There is always new ‘trends’ when it comes to the health and fitness industry… whether its dance style aerobics, crossfit, hip hop yoga ‘raves’ or high intensity interval training. When push comes to shove most of these varieties of training have positives and negatives; some more positives than others of course depending on what you are aiming to achieve with your health and fitness goals.
Suspension training or TRX as many people know it was created by the NAVY seal as a form of ‘functional training’ that allowed the troops to stay in shape wherever they were in the world. Our bodies were designed to move and shake in many different planes. In the past traditional weights training has seen very linear almost robotic movement patterns based around machines that allow a single joint to move in a single plane. Take leg extension for example this is purely a quadriceps contraction against resistance; there is no recruitment of stabilising muscles and your ‘core stabilisers’ may as well be sunning themselves in the Caribbean because they sure aren’t being utilised!!! The body needs to be trained as the body shall be used!
What does suspension training involve? TRX training moves the body in many planes integrating fluid motion and ‘real life’ movement patterns. The main idea behind this form of training is using our body weight to determine the resistance level depending on how close or how far away you are from the anchor point. This allows you to easily control and manipulate the difficulty and intensity of the workout.
You are truly only limited by your imagination in terms of what exercises can be done and I am seriously amazed at some of the cool aerobics style stuff I have seen guys do with these things. Check out this guy!!! To be able to do that takes some pretty epic shoulder and core stability.. So gangsta!
Why is it popular: because it’s functional and it trains more than just strength and endurance. A good quality workout with a TRX will take you through a series of challenging upper and lower body movements, whilst also being exceptionally effective in training balance, proprioception and core stability.
The best part? Its soooooo bloody convenient! Bundle the straps into your backpack and suddenly you have your very own mobile gym. All you need is an anchor point to safely fasten the straps too. Think sturdy tree branches for workout that gets you truly in touch with nature; most outdoor gyms have chin up bars etc that you can use; or buy a hook from your local bunnings and set it up at home. A little initiative goes a long way
Now before you all send your better halves out to purchase yourselves a TRX remember no single type of training works for everyone; TRX is fabulous and I’m personally a huge fan of incorporating it into a training program considering the type of people and athletes that I work with. Weights training with free weights and other forms of cardio training are still extremely effective and shouldn’t be cast aside for suspension training alone!
My take home message (and I think you have heard it before) is purely that it’s an AWESOME way to get a little variety into your training.