Experience the TRX® Suspension Training System

When I say US Navy Seal, what do you think of?

I think of a badass supreme killing machine and I am glad they are fighting for our country.  Other thoughts that come to mind are their elite level of fitness, superior combat skills, and ability to fight at the highest levels under any and all conditions.

The strength & conditioning of a Navy Seal is second to none and they don’t have a mobile weight room.  Navy Seals find themselves on ships pretty often and, as you can imagine, it is not so easy to do any sort of weight training while your environment is moving back and forth. Because of this, the majority of their strength training is done with bodyweight exercises.  Realizing the difficulty of training on the move, but understanding the need to stay in top physical condition, Randy Hetrick created the TRX® Suspension Training System.

He developed it so he and his teammates could work out on a ship, in the woods and just about anywhere.  Ironically, the name of the Company he created which sells the TRX® is called Fitness Anywhere, Inc.!!!  As stated on the Company Website: “The original TRX® ® was a training harness – a few lengths of parachute webbing hand-stitched together by boat repair tools.”  The current model is an improvement over the original, but the concept remains the same.  While I have used the TRX® numerous times, I wanted to find out everything that this training system had to offer so, I took part in an all day TRX® Suspension Training Course.

There are 3 advantages which I feel the TRX® Suspension Training System provides over most other training implements:

1) It allows you to train in all 3 planes of motion
2) The difficulty level can be increased / decreased quickly and easily
3) It allows you to train almost anywhere

Allow me to elaborate:
1) Ability to train in all 3 planes of motion (sagittal (forwards & backwards), frontal (up and down) and transverse (rotational))

While I am a big advocate of traditional multi-joint barbell exercises to gain strength and size (e.g. bench press, back squat, rowing, shoulder press & deadlift); these movements do not mimic some of the key motions which athletes need to develop.  Traditional barbell exercises are done mostly in the sagittal (e.g. bench press and row) and frontal (e.g. shoulder press) planes.  This will limit the total development of an athlete since neural patterns for actions such as throwing (the body rotates in the transverse plane), swinging (baseball and golf) and side to side movements (e.g. a defender in basketball) are not learned, nor able to be practiced, within the range of motion of traditional barbell movements.  This is where the value of a TRX® is realized since these athletic movements can be targeted.

There are six positions relative to the TRX®:
1. Stand facing towards the anchor point (TRX® Elevated Back Row)
2. Stand facing away from the anchor point (TRX® Chest Press)
3. Stand sideways to the anchor point (TRX® Standing Hip Drop)
4. Prone (TRX® Atomic Push-Up)
5. Supine (TRX® Hip Press)
6. Lying Sideways (TRX® Side Plank)

Images courtesy of Fitness Anywhere Inc.

2) Ability to increase / decrease the level of difficulty quickly and easily
To increase the resistance, move further away from the anchor point.
To decrease the resistance, move closer to the anchor point.

Resistance can be altered by changing the position of your feet:
1) Staggered (one foot slightly in front, the other slightly behind) = MOST STABLE
2) Side to Side
3) Together

The less stable you are, the more you engage your CORE in order to maintain balance.  Altering your feet really adds a great abdominal component to any exercise.

It is pretty easy to see how the TRX® can be great for people of average ability, yet made challenging enough for Professional Athletes by altering the resistance.

3) Ability to train anywhere
As long as you have something to wrap the TRX® around, you are in business!  Indoors you can get the door attachment and once you close and lock the door the TRX® is ready for use and Outdoors a sturdy tree branch, jungle gym or rack on top of a truck / SUV will do just fine for anchoring.  It is easy to carry around and weighs less than 2 LBS yet it can support users up to 350 LBS.

As I mentioned above, I am a big advocate of traditional multi-joint barbell exercises to gain strength and size though I find tremendous value in the TRX® for achieving total development.  Personally, I find the TRX® useful for metabolic circuits since you can change positions very quickly and you can target the entire body.  With dozens of different exercises for the Upper body, Lower body and CORE, the TRX® is a great total body training tool that can be utilized to mix up your workouts and provide you and your clients with an incredible challenge.

To learn more about the TRX® Suspension Training System: click here




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