Equipment Corner: The TRX® Suspension Trainer™

For the past three years, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ from Fitness Anywhere, LLC went from unknown buzz word to major fixture at most gyms, training rooms, and households.  The black and yellow harness has revitalized portable, accessible bodyweight-based training to improve strength, core stability, and balance for people of all fitness levels.

History

The TRX was derived by company founder, Randy Hetrick’s experience in the US Navy SEALS Teams, where versatile training strategies and high-level fitness are fundamental to success.  “A few lengths of parachute webbing hand-stitched together by boat repair tools” created an “invention of necessity”.  After extensive research and development, including military testing in the field, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ was introduced to the public in 2005.

What makes the TRX unique?

Ever tried a push up?  Challenging, right?  Ever tried a push up on the TRX?  More challenging!  Or is it less challenging?  Ok, now I’m confused.

Well, fear not!  The beauty of the TRX is its ability to initiate your “core muscles” with each exercise, and as we learned from our “Best Core Exercises” blog, these muscles help to provide a stable base and foundation for one’s body to function.  The TRX utilizes your body weight against gravity, so not only is bulky and expensive exercise equipment not required, but you have complete control over how challenging your exercise can be by simply taking a step forward or back.

Let’s test your problem solving skills:

Henry of the US Navy SEALS Teams thinks 10 push ups on the floor is too easy.  He can likely do push ups and brush his teeth at the same time without breaking a sweat:  great for oral hygiene, not so great for challenging his strength.

Grandma Jones of the Wednesday afternoon mahjong club thinks 10 push ups on the floor might land her in the hospital.

Both statements are likely true.  How do we accommodate both the ultimate athlete and our gracefully aging grandma?  Check out this video to see how the TRX can make a simple push up rewarding for both of these super athletes.

Is the TRX for me?

After solving the above push-up problem, it’s clear that the TRX is appropriate for all body types, ages, and fitness levels.  It can be used anywhere and by anyone, to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

Below are a few examples of how the TRX can be used to accomplish individual fitness-related goals.  Unless you have experience using the TRX, you should seek instruction and supervision by a physical therapist or TRX trainer to ensure proper form and safety with these exercises.

Knee Rehabilitation:

The goal of these exercises is to improve balance and lower body strength, including but not limited to the gluteals, hamstrings, and quadriceps.  Improving hip flexibility will also ensure proper knee mechanics and posture after an injury or surgery.

Golf Fitness:

The goal of these exercises is to improve thoracic and hip rotation mobility, in addition to scapular and hip strength for better swing mechanics and a reduced handicap.

Marathon Training:

The goal of these exercises is to improve gluteal strength for knee stability and upright posture for running efficiency.  Plyometric training including jumping and hopping will help with shock absorption, hill running, and sprinting towards the finish line.

Where can I find a TRX?

Fitness Anywhere LLC hopes to expand their training centers throughout the United States, but there is currently only one available to the public in San Francisco, CA.  The TRX Training Center offers several TRX classes including stretching, boot camp, and circuit training.  The San Francisco-based company can be found promoting their product at fitness, military, and rehabilitation trade shows and events.

The TRX® Suspension Trainer™ can also be found in gyms, physical therapy clinics, and homes given it’s versatility in the fitness and rehabilitation world.  Since the TRX is portable, you may also see it at basketball courts, parks, or boot camp classes in your neighborhood.

Despite your fitness level or where you are in the world, everyone agrees that the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ is an easy and fun way to improve your strength, core stability, and balance.  So check out the TRX Training Center or our Total Body Fitness class to get a taste of what the TRX buzz is all about!

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