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The Best Suspension Trainer Rehab Exercises

Looking for Suspension Trainer/TRX Rehab Exercises? Check out our Guide to the best! By Dr. Zach Long, DPT of The Barbell Physio
Erson Religioso Feb 13, 2020

Intro

In the musculoskeletal rehab world we’ve made huge strides understanding the importance of improving the strength of patients returning from an injury. But often we’re faced with the challenge of getting the right strength equipment in place. 

Intro

While I’d love for every physical therapy, chiropractic, and athletic training facility to have barbells and kettlebells, I understand space and issues convincing management to update equipment. An easy way to combat lack of good equipment is to begin using suspension trainer rehab exercises in your programming.

The EDGE Suspension Trainer

Suspension trainers are incredibly cheap, take up little space and can provide a wide variety of easily scalable exercise options for all populations. Below you’ll find a few of my most commonly prescribed suspension trainer exercises. The EDGE SUSPENSION TRAINER is a great, affordable option at only $59.99 which is much less than other brands like the TRX.

The EDGE Suspension Trainer

For more great equipment recommendations for rehab settings check out my free e-book outlining what I believe to be the best pieces of rehab equipment.

The following list of suspension trainer rehab exercises is far from complete but will be a great starting point for many.

UPPER BODY SUSPENSION TRAINER REHAB EXERCISES

Wall slides are a popular shoulder rehab exercise. But when using a wall, you are limited to being flat against the wall, thus being difficult if you have a lack of shoulder elevation or thoracic mobility. By walking backward a few steps using a suspension trainer, you can regress this. 

Wall Slide

You can eventually progress your arms to parallel with your body. I also like to place my hands in the foot straps and push posteriorly to activate upper quarter posterior chain during this prior to any upper body workouts. Click here for a video

Serratus Anterior Single Arm Punches

Combining the benefits of serrates anterior strengthening with an unstable surface makes this exercise a great one for shoulder rehab. Regress down to having both hands in straps if an easier variation is needed. Click here for the video.

Face Pulls

A great rehab and general strength exercise for the entire upper back. Works the traps, rhomboids, and rotator cuff. I especially like doing a drop set here where I have individuals do 10 tough reps then take a step back for less resistance and crank out more reps. Click here for the video.

External Rotations

External rotations are always a staple in shoulder rehab programs and can easily be performed with a suspension trainer. The benefit of this set up versus a band is the added core challenge. If you tend to overextend the lumbar spine during overhead lifts you will do the same here making this a great exercise to start retraining that pattern. Video Here.

LOWER BODY SUSPENSION TRAINER REHAB EXERCISES

Let's move on to the lower body! There are so many possibilities to use the EDGE Suspension Trainer for lower body exercise and rehab. The following isn't exhaustive, but they are some of my favorites.

Single Leg Squats

A challenging strength more for athletes of all levels. The suspension trainer version gives us two great benefits: (1) it reduces the balance demands for those limited more by balance than strength and (2) we can use a little arm assistance if needed to unload the movement if unassisted single leg squats are too hard. Click here for the video.

Single Leg Deadlifts

The SLDL with a suspension trainer is a great teaching tool to instruct a client on the proper way to perform a single leg deadlift.  The TRX allows for the client to have increased stability and allows them to focus on proper hip and trunk positioning. Click here for the video.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats

I prefer this version to having the back foot on a bench as the suspension trainer is less supportive. This prevents the back leg from contributing as much force and works the front leg significantly more. Click here for the video.

Hamstring Curls

Prepare for a serious burn with this one. Keep the hips high the entire time as the knee bends back and forth. Click here for the video.

CORE BODY SUSPENSION TRAINER REHAB MOVEMENTS

The variation and easy to change challenge with body weight makes the EDGE Suspension Trainer perfect for core rehab movements. Here are some of my favorites!

Side Planks

If you thought normal side planks were tough adding the instability of the suspension trainer takes is to another level! Click here for the video.

Jacknife

This exercise is great for working the anterior abs and hip flexors. Click here for the video.

Pallof Press

A very underrated exercise in the strength world that works with bands, cable columns, and suspension trainers. This builds strong anti-rotation strength in the midline. Click here for the video.

Pikes

Working with a lot of fitness athletes, I find this exercise incredibly valuable for strengthening the midline and shoulder girdle with great translation to the gymnastics skills CrossFit athletes perform. Click here for the video.

Body Saw

Like the pike above the body saw can be a great exercise to work midline strength & lats together which is the foundation for many fitness athlete movements. Click here for the video.

Get The EDGE Suspension Trainer Today!

If you are ready to grab a suspension trainer for your clinic I’d again recommend looking at the EDGE Suspension Trainer for a great quality piece of equipment for a phenomenal deal! Use code barbellphysio at checkout to save 10%!