Well, TRX doesn’t actually stand for Totally Good For You… but it is! It stands for Total body Resistance eXercise. It is basically body weighted resistance exercise performed with your body in suspension. This added element means that you have to work your body hard to sustain a stable base for you to resist out from. As opposed to traditional exercises which are performed from a stable point with your feet and/or hands on the ground or a stable surface, TRX suspension training is done mid-air. It is not far from acrobatic and gymnastic training where all your movements are performed from a very strong core.
What is TRX?
TRX Suspension Training requires the use of a fitness tool made from high quality nylon. You might see these straps with handles on each end hanging in a row in your gym. The nylon straps can hold up to 1400 pounds and can be set up virtually anywhere. If you are looking for a way to strengthen your core and improve all over body strength, balance, agility and power, this is the tool for you. It is non-impact, so it will not wear down your joints or contribute to any joint pain you may have. It is also great as a rehabilitation tool as it requires you to use your entire body equally, levelling out any imbalances you may have if you are favouring a particular muscle pattern or movement.
- It’s core all the time. Your core is challenged in absolutely every movement.
- It’s portable. You can take it almost anywhere.
- Anyone can use it and benefit from it. From beginner to advanced and in between.
- You can use it to improve sports performance, lose weight, gain strength, rehab an injury, and more.
- It’s innovative and fun, getting you off your butt and challenging your brain.
How Effective Is It?
Quite recently a study was performed to actually measure how effective TRX training actually is. The American Council on Exercise commissioned a study of 16 healthy men and women aged 21-71 years of age over an 8 week period. They did a 60 minute TRX class (also including some functional non -TRX exercises eg. ladder agility and kettle ball swings) three times a week and had measures before and after the program. The outcome? Let’s just say, it is effective for decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- The top workout goal of 400 calories were burnt on average per session.
- Participants measured significant decreases in waist circumference, body fat percentage, and resting blood pressure.
- Participants measured improvement in muscle strength and endurance. Significantly in leg press, bench press, curl-up and push-up tests.
The shift towards more functional inspired exercises makes sense when it comes to exercise for day to day activities and strength for independence for the lifespan. TRX, kettle balls, stair climbs, ladder agility all mimic full body movements performed in daily life. The benefit of performing these activities in a controlled environment like in a gym means that you can work on strength without the distraction of a crying baby or a grocery bag tearing. You can concentrate on the quality of movement, strengthening your core and protecting your back.
Traditional strengthening exercises such as dumbbells and leg presses are great for weight loading, however they are limited to a single plane of movement. TRX Suspension Training enables you to work in as many different planes as you like, activating your core for stability. Just by moving your feet out and increasing or decreasing body angles to change your centre of gravity will challenge your body within a second. This means less time pacing around the gym finding more weights or a different exercise tool to challenge you!
A Typical TRX Suspension Training Workout
There are six basic body positions with TRX from which hundreds of exercises are generated from.
- Face the Anchor Point
- Face Away From the Anchor Point
- Face Sideways to the Anchor Point
On the Ground:
- Lay Face Down
- Lay Face Up
- Lay on Your Side
From these positions you can do squats, pushups, jumps, twists, deadlifts etc and challenge yourself by adding balance and movement. You can mimic almost any movement you might have to do day to day or in your preferred sport, so it is an ideal strengthening fitness tool for absolutely everyone. One take home message of advice before you start TRX is to get some amount of coaching to consolidate your movements first. Employing an Personal Trainer can really help you to get the most out of your TRX and get you started well. Once you know you are performing the movements correctly, you can take your TRX anywhere!
“I love it because of all the benefits. TRX is unlike machine-based training. It allows you to move through endless ranges and angles, which is much more beneficial and functional than other workouts.” Doug Balzarini, fitness trainer and conditioning coach
At AJ’s, we have a TRX training facility as well as personal trainers who can show you how to set up your own routine. For your guided tour, contact us today. Or you can sign up to become a member right now online, or give our free, 5-day trial a go.