The Best Exercises You Can Do Only With the Unity Trainer


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Reading this, you are either in possession of a Unity Trainer or thinking about getting one.

Whichever part of the decision matrix you are on, you must have ventured into the company’s site and done your homework. There, you saw our fitness personalities busting out some moves with the Unity Trainer that got you scratching the back of your head.

The pull-up? Simple enough, but with a twist (literally).

Have you seen the get-up? Wait, what’s a get-up and what is it for?

How about our version of the gymnastics classic, the skin-the-cat? Your biceps, abdominals, and rotator cuff can thank us later.

Not only does the Unity Trainer give you a gym you can take anywhere anytime, it is also the tool for unlocking movement patterns you cannot train with conventional fitness equipment.

On top of that, the idea of training areas you didn’t know existed can be a mouth-watering prospect for recreational and indoor athletes.

But, before we go into the moves you can try with the Unity Trainer, why would it be a wise investment in the first place?

The Value of a Suspension Trainer

You may ask, what makes the Unity Trainer special? Check out some of its benefits:

Brachiation And Spinal Decompression

People who train in the modern conventional sense will tell you that they were brought up on the barbell-and-dumbbell-heavy bodybuilding tradition.

The “meatheads” out there may not be aiming for the pump, but they do pull and push loaded bars as well.

These approaches to training have yielded benefits since the dawn of gym culture. So it would be unwise of us to speak ill of training approaches that require load-bearing. However, training this way for too long does come with risks ones that you may overlook until it is too late.

Ask any seasoned lifter, and they will complain to you about one thing lower back pain. Often, the pain felt is the result of years and years of axial loading. Axial loading occurs when you lift a load that your core and midline must support. Examples of exercises that axially load your spine are the back squat, front squat, deadlift, and the military press.

Again, there is nothing wrong with performing these exercises. However, due to the location of the load, the weights can compress your spine. With time and chronic heavy loading, your spinal discs may pay the price due to spinal compression.

The result of chronically overloading your spine is a herniated disc. For many lifters, this is the cause of pain. For those who are unfortunate enough to have too many discs compressed, disc
herniation was what shortened their training careers.

Disc issues from excessive spinal compression can shorten your lifting career too, unless you find some way to relieve your back of some of the pressure. This relief can come in the form of brachiation. The always-informative Dan John describes brachiation as merely “hanging” and is a fundamental human movement.

Hanging from a bar or a tool structured like the Unity Trainer allows your lower body’s weight to help decompress the spine. Hence, by using the Unity Trainer for exercises like pull-ups, you can add years to your spine’s health!

Support for Scaling

To learn any complex movement, you need to regress. Let’s use the pistol squat as an example.

It is a marvellous callisthenics exercise with unique benefits that cannot be experienced with back squats and front squats. An exercise like the pistol squat is a different kind of beast.

It has concentric loading. Also, the pistol squat provides an athlete with superior cross-body stabilization training. Let’s not forget about how social media-worthy the movement is!

But, what if you cannot do a pistol squat? Sure, you can learn with trial and error. However, let’s be honest it is a statistical certainty that you might land on your moon a bunch of times before
you get this move right.

This is what movement regressions are for. They are easier variations of the movement designed to help you perfect a particular movement’s execution. To learn the pistol squat is to learn how to
squat with one leg not two, not with a barbell, not with both your butt cheeks touching a 24-inch box.

The Unity Trainer is your best friend when it comes to learning movements. Its modular split strap and ergonomic handles provide you with the support you need for learning complex moves like the pistol squat, dragon pistol squat, and the curtsy squat.

A Yoga Ball Minus the Stare-Grabbing Bulkiness

Some people like to train with a yoga ball to add an element of instability to their workouts. Of late, people who use these brightly-colored objects have received flak from the “hardcore” members of the fitness community.

Nonetheless, instability mimics many surfaces in our daily existence. Furthermore, what mat warrior has not benefited from drilling sprawls and mount transitions on a yoga ball.

