What is TRX Suspension Training?
Suspension training uses the TRX Suspension Trainer, a fitness tool that was developed by a Navy SEAL. Randy Hetrick, the founder of the TRX, had a mission of staying in peak condition for duty, but with traveling so often for missions, he found it challenging to get effective workouts in without traditional fitness equipment.
He eventually developed the first suspension trainer with a few pieces of an old parachute and some other scrap tools. Eventually, he and his SEAL team developed hundreds of different exercises using this new piece of equipment. The TRX leverages gravity and your own body weight to create a workout that challenges your strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and core strength all at once.
How is Suspension Training Different?
The TRX is truly a functional piece of equipment. Unlike many traditional pieces of equipment found in the gym, the TRX requires the use of your entire body during a workout. It uses a huge range of dynamic movements, moving through multiple planes at once.
Many machines at the gym have seats or some sort of support. Unfortunately, sitting down while doing exercises lessens the opportunity to develop stabilizing muscles needed for posture and to prevent injury. The TRX forces you to engage multiple muscle groups at once to maintain stability with each exercise.
During everyday movements our bodies are required to move in various planes of motion, such as forwards and backwards, side to side, and twisting and rotating. The TRX allows your body to work through multiple planes in each exercise. This is functionality at its best. Traditional weight machines will only work one plane of motion at a time, which can eventually create muscle imbalances that can lead to injury.
Using different muscle groups and moving through multiple planes for each exercise requires coordination. TRX exercise improves the nervous system’s ability to effectively coordinate movement to help build stronger motor patterns so that you can perform better.
More Benefits of the TRX
1. FAST, Effective Full-Body Workout
There’s no need to pace back and forth at the gym anymore. You have the only piece of equipment you need in the TRX.
2. Increases Muscular Endurance
Because you can easily move from one exercise to the next without changing equipment, your muscles will be constantly working, increasing their endurance.
3. Great for ALL Fitness Levels
Because you can easily adapt each exercise to the individual by changing your relationship to the anchor point, the TRX can be used by beginning exercisers all the way up to the most advanced exerciser, like a Navy SEAL!
4. Can be Set Up Anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)
The TRX is great for traveling because it only weighs 2 pounds. All you need is a door, a tree, or a pole to mount your TRX to and you can get a great workout in anywhere. The TRX is the PERFECT piece of equipment for anyone who travels frequently.
5. Relatively Cheap
Compared to buying multiple expensive machines and equipment to get full-body workouts, $200 for a TRX will seem like a steal. It literally does everything you need in ONE piece of equipment.
Basic Full-Body TRX Workout
Here’s a basic full-body TRX workout to get you started. Complete this workout 3-4 times through. Remember, the more of an angle your body is at, the harder the exercise will be. To modify any exercise, decrease the angle, or even bend one leg and plant it firmly on the floor to give you more support.
- TRX Squat – With the straps at mid-length, face the anchor with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and knees and toes slightly turned out. Hold the handles in by your waistline and keep your elbows slightly bent. Lower into a squat keeping your weight in your heels and making sure not to lean back too much or round your back. Press through your heels and stand back up. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
- TRX Back Step Lunge – Stand facing the anchor with mid-length straps and feet together. Hold the handles by your waist with bent elbows. Step your RIGHT foot backwards, keeping the weight in your LEFT leg. Press through your LEFT heel to return to standing. Complete 15-20 repetitions stepping back with the RIGHT leg, then switch sides.
- TRX Step Side Lunge – Keeping your feet together and the straps mid-length, step your RIGHT foot out to the side into a side lunge. Keeping your LEFT leg straight, you should feel a stretch in your inner thigh. Press back to center through your RIGHT heel and repeat 15-20 times, then switch legs.
- TRX High Row – Walk your feet towards the anchor a few inches and slightly lean back, keeping your abs engaged and making sure not to let your hips drop back. Lift your toes off the ground so that your heels are pressing into the floor. This is your starting position with your palms facing down and arms straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to perform a high row, bringing your chest towards the anchor. With control, straighten your arms back to your starting position. Repeat 15-20 times.
- TRX Chest Press – Turn around to face away from the anchor, this time with your toes digging into the floor and your heels lifted. Have your arms straight and palms facing the floor. Bend your elbows, as if you were lowering into a push-up position, keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders. Using your chest muscles, press your arms back straight. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
- TRX Plank – Lengthen the straps so that they are mid-calf length, or about 6 inches off the ground. Lay on your stomach and place your feet in the stirrups so that your toes are facing the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and press yourself up into a full plank position on your hands. Hold for 30-60 seconds, keeping your abs engaged and making sure your hips don’t sag down.
So with that, you can at least practice the basics of the TRX. We here at PaleoHacks absolutely LOVE the TRX, so be sure to check back soon for another TRX post to advance your training.