Nick Wilson CSCS – University of Detroit Mercy
The TRX Suspension Training is a new piece of equipment that sparked my interest when I saw it being used on the “The Biggest Loser” TV program.After doing some research, we purchased one for our strength and conditioning department.
This training system consists of a Y-shaped nylon strap that can be adjusted to fit just about anyone.It also has padded handles and can be attached to just about anything.The idea of the product is to give you a complete body workout in around 30 minutes using your own body weight.The product comes with a brochure that gives examples of 4 lower body exercises, 5 upper body exercises, and 3 core exercises.The brochure does a good job explaining the exercises and is well illustrated, but it could give more variety of exercises.This product also comes with a DVD that gives a lot of the same info and does a good job of explaining the setup, the exercises and introduces the developer.
The TRX is a decent product, but not necessarily a “must-have.”If I were a personal trainer and my client needed a change of pace, this would be a great way to go.It helps take the client out of their “comfort” zone and makes them concentrate on what they are doing because it is unlike anything they have ever done.It is also good because the individual adjusts the resistance.There is never a chance for the client to be over loaded because their body weight and foot positioning control the resistance.As far as client safety, there is a low chance of injury because they are only using their own body weight.You can certainly hurt your ego by falling because some of the positions take some time to learn and understand.I suppose some of the exercises could put a lot of stress on the shoulders, so you would have to be aware of this in certain situations.
Some of the exercises are really cool.Many are pretty easy or basic for athletes.Some are..well…gimmicky.It’s like they came up with the product, then figured they HAD to have a lot of exercises for it, so they just made a bunch of stuff up.I must say, though, that some of the rotation exercises are really great and we use them fairly often.
You can get a good workout from this product, but it is like anything else – you will only get out of it what you put into it.There is a lot of chance for clients to cheat the exercises due to the fact that foot placement has a lot to do with the resistance.Also the “system” is a little expensive unless you’re really going to use it as your main form of exercise (which I don’t recommend).We purchased the “system” for $149.99 which includes the product, DVD and folder.In my opinion, you can go out and purchase a large rope from any local hardware store for a lot less, and with basic access to the internet you can get the movement descriptions for FREE.Plus, by using a rope, you force your athlete/client to squeeze the rope which also helps to improve their grip strength.
Bottom line – this is a decent product and is a usable device for personal trainers looking for variety.For a high school, college or pro coach who works with 8-50 athletes at a time, it is not something I would recommend, unless you have a bunch of them all hooked up to some sort of suspension system.I think the TRX is a good product, but I also feel that there are more cost effective ways of doing the exact same exercises.If money is not an object, then I recommend this product to personal trainers.Where money is an issue, try some rope or gymnastic rings.
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