Although they aren’t brand new, there’s a reason Blast Straps have continued to challenge athletes into 2010. Since being a best-seller in 2005, they continue to be the No. 1 piece of equipment in gym bags everywhere.

What are Blast Straps?

The straps are made of heavy duty nylon that adjusts with a sliding clasp. This makes it extremely easy to move from one exercise to the next. The straps attach to the top of your rack and won’t scratch up your equipment. They include two heavy single grip handles, ensuring comfort with every movement.

They’ll last for years even if you put them through the most brutal abuse.

How do they work?

They allow you to perform bodyweight exercises in a challenging way. Some of you may think bodyweight exercises are for the weak, but I assure you they’re not.

The movements performed with Blast Straps train athletes to move their bodies against unstable forces and add external resistance. For example, a barbell bench press does a great job of stabilizing the body. The individual performing the movement can use the bench, floor and bar to stabilize themselves and the weight.

With a Blast Strap pushup, however, the body is moving instead of the barbell and must incorporate more muscles to stabilize itself.

Suspended pushups have been a part of many training programs, but setting them up has always been a pain. I’ve used chains, ropes and cables. While these all worked, they were very difficult to setup and almost impossible to adjust.

On-the-go training

If you’re traveling and can’t find a gym, or if you’re just looking to keep your workout consistent on the road, here are the top 6 reasons why you should keep Blast Straps in your gym bag:

1.         Space: The Blast Straps require very little space in the gym and allow you to train just about anywhere.

2.         Convenience: They’re small enough to fit into any gym bag and easy to take to and from the gym.

3.         Stability: Training with the Blast Straps will add a greater degree of stability with any movement you perform. These smaller muscles, if weak or imbalanced, can lead to injury.

4.         No weights needed: Just about every movement you can do with the Blast Strap involves your bodyweight. This makes it a very fast and simple devise that can be used anywhere.

5.         Versatility: I’ve used the Blast Strap for almost 50 different movements and there are many more out there. Unlike other very expensive pieces of equipment that you can only train one or two movements with, these straps can be setup to train almost every body part. This makes the Blast Straps one of the most functional pieces of equipment you could ever own.

6.         Easy to set up: The Blast Straps were designed so they only take seconds to set up. There are no chains, clips or other challenging devises to adjust. Just toss over your rack (or other stable surface), set the adjustable clips and you’re set. That’s how simple it is.


The movements performed with the Blast Straps are challenging, but not demanding. This means you can do the movements more often, or train with a higher volume per workout and not have to worry about overtraining or recovery time. This makes the Blast Straps very convenient for training weak points.

For example, many lifters have very weak lats and upper backs. With this in mind, the lifter will begin adding in more exercises, more sets or more training days, to their schedule. Many lifters will choose rows to strengthen their upper backs and lats. Unfortunately, rows stress the low back and can be a very demanding exercise to perform three or four days per week. Suspended lat rows with the Blast Straps are a great solution as they won’t be as demanding on the lifter as the barbell row, plus they can be performed many times per week without overtraining.

7 Sample Movements

1.         Suspended Pushups: This movement is performed by setting up the Blast Straps around the top of a power rack or other stable object. You can set the handles as close or as far away from the floor as you like. (The closer to the floor, the harder the movement.) We’ve found it best to set the straps four to six inches off the floor. With this setup, you’ll be able to get a very deep stretch and increase the range of motion; something you can’t do with a barbell or a standard push-up.

Grab the handles and set your body up in a standard pushup position. Make sure your torso is rigid; don’t allow your lower back to sag or raise your glutes in the air. Strive to keep your shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line. If you have difficulty maintaining this position, you can perform the pushups while on your knees. This is often because of a lack of abdominal and lower back strength. I often use the suspended pushup position to access core strength in athletes. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try placing your feet on an elevated surface or a stability ball. Placing a Jump Stretch band behind your back is another great way to make this exercise more challenging. Using a variety of hand and elbow positions during your sets allows for great versatility.

2.         Suspended Rows: Set up the Blast Straps so that your arms are fully extended and your feet are out in front of you. Your glutes should be off the floor. This will ensure a full range of motion. Keep your abs tight and your knees, hips and shoulders in a straight line. Pull yourself up so that your hands are even with your chest. This is a great exercise for your lats and upper back. You can change the angle of your pull to hit different muscles. If you bring the handles higher on your chest, you’ll strengthen your upper back. If you bring the handles lower, your lats will come more into play. The stronger athlete can place his heels on the floor; the weaker athlete can bend his knees and place his entire foot on the floor. This will decrease the amount of bodyweight that is being pulled in the exercise.

3.         Rear Delt Pulls: This is a very challenging exercise, but a tremendous way to develop your upper back. Set yourself in the same position as the suspended row. Again, make sure you have a strong, rigid torso. With a very slight bend in your elbows, pull the straps apart and raise yourself until your arms are parallel to your body. This should look very similar to a reverse fly and your arms and body should look like a “T”. This isn’t recommended for everyone - be careful!

4.         Suspended Flys: Begin this exercise in the same position as the suspended pushup. Bend the elbows slightly and slowly extend your arms to your sides. Don’t go down farther than you feel comfortable.

5.         Abdominal Fall-outs: Begin this exercise in the same position as the suspended pushup. Bend your elbows slightly and raise your hands over your head. Again, only go as low as you feel comfortable. Your goal should be to have your hands, shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line. The motion is very similar to an abdominal wheel. This exercise is great for your abdominals, shoulders and lats. When you lower yourself, be sure to stay tight.

6.         External Rotator Raises: With the Blast Straps attached to the top of a power rack, grab the handles and lean back at a 30 - 45 degree angle. Begin with your arms straight out in front of you and your feet flat on the ground. Bend your elbows and bring your body to an upright position while performing an external rotation. You should end the movement with your elbows at a 90 degree angle.

7.         Triceps Extensions: Place the straps about two feet off of the ground and get into a pushup position. Begin by bending your elbows, making sure to keep them close to the sides of your body. Keep lowering yourself until your hands are at your chin. From this position, extend your arms, and make sure to keep the stress on your triceps. Keep your wrists in line with your elbows to prevent any discomfort.

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