The benefits of stability training cannot be denied. Yet, you might be hard-pressed to find any fitness nomad taking a yoga ball to the park.

The Unity Trainer can replace a yoga ball. Once you have purchased one, it is almost like a yoga ball you can fit into your gym sack or backpack.

The Top 10 Exercises You Can Do With the Unity Trainer

Now that you understand why you should get a suspension trainer, you might want to get some ideas about what exercises you can do with one.

It is believed that bodyweight exercises lend themselves to variation and modification. Add a suspension trainer and see your movement options branch out like the heads of the mythical

But, we can deal with complexity in another blog post. For now, we have narrowed your prospects down to 10. Each movement in the list can help you develop strength, range of motion, and muscular endurance.

Pull-Up Chin-Up Combo

The pull-up is an exercise that develops the rhomboids and lats. It is a challenging movement on its own, which is why many who wish to reap nearly the same benefits choose other movements.

Other than rows, chin-ups seem to be the go-to alternative to pull-ups. While chin-ups work the back’s medial musculature, it outshines the pull-up in creating hypertrophy in the biceps.

You may not be able to develop the biceps with just pull-ups fully, nor can you get back width with chin-ups. Can you get both? With the Unity Trainer, you can definitely.

You can try the pull-up chin-up combo. It is quite simple. All you need to do is pull yourself up as you would in a regular pull-up. As you pull your body up, rotate your hands until you reach the top of the movement. The resulting position is like that of a chin-up.

By combining these two moves, you get the lat activation of the pull-up plus the bicep contraction of the chin-up!


If pull-ups and chin-ups work the upper back’s biceps and muscles, dips can take care of the rest. The dip is the bodyweight equivalent of the decline bench press. It is an exercise that targets the
chest, shoulders, and triceps.

These can be done on parallel bars and dip bars in any commercial gym. Do dips with something like gymnastics rings or a suspension trainer, and you add instability to the workout.

Instability is a crucial element to introduce, especially to ball and socket joints like the ankles and the shoulders. Contrary to popular belief, it is safe and healthy to do dips with moving handles.

Doing this trains the shoulders to maintain rigidity intermittently. Shoulder muscles trained to maintain rigidity for any length of time are less susceptible to dislocation, weakness, and most
importantly, muscular imbalances.

In short, the dip is both an exercise and a feedback mechanism. If you have a shoulder imbalance anywhere, the dip will tell you.

Any Movement Using the Split Strap

The Unity Trainer comes with a pair of straps that you can place close together or far apart.

By placing the straps far apart, you can perform wide-grip versions of many pulling movements. Other than the Y-pull, an example of a wide-grip pulling movement is the wide-grip pull-up.

For the chest, there are also moves you can try with the split straps spaced far apart. Flys make an excellent accessory movement for sessions where you focused on pushing movements.

Vice Grip Rows

Another accessory that goes with the Unity suspension trainer is a pair of vice grips. These are replacements for the default-size handles that have a much thicker grip.

The thicker grips train your grip strength. Grip strength is often a limiting factor for anyone trying to get better at pullups, deadlifts, and rows. A firm grip not only allows you to get better at many exercises. Studies have also shown that grip strength is an indicator of longevity.

Your grip training does not need to take up a whole session. You would be missing out on all the other fun and fundamental movements like pulls, pushes, squats, and hinges. To save time, you can pair grip training with a pulling movement.

Vice grip rows are a perfect opportunity to train both your grip’s isometric and concentric strength and your horizontal pulling all in one movement.

Vice Grip Curls

A vice grip curl is another exercise that pairs grip training with another movement using Unity’s Vice Grips. Only this time, you get to work your grip and your guns.

Vice grip curls allow you to train your crushing strength and your biceps. The difficulty of this exercise can be adjusted by raising or lowering the handles. The lower the handles are, the
harder the exercise becomes.

Using a supine grip, grip the handles and lay back. From this position, pull your body to a standing position by curling the handles towards you. Start with the handles high. When the reps become too easy, start lowering the handles by adjusting the primary or secondary straps.


