Social Distancing: Sling Strength Training Workout – all3sports

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Social Distancing: Sling Strength Training Workout

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Athletes in all sports benefit tremendously from strength training. Many individuals choose to work out at a gym and leverage the variety of equipment available to create a tailored workout. Others choose to participate in group workouts. These days, both of those options are not accessible. However, working out at home allows you to workout in your time and wait time for equipment is eliminate!

Many valuable workouts can be performed using body weight exclusively. The workout described below leverages a sling or suspension trainer. These trainers attach to doorways or can be fixed to a wall or ceiling with an appropriate mount. If you travel, this is a great option to ensure you can get your workout done without guessing if the hotel gym will have what you need.

Before you get started on the circuit below, we suggest you warm up a bit. This can be a 1-2 mile jog or jumping rope or even just jumping jacks. Ideally, you are able to loosen your muscles and stretch a bit before doing a weight training session.

The Workout:

Repeat this circuit two times with 30 seconds rest between each activity:

Sling Adductor –

  • 8 reps on each side
    • Starting with the sling adjusted to mid-calf length, lie on your side and place your upper leg in a sling to just below the knee. To minimize “sawing” of the sling, put your leg through both handles. Clasp your hands together extending your arms straight out in front of you. Press down into the sling to raise your hips up while keeping your spine stable.

Sling Abductor –

  • 8 reps on each side
    • Keep the sling adjusted to mid-calf length lying on your side. Place your lower leg in the sling just below your knee. Clasp your hands together and extend your arms straight in front of you. Press down into the sling and raise your hips up. Pivoting from the shoulder be sure to keep your spine straight.

Hip Rotation –

  • 8 reps on each side
    • The sling is still at mid-calf length and this time you will be lying on your back. Put one leg through the sling handle to just below your knee. Raise your hips up off the ground with your body weight supported by your leg and your shoulders. Your free leg should be extended next to the leg in the sling. Feel the burn yet? Well, it’s about to get more fun.
    • Your hands should be clasped together pointed up to the ceiling and your gaze should be in that direction too.
    • Keep your kneecap of the leg in the sling pointed up and dip your free hip on an imaginary axis down to the ground. Then return to the stating point.
    • Start with a small motion. As you get stronger, you can rotate more.
    • Repeat on the other side paying attention to do equal work on each side.

Reach-Out –

  • 8 reps
    • Sling length remains the same and you are positioned on your knees facing the sling. Put your arms through the sling. Keep your shoulders down and back throughout the exercise.
    • Lean forward into the rope and reach your arms out as far as you can without shrugging your shoulders.
    • With control, bring your arms and body back to the starting position.
    • To make this exercise easier, make the sling shorter. To make it harder, try standing.

Sling Push-ups -

  • 8 reps
    • Set yourself up like the previous exercise. This time, you will be in a plank position with your shoulders directly under the anchor point. If you have your trainer attached to a door or wall, you will be slightly away from the anchor point.
    • With control and keeping your body straight, drop down into your pushup. Return to the starting position with straight arms.
    • To make this easier, shorten the slings or drop to your knees.
    • To make this harder, try putting your feet in the sling.

Sling Back Lunge –

  • 8 reps each side
    • Sling should be positioned so the drops are at mid-calf length.
    • Standing with your back to the anchor point, put one leg in the strap standing on the other leg. The back leg should be bent.
    • With control, squat keeping the vertical shin as upright as possible.
    • With a neutral spine, your hips should extend behind you.
    • Drive back up to the starting position bringing your legs together.

Sling Row –

  • 8 reps
    • Arrange the handles to be at mid-length.
    • Standing towards the anchor point, hold the handles in your hands with arms straight supporting your body weight. Your body will be at angle.
    • With control, draw your body up by bringing your elbows to your side. Take care not to raise your shoulders.
    • The space between the shoulder blades should be feeling the work.
    • To make this easier, stand further away from the anchor. To make it easier, bring your feet closer to the anchor.

Sling Pistol Squat –

  • 8 reps on each side
    • Starting from the same position as the Sling Row, lift one leg off the ground with a straight leg and flexed foot.
    • Carefully squat keeping your pelvis level. Your shin of the leg doing the work should remain vertical.
    • When you get to a 90-degree angle, return to the starting point driving through the heel. If you need additional help, you can use your upper body but ideally your upper body is just providing balance.
    • Standing away from the anchor will make it easier and the closer you are will make it more challenging.

Great job! Don't forget to cool down with an easy activity such as walking or jogging. Stretching will be very important as well!

If you’re not used to strength training or are new to sling workouts, this was probably challenging. Try adding this workout or other strength workouts to your routine once per week. By revisiting this workout every couple of weeks, you can feel your progress. This workout will improve your core strength, stability and the muscles used in swimming and running.


As with all training advice, please read this with knowledge of your own health and abilities in mind. Be sure to ask a doctor if you’re healthy enough to perform these exercises. If you have an injury, make sure you have recovered and cleared for additional activity. Do not over-train and ensure you are fueling your body appropriately to maximize your body’s performance and recovery. If something causes pain, that’s not good. Stop that exercise and perhaps the workout. When you workout, you should feel like you’re doing work but there shouldn’t be pain. Listen to your body and be smart.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio


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