As I mentioned in a previous post, my friends and I kept some semblance of training going over New Year, despite all being together on the type of holiday which centres around a daily evening ritual of a huge dinner, cheese, port and…oh….it pains me to think about it. I believe the word is over-indulgence.
Anyway, we really did do our best to off-set some of our intake (or at the very least to sweat some of the hangover out) by exercising once or twice a day. Some mountain biked. Others walked. My friend Jo (a PT) and I, along with our friend Penny on a few occasions, chose to train indoors. In this series of blog posts, I’ll review the bits of kit we used and the DVDs we tried out.
In the last of my reviews I wanted to tell you about a great bit of kit Jo brought with her (and we all used – even Richard). It’s called the Ztrainer and it’s a make of suspension trainer which is just so useful.
If you’ve not come across suspension training before, let me explain. Suspension trainers are portable bits of kit which pack away into a tiny bag but then unravel to a piece of fitness kit which can give you an all-round training session.
Here’s the blurb:
The portable Ztrainer offers on-the-spot suspension training, with hundreds of exercise options for effective workouts at home, in the garden, hotel, gym, wherever you are.
Whatever the fitness goal – fat loss, flexibility or strength – the highly effective British made Ztrainer offers huge benefits and allows the user to easily progress or regress exercises depending on ability and experience.
The Ztrainer has become a big hit with bootcamps, group exercise instructors and personal trainers who find it a vital part of their training equipment.
Soft moulded handles provide a comfortable grip to secure both hands or feet for a total body workout. The Ztrainer can be used in single or double handed mode and the length can be varied easily to suit the location, user or exercise.
You attach them to door frames (completely safe – for you and the door!) at home/in a hotel room/wherever you are, or to a tree or anything else you can find (if you’re training outside). The Ztrainer leaves no room for excuses – you can use it to train almost anywhere. And you really don’t need much space – over New Year, we hooked it up to a bedroom door and used the narrow space of the landing (opening two other doors for lateral movements!)
And if you think you can’t get much of a workout, think again! It’s all body weight training but of course you can change the angle at which the Ztrainer supports you. From memory, here are a few of the things Personal Trainer-friend Jo had me doing on her Ztrainer:
– elevated push ups (feet in the handles)
– chest flyes (lying almost flat) and reverse flyes
– pistols/single leg squats
– single-arm rows
– bicep curls
– tricep extensions
– close grip and wide rows
– straight arm pull-down
– modified mountain climbers/jack-knife (feet in the handles)
Our pal Penny (who is recovering from a broken foot) did some simpler exercises, which shows that less-trained people can get just as much from the Ztrainer (squats and rows, etc).
Essentially, anything you can do with a cable machine or straps/bands, you can probably do on a Ztrainer. It’s great for playing around with, inventing versions of exercises and putting your own routine together. You can use it to elevate your feet, to add some instability (to challenge your core and stabilisers) and to work at a range of angles.