Integrated Stretching

Incorporate the entire body, enhance range of motion and optimize recovery by using suspension equipment in your cooldown.

By PJ O'Clair
Jan 16, 2019

When it comes to integrated stretching, the TRX® Suspension Trainer is a helpful tool. Stretching can often feel somewhat passive; however, the game changes when you hold straps or attach them to your feet. Our bodies move in patterns, not in isolation, so why not enhance that concept and include this equipment in your cooldowns?

Straps also offer support for the limbs, which helps the body achieve deeper ranges of motion with minimal stress to the joints, encouraging relaxation. Also, since this is dynamic stretching, it may entice type A personalities, who often skip out of class early, to stay to the end. Try these integrated stretches in the cooldown segment of a TRX-specific class.

Up Stretch With Forward Fold

Upstretch with TRX Suspension Trainer
Forward fold stretch with TRX Suspension Trainer

Goal: Enhance full spine and hip mobility in extension and flexion.

Strap adjustment: midlength

Position: standing, facing away from anchor

Start: Hold straps behind body, palms facing in.

Movement, part 1:

  • Walk forward a few steps, allowing arms to float up to shoulder extension.
  • Lift heels, extend both spine and hips, and lean body forward into bow shape.

Variations:

  • Step back toward anchor to intensify stretch.
  • Turn palms up.
  • Stay for 1–2 full breaths.

Movement, part 2:

  • Pull tightly on straps as you walk back toward anchor, flexing spine and hips.
  • Come into forward fold, arms behind body.

Variation:

  • Shift body side to side.
  • Stay for 2–3 full breaths.

Movement, part 3:

  • From flexed position, lift heels.
  • Segmentally articulate spine from flexion to extension.
  • Repeat 2x.

Suspended Side Stretch

Suspended side stretch with TRX Suspension Trainer

Goal: Foster mobility along lateral body.

Strap adjustment: midlength

Position: standing, facing anchor

Start: Hold straps close to body, elbows bent. Cross right leg over left and rotate lower body from waist down to left side.

Movement:

  • Extend arms, lean away from anchor, hinge at hips, bend front leg and turn out foot of back leg (outside edge of foot is flat).
  • Stay for 2–3 full breaths.
  • Bend elbows and pull body back to starting position.
  • Repeat, other side, crossing L leg over R and rotating body R.
  • Stay for 2–3 full breaths.

Supine Pendulum Swing

Supine pendulum swing with TRX Suspension Trainer

Goal: Calm the nervous system with gentle swinging motion.

Strap adjustment: midcalf

Position: supine on ground, facing anchor

Start: Lie with head under anchor, heels in straps, arms resting by sides.

Movement:

  • Lift pelvis and lower spine off mat.
  • “Pendulum swing” from side to side, keeping arms stable on mat.
  • Repeat 8x–10x each way.
  • Lower body back down to mat.

Variations:

  • To increase hamstring stretch, slide body away from anchor, increasing
    angle from midspine to feet.
  • When swinging R, bend R knee. At end of range, push through foot, extend knee and swing back to center. Repeat, L side.
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PJ O'Clair

PJ O'Clair has been a leader and consultant in the fitness industry for more than 25 years. She is a STOTT PILATES® master instructor trainer and has been featured in numerous fitness videos, including over 25 titles with STOTT PILATES®. PJ has also written numerous articles for industry publications and is the recipient of the 2008 IDEA Program Director of the Year award.

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