure that you can replace the components if they need to be replaced. Purchasing these loops is usually cheaper than a new suspension trainer.

Pay attention to the fastening options. It often happens that suspension trainers are only equipped with one door anchor. This means that these suspension trainers can only be attached to one door. However, beginners in particular should switch to other types of attachment in order to become familiar with the device.

An important accessory for the suspension trainer is a bag that should be included when you purchase it. All equipment can be accommodated in this, so that you can easily transport the suspension trainer outdoors and when traveling.

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Where is the best place to buy my suspension trainer?

If you have already gotten an impression of a suspension trainer due to our wealth of information, it is almost obvious that you no longer want to do without this product. The simple handling and flexibility make the suspension trainer an effective all-round device that can be used anywhere. To purchase the suspension trainer, you can go to a sports shop and choose a model there. As a rule, however, you will only find a small selection of the most popular models designed for the masses. However, since each training should be done individually, it is advisable that the choice of the suspension trainer should also be designed individually.

If you move your purchase to the Internet, you will find a wide selection of models from which you can choose your individual suspension trainer. Not only functionally, but also optically, the suspension trainer should perfectly suit you, so that you can continue to train with the device in the future. However, the wide variety in the network is also fraught with disadvantages. So it happens that a wide selection leads to a chaos of thoughts and in the end you no longer know which model to choose.

For such cases there are test sites like ours here, where you can find information about the models that are currently the hottest and that stand out from the crowd. With our suspension trainer test 2020 you will also meet the latest models of the new generation.

But not only the wide selection should be a reason why you should buy the suspension trainer online. Because also in terms of price, the Internet and online shops are way ahead. A suspension trainer costs around 100 to 200 euros in the store. The same models are usually up to 50 percent cheaper online, as the retailer can pass the lower price on to the consumer. All these tiny details mean that buying online appears more advantageous and represents a clear alternative to buying in the store.

Another reason is the independence of the opening times, which is why buying online is always worthwhile. If you are very tense at work, it is all the more stressful when you have to hurry to get to the sports shop after work – only to find out that they don’t have the suspension trainer you want.

If you decide to buy on the Internet immediately, you can save yourself the trouble and collect all the information from the comfort of your own home. Even if it lasts late into the night – there are no closing laws on the internet to push you to buy.

If you still haven’t made a selection after several hours, you can postpone further searches to the next day, so that buying a suspension trainer is seen as a real pleasure. You can also benefit from delivery in the online shop, as the suspension trainer will be delivered directly to your home.

Useful accessories

As with any piece of sports equipment, accessories are the be-all and end-all. Before you buy a suspension trainer, make sure you can replace the handles and other parts. For the outdoor area there are special materials that can unconditionally regain wind and weather. You should therefore pay attention to the equipment when buying.

In addition, handles should be available in different variations. Another option is the use of fitness mats to ensure a non-slip surface. A sports bag is essential so that the suspension trainer can always be stored well.

Suspension Trainer Alternatives

The suspension trainer in its shape cannot easily be replaced. There are so-called terrabands that can offer an alternative to the suspension trainer. However, this method is not a relevant alternative for professionals.

The Terra bands are made of a stable but rubber-like material that cannot withstand such loads as the suspension trainer. Nevertheless, it can be an alternative to the suspension trainer for lighter exercises.

Due to the fact that the suspension trainer can be used anywhere, not trying to weigh heavily, there is no alternative to replacing the suspension trainer or any other alternative that could be taken with you when traveling. The suspension trainer is unique and with it its stability and the ability to perform various exercises with it.

Frequently Asked Questions: Suspension Trainers

Suspension training vs. Strength Training - What Are the Differences?

Strength training usually takes place in two ways, starting the flow of power through the body and exerting targeted stimuli on the individual muscle groups. The training takes place on machines or with free weights or dumbbells.

With sling training, on the other hand, the whole body is stressed, whereby the effect is only achieved by the suspension trainer and your own body weight. Instead of targeted exercises, the flow of power is directed through the entire body through instability and your own effort, which goes beyond pure strength training.

The balancing act promotes propriceptive abilities enormously. This also reaches the entire deep muscles, which can never be addressed directly through training. If this is stabilized, the posture improves and complaints in the back and neck area are strongly limited.

While pure strength training trains either arms, stomach, legs or back, sling training allows a variety of muscle stimulation. The joints are spared, whereas strength training often puts a lot of strain on them.

Who is suitable for suspension training?

A prerequisite for sling training is good core muscles. The trainee should also have a good body feeling, as the instability caused by the suspension trainer makes it necessary to perform the exercises correctly.

In physiotherapy, the application is monitored by the physiotherapist, in the gym a beginner can get help from a trainer to get to know the workout with the suspension trainer. Getting started is easy. The feeling for the training arises very quickly and is then improved and intensified.

After a few uses, the suspension trainer can be used anywhere, which has the particular advantage of being able to do the exercises independently of certain locations. The training stimulus is made differently heavy by hanging the slings and can be adapted to your own needs.

This is not only worthwhile for sports enthusiasts, but especially for people who suffer from joint and back pain. Consultation with a physiotherapist is important here in order to relieve the joints properly and to do the exercises gently.

Where to mount a suspension trainer?

The suspension trainer can be attached to the ceiling, wall, door, wall bars or outside on the branch of a tree using a carabiner. The branch should, however, be thick enough and ensure stability. The suspension trainer can also be used in a children’s playground, e.g.on the rod of a swing.

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