Suspension Training is the next best option to Body Weight Training. Suspension straps allow you to use leverage to lessen the amount of body weight. This is especially helpful during pregnancy. The strap is great to assist with upper body strengthening.

Muscle Emphasis

Arms: latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, biceps.

Starting Position

Make sure the strap is securely attached on the door or tree. Give it a tug to be sure. Grip the handles on the strap firmly. Walk the body into a position where elbows are at your sides and shoulder blades retracted. Place your feet hip width apart and align the body from head to toe as if leaning against a stiff board. Walk the feet further forward to increase difficulty.

Movement Down

Slowly lean back until arms are straightened. Allow the arms to extend. Keep the legs active and glutes engaged. Move slowly, one inch at a time. Move slowly, one inch at a time so that a maximum number of muscles get recruited.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement, keeping the head aligned over the body.
  • Focus your eyes on the top of the door, near where the wall meets the ceiling to keep your neck aligned.
  • Engage the abdominal and core muscles to support the spine.
  • Use your muscles to control movement and minimize reliance on the strap to hold your weight.


Common Mistakes

  • Shrugging shoulders.
  • Rounding back. 
  • Pulling elbows past back of body (pinches anterior shoulder nerves)


Closing Comments

This exercise allows a pregnant woman to work on upper back strength which helps counterbalance the extra weight that pulls the front of the body forward. Because there is consistent weight gain during pregnancy, the strap helps counterbalance the weight as muscles are built to support the changes. 

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Image Credit: Beverly Hosford – 9 months pregnant
SBT Suspension Strap provided by SBT Extreme

Beverly Hosford

Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn how to help your clients sleep better with in Bev’s NFPT Sleep Coach Program and dive deeper into anatomy in her NFPT Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.