TRX suspension training: a 2 pound contraption made of low tech straps. It can replace an entire gym. The resistance is provided by the body weight of the trainee, and can be easily adjusted by simply changing the angle the person pulls at.
(hover your mouse over pictures to read explanations)
TRX almost always uses the important but rarely trained core muscles, the lower back, stomach and oblique muscles. Unlike weight machines, TRX exercises (like push-ups with hand in the straps) also train the small muscles that stabilize joints.
TRX became first popular in the US armed forces. It is hard to carry a fully equipped gym to war in Iraq. A few straps are not only easier to carry around but also a lot cheaper.
Exercise straps? Is Human-Stupidity changing this blog’s topic? No.
Human-Stupidity is about fixed ideas, dogmas, mental restrictions, and about overcoming such limitations.
We are intrigued that TRX was not invented 2000 years ago. There is no high technology in TRX. But we have been restricted by fixed ideas like
- weights are needed. Even in gym machines that use ropes and pulleys
- elastic tapes are needed. This requires us to have various straps of differing strength, that also can snap and injure the trainee.
To be fair, Wikipedia quotes a few predecessors of TRX Suspension Training, but seemingly they were never successful enough to become famous.
You have to watch a few pictures, a few movies, and then try yourself to understand the genius simplicity of TRX.
TRX Pro Pack + Door Anchor Fitness Anywhere $199.95
You can even carry TRX on a business trip and mount it on hour hotel room door. You can carry it to the park and strap it to a tree. No more excuses for not exercising.
TRX Exercise Columbus Ohio|YouTube
Abdominal exercises with TRX Suspension Trainer: YouTube Video
Suspension training requires placing your feet in stirrups suspended from straps attached to a thick branch or metal bar and exercise hanging upside down. Makers of the two most popular devices (TRX and Inkaflexx) claim there are more than 300 strengthening and toning moves – from knee-tucks to push-ups – that can be performed in this dangling position and it is said to work every part of the body.
For those not quite ready to be hoisted to the ceiling in stirrups, there is the option with some suspension training equipment of leaning back while gripping the straps to perform moves. Changing the angle of your body will make an exercise seem easier or harder.
Is it worth the rush of blood to the head?
Advocates claim the beauty of suspension training is that you can’t help engaging the core stability muscles (those closest to the spine) when you do it which is good news for posture and the back. But critics warn that the instability of suspension straps can predispose people with inadequate core strength to injury. Fabio Comana, a research scientist for the American Council on Exercise says it may be helpful to well-conditioned athletes and gym-goers, but is potentially dangerous for the less fit. "A segment of the population doesn’t have the joint integrity and the ability to stabilise their entire body when doing this," he says. […]
Bristol Rugby club’s strength and conditioning coach, Dave Bell, describes the TRX system as "the most effective and functional piece of equipment I’ve seen for years". Suspension training | The Guardian
2002, when a Navy Seal turned entrepreneur sent Mr. Baldwin a test model of the TRX system, a suspension gadget made of a pair of straps with handles joined by a metal clasp ring. To set it up, he only had to wrap the straps around a freestanding pole or over a thick branch. Strength training became as simple as placing his feet in stirrups to suspend them off the ground, then performing dozens of exercises like knee tucks or pushups.
After 45 minutes of so-called suspension training, Mr. Baldwin exhausted his body from shoulders to calves using just the 170 pounds of his weight. Better yet, the two-pound straps rolled up to the size of a military bag lunch.
In the last year suspension training has entered the mainstream after two kinds of straps landed on the market: TRX and Inkaflexx. They have attracted the attention of personal trainers and group fitness directors as strengthening tools that also improve balance and flexibility. Suspension workouts consist of either hanging the legs or leaning back while gripping the straps and then performing a variety of moves.
The beauty of suspension training, its advocates say, is that you can’t help engaging your core to steady yourself. On the other hand, critics warn that the instability of suspension straps can result in injury, especially if you have a history of joint or back injuries, or inadequate core strength. Suspension Training: How Risky Is It? | New York Times
We think the critics are talking about the hard-core exercises being dangerous for couch potatoes. The lighter exercises shown above don’t look dangerous. Out-of-shape people can not indiscriminately use all exercises meant for elite Navy Seals.