TRX Suspension Training is becoming increasingly popular. So what exactly is it and does it work?
The TRX system uses gravity along with your own bodyweight to provide a flexible way to exercise with a compact and highly portable piece of equipment.
The most basic TRX system includes a set of straps made of strong materials that can be attached to anywhere that can hold your bodyweight. Typically, TRX systems are attached to the top of a door frame, a post or the base of a tree. There are optional wall and ceiling mounts that allow you to create TRX stations almost anywhere.
The TRX system is a product of a company called Fitness Anywhere, head-quartered in San Francisco, USA. Randy Hetrick, founder of Fitness Anywhere, designed the TRX system with his Navy SEAL colleagues as a way to enable fitness training in difficult circumstances.
The product started as a few lengths of parachute webbing hand-stitched together with rubber boat repair tools. From this simple genesis, Hetrick and his team laid the foundations for a new category of fitness equipment and exercise – Suspension Training.
The TRX system includes hundreds of possible movements, and it is possible to vary the difficulty of each by simply moving your body to a different starting position. It is the same process by which you can increase the difficulty of a press-up by placing your feet on a bench.
We tried TRX Suspension Training out recently and we’re suitably impressed. While normal bodyweight exercises are good for general fitness, core strength, flexibility and strength, the TRX adds isometric and stability elements that challenge the muscles in a more effective way.
This theory is similar in many respects to the research we’ve highlighted before whereby a Smith machine is not as effective as free weights. The flexible nature of the TRX system ensures your personal anatomical structure is taken into account, which means the exercises are more likely to benefit you and this also reduces the chance of injury.
As with many things in the fitness industry, the cost of entry into the TRX world can seem a little high, but given that the straps have to be rock-solid in terms of longevity and the ability to hold your bodyweight in hundreds of positions without failing, and that this one device can be used in lieu of so many other pieces of equipment, we think the price point is relatively fair.
Take a look at the video below for a good view of what is possible using the TRX Suspension Training system. Have you tried it for yourself yet? Let us know in the comments…
[Image credit: The U.S. Army]