Ball and socket joints like the shoulder need to be moved regularly to maintain range of motion. The shoulders are not joints you can rehab and prehab with pulling and pushing. Instead, they must be taken through its natural plane of rotation.

Hanging from the Unity suspension trainer allows the spine to stretch and decompress. For the shoulder and pecs, there is the gymnastics classic, the skin-the-cat.

Doing the skin-the-cat provides a full upper body stretch. It improves the mobility of the rotator cuffs which have attachments to the pectoralis major. For this reason, even the pectoral muscles
get stretched with this movement.

Do one rep for at least 30 seconds to experience the benefits of stretching your anterior upper body muscles.

For reps, you get these benefits along with improved agility and coordination while suspended. The elevation of the legs required for the move will also train your hip flexors and upper abdominals.

Assisted Pistol Squats

Not everyone has developed the balance and core stability for the perfect pistol squat. Luckily, there is more than one way to get the quad strength of a gymnast.

As you work up to an unsupported pistol squat, you will need to perform a variation of it. In particular, one that is as close to it as possible. With the Unity Trainer, you can perform the supported version of the pistol squat.

The beautiful thing about performing the supported version is that holding the straps allows you to hold the squat longer. The prolonged eccentric and concentric phases strengthen the legs’
muscles and create the microtears necessary for hypertrophy.

In time, you will be performing more pistol squats assisted or otherwise.


To date, there are two versions of the get-up: weighted and unweighted. Originally, this movement’s weighted variation earned a following concurrent to the rise in popularity of the kettlebell (thanks, Pavel!). Since its reintroduction into the fitness industry’s consciousness,
its core strengthening benefits have been touted by athletes professional or recreational.

Does this mean that you can only get the most out of the movement by owning a kettlebell? No.

In fact, the unweighted variation proves to be equally effective in activating all abdominal muscles. Also, like the loaded variation, practicing the movement reinforces the movement pattern of getting back up from a supine position. You might not improve your overhead stability
due to the absence of a weight.

You will, however, still develop mobile hips and a core of steel.

With the Unity Trainer, you can kiss those boring crunches goodbye, and have the get-up in their place.

Unstable Hip Bridges

Let’s be honest.

It’s hard to imagine an exercise that trains the glutes and lower back without an implement to lift or swing. You may even sweepingly claim that no such exercise exists.


Sure, you will not snatch or deadlift impressive loads. But, the hip bridge can develop your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes all essential to lower back health. You can think of the hip bridge
as an unloaded hinge movement where the hips extend.

Doing this on a stable surface yields benefits already. Introduce instability with the Unity Trainer, and you will be working one more muscle group your stabilizing muscles. These muscles do not move loads. Instead, they perform an equally vital function: supporting your body.

The instability created by the trainer mimics the instability provided by a yoga ball. Once again, the Unity Trainer is like a yoga ball but less bulky and more effective.

Mountain Climber to Pop-up

This is one of the most athletic combinations you can put together. You begin with a move that requires you to be in a plank position. You then combine it with a move that requires you to pop up to an upright position.

With the Unity suspension trainer, you can perform a mountain climber to pop-up. For this exercise, you will need one foot suspended by one of the trainer’s handles. The other foot may rest on the ground. If you want additional lower abdominal involvement, you can leave the
unsupported foot in the air.

One rep consists of bringing the supported leg towards your chest then bringing it back. After that, the other leg must shoot forward, step on the ground, and support you as you assume an upright position. In a way, it is like a one-legged burpee.

The mountain climber to pop-up trains unilateral stability, explosiveness, and agility. Do this for reps, and you get an excellent conditioning drill that can translate to better movement on the
field and the mats.

Unity Training’s Suspension Trainer: Your Versatile Gym

These exercises are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day, our athletes and clients develop new moves to add to Unity Training’s exercise library.  

If you are still asking about what you can do with Unity’s Modular Suspension Trainer, here is our answer: