As a teacher + enthusiast of Pilates and all things fitness, I’m always looking for innovative ways to improve ease, strength and coordination in movement, which is why I was excited to add Bodhi Suspension Training to my toolbox.
The Bodhi promotes all the things we teach in Pilates, (control, alignment, breath, and so much more), but allows you to load your body and build control in a 3 dimensional platform using your center of gravity.
Here are three reasons why you must try and “suspend your disbelief” with a Bodhi workout.
1) Build whole body strength in all planes of motion.
With the exception of a few activities, (e.g. rock climbing), most of us don’t have many opportunities to load our bodies in different inclines or planes of gravity. The Bodhi suspension system changes this.
Through use of the ropes, you can perform strength moves like bicep curls, rows, squats and push-ups on various inclines, where steeper typically means harder. You can also use it to train in all six body positions and change center of gravity in standing, sitting, kneeling, side lying, prone and supine.
This also provides an opportunity to increase core activation and stability, because the core fires automatically when your body falls into a lean or outside of where it normally orients in gravity, (think standing upright), and because you’re hanging from the ropes, you get the added benefit of grip strength.
2) Find new challenge in traditional exercises.
I think the basics are great and there’s amazing benefit to doing a well executed roll up or swan. However, I also enjoy “leveling up” my workout and playing with variations.
By introducing the instability of the ropes, you can challenge your control and strength with exercises that you’ve perfected on the mat. Additionally, you can introduce elements of novelty and fun for the client whose always looking to mix it up, without sacrificing form.
For example, putting your feet in the loops gives you endless variations for pikes, planks and bridges or you could turn the classical mat repertoire, (hundred, series of five, spine twist, you name it!), into a suspension based workout.
3) Improve balance.
Whether your goal is to enhance activities of daily life or improve performance, everyone needs good balance and the Bodhi offers a safe way to introduce balance training for client of all levels and ages.
As a four-point suspension system, the Bodhi gives you the option of suspending from your hands, feet or all of the above.
If you were working with an active ager to reduce help with fall prevention, you could use the ropes to create support and security for leaning into gravity with exercises like rocking arms or give balance assistance in a squat or releve.
Conversely, if you were looked to create more advanced challenges, you could suspend a leg in a lunge or row variation or do leg swings and push ups with the hands and feet simultaneously suspended.
Since I’ve started using the Bodhi in client Pilates sessions, many of my long time clients have reported great results. A 93 year old client told me she’s able to get in and out of her car and up the stairs more easily, (she credits all the Bodhi squats we’ve been doing), and another client has found she’s improved her balance when horseback riding.