A couple weeks ago I attended a TRX suspension training class (I am the short one in the middle with brown hair and dressed in black, and am standing in front of a guy with a blue shirt on). TRX is a company name that stands for total-body resistance exercise.  The company has several different products, but the one that I am going to talk about is their suspension trainer.

 

The suspension trainer is popping up in gyms all over.  The tool was invented in the Navy Seals as a way for them to get a great resistance workout with limited space and lack of traditional fitness equipment. Here is what they look like:

 

They are the yellow and black straps (as shown above). You can find the suspension trainers and several types of  mounts to hang them on from here, or you can get creative and tie them to a tree trunk or a pole.  This thing can go anywhere!  It is hard to believe how many exercises you can do with a rope and some handles.  Every part of your body can be trained.  Modifying resistance on this equipment is easily accomplished by changing body position, and can be effective for all fitness levels.  

 

A couple of things you should know when starting on a suspension trainer are:

- The anchor point should be 7-9 feet above the ground

- You will notice that the strap length can be adjusted.  Here are the exercises you can do in each length zone: 

Long/lengthened strap= Chest and Leg Exercises

Mid-Calf Length= Legs, Midsection, and Upper Body

Middle Length= Arms, Shoulders, Torso and Legs

Short Length= Back

Over Short= Back 

- To shorten your suspension trainer, depress the cam backly with your thumb, and pull the yellow adjustment strap upwards with your other hand to the desired height

- To lengthen the suspension trainer, depress both cam buckles and simultaneously pull downwards with both hands

- To start an exercise make sure you are standing tall, have tension on the straps, and that you are beginning in the end range of motion (ex. if you are doing biceps curls, start with your elbows bent and hands upwards). 

- You can increase the difficulty of an exercise by progressing your stance or your body angle.  

4 basic stances include: Staggered Stance (decreases the resistance placed on the upper body- great for individual's with injuries or older adults), Wide Side (stand with feet wide to incorporate core work, and provide a wider base of support for lateral movements), Narrow Side (more stability required), and Single Leg.

To change your vector (body angle) step back one step at a time until the desired resistance is met.

 

I will hopefully be adding one of these things into my basement studio in the near future!  In the mean time I challenge you to take advantage of one of these things if you have them available to you at your gym.  Ask a trainer to show you some exercises, or attend a class.  These things are fun and work!