By Kerry Moynihan
Certified Personal Trainer
Suspension training isn’t a new concept. Ancient Greeks used ropes and resistance in their weight training programs, for example. It was effective and efficient exercise then and still a go-to today.
Flash forward to modern day fitness facilities. TRX (Total Resistance eXercise) equipment – that lemony yellow and black roping system – can be found in virtually every gym across the country.
The TRX Suspension Trainer was founded in 2005 by former Navy SEAL and Stanford Business School graduate, Randy Hetrick. The nature of SEAL deployment led Randy to create a space-efficient and training-effective system that fit into closet-sized spaces in ships and submarines. Realizing the need to stay in tip-top warrior fighting shape, Hetrick jerry-rigged parachute slings and random ship repair tools for he and his fellow SEALs, creating the inspiration for his post grad school company. Since its inception, the modern day TRX has evolved into the safe, simple, durable and sleek system we have today.
The beauty of suspension training is its simplicity. You are using your own body weight to develop strength, stability, balance and flexibility. Top to bottom – front to back, all muscles are fair game. For example:
Facing away from the wall, leaning forward with a long/tall body, hold the TRX handles with straight arms away from your shoulders. Bend at your elbows so that your palms are at your temples. Extend slowly at the elbows – feel those triceps!
Ab time! Push up position with a foot in each TRX stirrup. Brace for a solid core. Raise your derrière up into pike position. Go back down to that starting plank position. And again…
Facing the wall, place a TRX handle in each hand. Lean back with a long/tall body while elbows are at your rib cage. Your hands are in the “holding a water bottle” position. Raise your left leg about 6 inches off of the ground, keeping it straight. Squat with the standing leg, extending your arms as you squat – engaging your core the entire time. Stand back up using leg muscles (not pulling with arms). Repeat. Switch sides. This is an advanced one that gets into those glutes and hamstrings.
With suspension training, gravity is your friend and the exercise choices are endless. Questions about options and technique? Chat with a trainer. You’ll be glad that you did!