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“TRX can keep your muscles under tension for longer periods of time. “Time under tension” workouts are exercises in which you slow down either the eccentric or concentric movement to place more tension on the muscle to grow it.”
  • Theresa Christensen

Just Hanging Around

Have you ever seen people around the gym hanging from straps fixed to the ceiling and wondered what they were doing? It’s called TRX Suspension training, which I often do with my clients. TRX stands for Total Resistance Exercise. TRX suspension training uses two nylon straps anchored to a fixed point. I recently completed my TRX Suspension Certification, and I’ve been excited to add more TRX exercises to my clients’ programming.

A Little Background

TRX Suspension training has many benefits to it. The most obvious is that it’s portable and can be done almost everywhere. Fitness Incentive has anchor points in the Queenax (Functional Training) room, the yoga room, and outside under our carport. TRX training was actually invented out of a need to be portable. It was created by US Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick, who was concerned that he would be unable to stay in peak physical condition while deployed. He built the first suspension trainer from a jiu-jitsu belt and parachute webbing. Soon after, his fellow SEALs asked him to build them one of their own. Over the last twenty years, he has perfected it into the latest TRX Suspension Trainer, which we have at Fitness Incentive.

Benefits of TRX Suspension Training include:

– TRX can be modified to be done at any fitness level. You can adjust how much of your body weight you lift by walking closer to or further away from the anchor point.
– You are using your core the entire time.
– It’s low impact in nature, making it easier on your joints.
– TRX engages the whole body, making it a truly total body workout.
– The straps make it easier to do balance exercises, helping to improve balance and coordination.
– The straps make it easier to modify traditional exercises, either to make them easier to perform or more challenging. If you cannot perform bodyweight exercises like a pushup, a plank, or even a saw plank, the TRX straps can assist you. Eventually, the goal is to be able to perform the exercise without the straps. Bulgarian Split Squats can be made more challenging by looping your foot into the handle of one strap. The instability of the foothold makes the exercise more difficult, forcing you to engage your core even more to maintain balance.
– Many of the TRX exercises involve stretching, which can improve flexibility and increase mobility.
– Increase range of motion. The straps can allow the user to get deeper into the exercise by having something to hold on to. This is great for people who struggle with squats, lunges, and even deadlifts. For someone like me who lacks flexibility, I have also been able to get into much deeper stretches with the assistance of the straps.
– TRX will mix up your exercise routine. If you find yourself bored from doing the same exercises each week, it’s a great way to change things up.

TRX Class

Time Under Tension

TRX can keep your muscles under tension for longer periods of time. “Time under tension” workouts are exercises in which you slow down either the eccentric or concentric movement to place more tension on the muscle to grow it. I used this method with all of my Contest teams this Spring. The suspension straps are an excellent tool for slowing the action even more by assisting with balance and mobility. A great example is a TRX-assisted pistol squat or one-legged squat.

Now that you know the benefits of TRX, why work with a trainer? Like any exercise routine, there are many videos online showing TRX exercises. Remember that the straps’ length plays a big role in performing the exercise correctly. By working with a TRX-certified trainer, you can feel confident that the straps have been adjusted to the right height for your body with each exercise. The trainer will also be able to make sure that your form is correct. It’s critical to always stay in the plank position the entire time you perform the exercise. The trainer or instructor will ensure you are in the proper plank position the whole time. The trainer will also have plenty of fun new exercises up their sleeve! I absolutely love introducing new TRX exercises to my clients.

If you’re interested in TRX training, I’ll be offering some pop-up classes this Summer. Come give it a try!

About the Author

Theresa Christensen

Theresa Christensen is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and the Director of FI’s Cycle Program. She is also the founder of Christensen Gallery in Babylon Village.

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