TRX straps are a suspension training tool with unique versatility and fitness benefits that span the gamut from improving balance and core strength to increasing muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. They are lightweight, portable, and can be used anywhere from a gym to your favorite park to your own bedroom.
That said, between the bright yellow straps and dangling black handles, a TRX trainer can look like quite an intimidating contraption to those who’ve never been shown the ropes, so to speak. However, one of the best things about working out with TRX suspension trainers is that it actually is perfect for anyone no matter what your fitness level may be, as the intensity of every exercise can be fully modulated to meet your abilities. Therefore, if you’ve eyed the seemingly confusing straps at your gym with leery suspicion—or even dread—or are looking for a new, versatile piece of exercise equipment for your home gym, keep reading for your “informal, formal” introduction to TRX suspension training, and consider giving this fun and effective training tool a try.
What Is TRX?
TRX, which stands for Total-body Resistance eXercise, is an exercise training tool that uses heavy-duty straps with handles for suspension training. By attaching the straps to an overhead anchor, you can pull, push, and complete exercises in three dimensions, working against gravity using your bodyweight as a lever or form of resistance. TRX can create an all-in-one gym wherever you set it up without the need for dumbbells or weights.
What Are the Benefits of TRX?
TRX training can be fun and highly effective, with numerous benefits.
TRX Suspension Training is Suitable for any Fitness Level.
By changing the angle of your body, you can instantly modify the load or difficulty of an exercise on the TRX, making it a suitable training tool for beginners and fit athletes alike.
TRX Exercises Improve Core Strength.
Because you have to stabilize your body in three dimensions, TRX straps require more core activation than traditional weight training, adding a level of functional training to each exercise.
TRX Training Can Increase Muscular Strength and Size.
Due to the need to stabilize your body in three dimensions, muscle activation using a TRX or other suspension training system is higher than what you can achieve with traditional resistance training, according to research. This makes it a highly efficient and effective form of exercise training. One of the downsides of bodyweight training is that it is not necessarily conducive to hypertrophy, meaning that it can be difficult to build lean body mass. While you can increase muscular strength and endurance with bodyweight exercises, there’s a limit to your ability to actually put on more muscle or gain more “size” because the load is capped at your own body weight. This is where TRX can shine. Studies have found that not only are TRX users able to increase strength following a TRX training program, but they can also increase lean body mass—a reflection of muscle mass—even though suspension training relies on just bodyweight rather than external loads. Another study compared the fitness benefits of suspension training versus traditional resistance training over 12 weeks in untrained older adults, finding that suspension training resulted in similar muscle mass, strength, and functional performance improvements relative to traditional resistance training.
TRX Can Improve Body Composition and Markers of Health.
ACE Fitness investigated the cardiovascular and metabolic responses to an eight-week TRX Suspension Training program in a controlled study with healthy participants. TRX training resulted in significant decreases in waist circumference, body-fat percentage, and blood pressure, and significant increases in the 1-RM leg press, 1-RM bench press, and the curl-up and push-up tests.
TRX is a low-impact workout.
TRX suspension training is great for those with joint pain as it is a very low-impact form of exercise. As such, the forces on bones and joints are attenuated and the risk of injury is minimal.
TRX adds variety to your workout program.
One of the best things about exercise is the fact that there are so many modalities of training to choose from, which makes it possible to almost always find a type of training that suits your mood, training goals, preferences, and logistical needs. Moreover, by incorporating multiple types of training modalities into your workout routine, you help ensure your program is well-rounded for maximal effectiveness and improvements in fitness. TRX straps are a great way to add variety to your workout and present your body with different challenges and training stimuli.
What Kind of Exercises Can You Do With a TRX?
TRX straps can be used to create full-body workouts with moves ranging from suspended rows to single-leg lunges. TRX has even created its own training platform with memberships for both on-demand and live workouts you can stream from home. Workouts are geared to different fitness levels and goals, enabling you to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Best TRX Products
Shop some of our favorite TRX products below.
TRX All-in-One Suspension Trainer Bundle
The All-In-One Home Gym bundle includes the suspension trainer, a wall mount, indoor and outdoor anchors, exercise bands, and a workout guide. It’s a great kit because of the versatility in anchor points and the bands are a nice bonus.
TRX Home2 System
The TRX Home2 System comes with TRX suspension straps, a door anchor, and a suspension anchor. There’s also a little mesh carrying bag.
TRX Bandit Kit is a set of strength bands with specific weight ranges to help you precisely dial in the difficulty of your workout. The kit includes a 5-15 lb blue band, 15-30 lb green band, 25-50 lb yellow band, and 35-70 lb orange band. There’s a universal-fit, ergonomic handle that attaches to one or multiple strength bands to give you a comfortable, fully-customizable, effective resistance tool. Pair the TRX Bandit Kit with your suspension system for unparalleled flexibility and versatility in designing your workouts.
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