What exactly is TRX and why should I use it?
The TRX is a suspension training system that uses bodyweight as resistance which allows the user to make exercises harder or easier as needed by simply stepping closer or further away from the anchor point. This awesome piece of equipment was invented by former Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick, who wanted to have a functional piece of fitness equipment to use in the field that wouldn’t be too heavy or bulky but allow him and his team to get in a great workout. Personally, the TRX turned my life around and was the first piece of equipment I found that worked for me to get into better shape and eventually become a personal trainer. With the TRX, you can do virtually any exercise: pull, press, squat, lunge, plank…and SO MUCH MORE!
Can anyone use the TRX?
Absolutely! Exercises are easy to modify based on how challenging you want the exercise to be, or if you have had an injury. It can be used with anyone of any fitness level! I have personally used it with kids as young as 6, clients as old as 90, clients who have had a stroke, spinal cord injury, TBI, MS, or Parkinson’s Disease (to name a few), athletes, clients rehabbing injuries, etc.
How can an injured person safely use the TRX AND still get a good workout?
In the hands of a knowledgeable trainer, the TRX can safely be used with just about any client with an injury/limitation. Here are some examples:
- One of my client’s cannot put any weight in her toes due to arthritis and bone spurs. I modified her lunges so that she does them “floating” (doesn’t touch her rear foot down during the exercise, causing the front leg to do more work). She also puts most of her weight in the heel of her front foot so that she doesn’t push her foot forward in her shoes during lunges.
- One of my clients with a spinal cord injury who needs to use a wheelchair successfully used the TRX to help him gain functional strength to lift himself up into his truck. This was accomplished by doing an iron cross lift from his wheelchair using the TRX.
- Another client has trouble with her shoulders.Rather than doing planks on the ground, which typically puts a lot of weight into the shoulders, she did a TRX standing plank which puts the weight into her forearms and core. Additionally, she still wanted to strengthen her shoulders while they healed from injury. The solution was modifying the exercise to walk in and out during “W”s, “T”s, “Y”s and “I”s, which in essence removes bodyweight from the exercise but still allows the shoulders to work on mobility, range of motion, flexibility, and some light strength.
- Finally, I personally used the TRX to exercise while dealing with Fibromyalgia pain. By changing my angle to the anchor point or using a staggered stance, I was able to adjust the amount of body weight I was using for resistance depending on how my body felt.
So if the TRX is so great, why is it the most underutilized piece of fitness equipment that many people have seen in gyms, but rarely see anyone using?
Good question. Many people are intimidated by something they are unfamiliar with. Many people don’t know how to use it correctly. If used incorrectly, it is likely that the appropriate muscles won’t be engaged and therefore the user won’t feel the benefit, or even get injured. With the help of a skilled trainer, you can reap the huge benefits of the TRX because the trainer can watch your form and help you make adjustments (engaging core with an active plank, dropping shoulders down, squeezing glutes, etc.) while you are doing the exercises.
How can I learn how to use a TRX?
As luck would have it, Formative Fitness has a trainer in house who has extensive experience with the TRX! Also, we are adding a FIT group: TRX edition, which is the perfect way to get introduced to TRX at a reduced cost!