Why the TRX?

As a Personal Trainer we have several tools that occupy our ‘toolbox’ and what often differentiates good from outstanding personal trainers is their ability to prescribe the most appropriate exercises for each client.  The TRX is one such tool.

The TRX suspension trainer stands for ‘Total Resistance Exercise’ and it is essentially 2 straps anchored to a ceiling, back of a door or high on a wall.

The TRX helps you to improve mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and power whereby your bodyweight becomes your machine and gravity your resistance.

Arguably, the TRX is one of the most functional pieces of equipment as you must engage all muscles simultaneously rather than isolating smaller ones.  You attach yourself to the TRX by gripping the handles with your hands or placing your feet in the foot straps.

Suspension training works by challenging your body in a somewhat unstable environment. This forces you to constantly engage your core to perform each exercise and to also improve your balance.  Adjusting the level of difficulty for each exercise on the TRX is as easy as moving your hands or feet and like all exercises, you can regress and progress with the TRX.

For those new to functional exercise, it is best to start with small body angles and after 4 to 6 weeks, increase the degree of difficulty by increasing the angle you are working with.  For beginners, performing exercises like rows, it is helpful to have the straps short. This reduces the degree of instability which a longer strap would provide.

Left to Right: Beginner TRX Row and Intermediate TRX Row

When performing a pushing movement using the TRX it is beneficial to have the straps fully lengthened.  This is because it too reduces the degree of difficulty as the angle you are on is less. Sometimes changing the position of your feet before changing the position of the straps can alter the degree of difficulty of the exercise.

When you are performing exercises with a foot or your feet in the foot strap’s, it is helpful to have the straps set at mid-calf length.  This is because it again reduces the degree of difficulty by keeping your feet close to the floor and your body streamlined.

Left To Right: TRX Lunge Starting Position and Bottom Position

Using the TRX is ideal for varying the level of instability, from beginners through to advanced. I recommend asking your personal trainer or having a personal training session to learn more about the benefits of the TRX for you and developing some challenging, but exercises that will add variety to your program.

Frances Sullivan

Master Personal Trainer

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