What Determines the Intensity of Standing Suspension Exercises? - Melrose & Dawes (2015)

Hello Fellow Researchers!

Let's investigate one of the most comprehensive studies on the progression of intensity for standing suspension exercises: Melrose & Dawes (2015). This study attempted to answer the question: what determines the intensity of a standing suspension exercise, the body angle or distance between the feet and anchor?

What Did The Researchers Test?

Using a calibrated dynamometer, the researchers measured the amount of weight encountered by the participants in two different ways at the same time while in the starting position of a Suspended Row. One variable was having the heels of their feet be directly under the anchor and proceeding outwards to 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 ft away from the anchor.

TRX Suspension Trainer straps for suspension training exercises. Measuring the progression of intensity, feet from the anchor

The other variable was exact body angles of 30, 45, 60, and 75 degrees from vertical for each of those 6 distances, when possible.

TRX Suspension Trainer straps for suspension training exercises. Measuring the progression of intensity, angle of the body

What Determines the Intensity of Standing Suspension Exercises?

By the end of the study, the researchers had three findings:

  1. The angle of the body significantly influenced the intensity of the Suspended Row.
  2. The distance between the feet and the anchor also influenced intensity, but to a lesser extent.
  3. The researchers were able to develop equations to predict or determine the amount of weight that would be used by the participant, based on the angle of the body from vertical, which can be found within the study.

Based on this study, it appears that finding your body angle and using the equations found in the study can be advantageous to find the weight used for some standing suspension exercises. It is important to note, though, that finding your body angle is difficult, especially if you workout solo. Many of us may not be confident in using a protractor or goniometer to find a particular angle. In addition, if you stand in the same spot, but want to change the body angle, you would be required to change the strap-length, which can become tedious. Notwithstanding, regardless of the book, YouTube video or manual about suspension exercises, each suspension exercise is typically prescribed a specific strap-length. For example:

TRX Suspension Trainer straps for suspension training exercises. Measuring the progression of intensity, strap length for different exercises

How Do You Change the Intensity of a Standing Suspension Exercise?

Then the only way to change the body angle (and intensity) for a standing suspension exercise is by changing the distance between your feet and the anchor: The closer you move toward the anchor, the closer the body angle is to the floor, and the greater the intensity. The reverse is also true.

TRX Suspension Trainer straps for suspension training exercises. Adding progression and changing the intensity of a Suspension Row.

Therefore, by measuring and writing down the distance between the feet and anchor (like writing down the weight you are lifting), you will know the intensity you are currently using and when you are making progress when that distance changes.

Writing down the intensity when using the TRX Suspension Trainer straps for suspension training exercises. Keeping track of progress.

Thank you for reading, and please subscribe to be notified about additional articles. If you'd like to read the study for yourself, a link to the entire study below:

Researchgate.net: Melrose & Dawes (2015) - "Resistance Characteristics of the TRX Suspension Training System at Different Angles and Distances from the Hanging Point"

Author:

James Curley, The Suspension Scientist
James Curley, The Suspension Scientist 
CSCS, NSCA-CPT, TRX-STC

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Products Created by the Suspension Scientist:

Tyger Mat to use, anchor, mount suspension exercise, exercise straps, measure intensity of chest press row, arms, legs, not made by trx
Tyger Mat to use, anchor, mount suspension exercise, exercise straps, measure intensity of chest press row, arms, legs, not made by trx
Tyger Mat to use, anchor, mount suspension exercise, exercise straps, measure intensity of chest press row, arms, legs, not made by trx

Tyger Mat

Regular price$99.00
/
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Measure every Suspension Exercise.
  • Monitor the width of your feet/hands.
  • Know the stretch of elastic bands.
  • Track your strength levels over time.
  • Remain aligned with the straps/bands.
Additional Features:
  • Great slip-resistance; feel secure
  • The entire design is laser-etched

Science and Programming for Suspended Exercises and Elastic Bands: Live-Streaming

Regular price$150.00
/
Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Effectively quantify the intensity of suspension exercise.
  • Properly calibrate the level of tension of any elastic band.
  • Efficiently record your positioning and results for each set of the exercise.
  • Evaluate the long-term progress of strength, endurance, and balance.
It is also accredited by the NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE, and CanFitPro!
Upcoming Dates
Online. CEU, CEC. Approved by NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE Fitness, and CanFitPro. CSCS, personal trainer, Course, class, not made by trx
Online. CEU, CEC. Approved by NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE Fitness, and CanFitPro. CSCS, personal trainer, Course, class, not made by trx
Online. CEU, CEC. Approved by NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE Fitness, and CanFitPro. CSCS, personal trainer, Course, class, not made by trx
Online. CEU, CEC. Approved by NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE Fitness, and CanFitPro. CSCS, personal trainer, Course, class, not made by trx
Online. CEU, CEC. Approved by NSCA, NASM, AFAA, ACE Fitness, and CanFitPro. CSCS, personal trainer, Course, class, not made by trx