How to Get Started With Suspension Based Training

Suspension Based Training

What is Suspension Based Training (SBT)?

Imagine two adjustable straps hanging down from a secure point on the ceiling with handles and loops at the bottom.  Now imagine your hands holding the handles and doing exercises from bicep curls to push ups to rows.  Or perhaps your feet are in the loops and you are doing a plank, side plank, or even mountain climbers.  Take your normal, everyday exercises and perform them on these two unstable, swinging, out of control straps.  What happens?  Your everyday exercises not only work the regular muscle groups such as the biceps or quadriceps or chest, but now your CORE is forced to work too in order to stabilize your straps and keep everything in control.  A total body workout that will keep your heart racing and might, just might, cause you to be sore for 3 days.  THAT is Suspension Based Training.  Awesome.

Suspension Based Training

Who can do SBT?

YOU!!!  The best part about SBT is that it is truly an all-levels class.  SBT was created by a Navy Seal.  A NAVY SEAL.  So there you go, advanced fitness enthusiasts love SBT.  On the other hand, an absolute beginner who is wanting to build strength can also take the exact same class.  Why?  Because YOU determine your intensity just by moving your body closer or further from the straps.  YOU choose how much of your own body weight to use as resistance.  YOU decide when to work harder and when to ease off.  Here are some examples of how a single exercise can be performed at different levels:

The starting position for a basic row can vary from slightly leaning back….. to all the way down in a tabletop!

The starting position for a basic row can vary from slightly leaning back...


High plank is the foundation for most prone exercises.  Lowering the knees to the ground is a great modification for any student who finds legs straight too challenging, especially in an exercise such as push ups!

Suspension Based Training - Plank

Suspension Based Training - Kneeling Plank

You can see that in the same exercise, the range of intensity and difficulty can vary from student to student, allowing any person to be successful at SBT!

Why add SBT into my weekly workout routine?

SBT is a form of strength training.  If you already have strength training built into your exercise routine, then SBT is just a different, fun, and challenging variation you might love because it continually works on stabilizing your core and improving balance. One is not better than the other, it just comes down to personal preference, comfort, and changing up your routine.

However, if you currently do not do any strength training, then you should consider starting.  Strength training in general is necessary to build muscles and increase bone mass, which helps you to perform everyday activities and to prevent osteoporosis.  Strength training also helps to burn calories, lower blood pressure, and reduce body fat.  Look and feel better.  It’s a win win all around!


SBT Basic Rules

1) Choose your intensity.

It is YOUR workout.  If it feels impossible to do a single repetition, or if you barely feel anything, then it is your responsibility to shift your bodyweight until you get to that perfect place where you are challenged, but the exercise is still doable.


2) Keep the strap tight.

Your strap will keep you accountable.  If the strap loosens or bounces during an exercise, then you know something is not right and adjustments with your stance or body angle need to be made.  In every exercise, the strap is always stretched out to its maximum tightness.


3) Engage your core.

Keeping a neutral spine by gently tucking in your tailbone and pulling in your ribs, is crucial to every exercise in SBT.  The spine should stay long and straight, and likewise, your hips and bottom should stay in a straight line from head to toe.  Abdominals need to be activated throughout every exercise, or pain such as in the lower back will occur.


When are the SBT classes?

We will be adding more classes soon, so check the Marin Power Yoga schedule to stay updated.  Make sure to sign up online and reserve a spot since there are limited spaces.  Please wear workout shoes!  As of today, we offer SBT on:

  • Mondays:
    • 6:00am-7:00am with Jill Townsend
    • 9:30am-10:30am with Wendy Rodgers
  • Tuesdays:
    • 12:00pm-1:00pm with Grace Yu
  • Wednesdays:
    • 6:00am-7:00am with Jill Townsend
    • 9:30am-10:30am with Wendy Rodgers
  • Thursdays:
    • 12:00pm-1:00pm with Grace Yu
  • Fridays:
    • 9:30am-10:30am with Grace Yu


SBT is worth giving a couple shots.  In the beginning, there is a slight learning curve, from practicing how to adjust the strap length to getting your body to move in the direction you want it to go.  Be patient, have an open mind, and see what happens.  You may love it, you may hate it, but you will never know unless you try it.

Oh, and for all you yogis out there like myself, SBT will absolutely strengthen your yoga practice, especially inversions!!!



My Birthday Wish

I love birthdays because it always reminds me to stop and reflect on all the good in my life.  Two daughters that I can get endless hugs and kisses from.  A husband that supports our family by saving lives everyday.  A loyal dog that follows me everywhere I go.  New homeowners and surviving months of remodeling.  Flowers delivered from my best friend.  Friends and family sending hellos and birthday wishes.  A celebratory lemon drop martini.  Surviving our first family dinner out at a restaurant since my youngest was born 2 months ago.  Continuing a week-long dessert feast for my sweet tooth…

It’s easy to remember to cherish all the big and small blessings around me on my birthday, but the tricky part is slowing down the other 364 days of the year and not get too affected by the unimportant drama that can drag me down.  Being late to school.  Waiting in a long line at the grocery store.  Fighting exhausting.  Losing my patience.  Paying bills.  Organizing files.  Keeping the house clean.  Worrying about my weight.  Dealing with people that I disagree with.  The endless to-do list…

And then I read an email about my childhood family friend who I went to high school with.  Newly married, has a baby, normal life, and just diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

What. Is. Going. On.

The answer?  Life.  This is life.  Temporary, unpredictable, cruel, and always too short.  As much as I try to control and plan ahead, life will take its own course.  I must accept that.  My friend has to accept that.

Everyday may not be my birthday, but beginning today, I will treat each day as if it were.  Because everyday deserves a little celebration, a little reflection, a little indulgence, and lots and lots of big hugs and kisses, regardless how out of control life seems.  Life is too short to look at the glass half empty.  It is always half full.

My birthday wish?  Stop and reflect on all the good in your life, right now.  Reach out to a long-lost friend and say hello.  Eat slower and savor each bite you chew.  Show your family you love them.  Filter out what is truly a big deal, and what is just drama that needs to be let go.  Tell stories and share with each other.  Let’s treat everyday like it is our birthday.