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Don’t let the minimalist design fool you: suspension trainers like trx offer distinct advantages over barbells and dumbbells. “They’re incredibly portable – if you have access to a doorjamb, tree or any other stable anchor, you have all you need for a total-body workout,” says Michael Piercy, 2013 TRX Overall Instructor of the Year and owner of The Lab Performance & Sports Science, a New Jersey gym.
Plus, by taking exercises off terra firma, you add an element of instability that boosts the challenge to your core and stabilising muscles. The result: faster gains and more real-world strength. “Suspension-training systems bring a whole new dimension to the concept of body-weight training,” says Piercy. The key is learning to leverage your body’s relationship with gravity.
TRX CHEST PRESS
Grab the handles and face away from the anchor point with your feet shoulder width apart. Extend your arms straight in front of your chest and walk back a few steps so your body leans forward. Keeping your body straight, bend your arms to lower your chest until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, then push back up.
MAKE IT HARDER Walk your feet further back or lift one foot off the floor.
Grab the handles and face the anchor point with your feet shoulder width apart. Straighten your arms out in front of you and walk your
feet forward a few steps so your body leans back. Keeping your body straight, pull your chest to the handles. Pause, and return to the
MAKE IT HARDER Walk your feet further forward or perform a single-arm row
Use the same start position as the row, but instead of extending your arms in front, hold them at 90° angles with your elbows by your
sides and the handles at chest level; there should be light tension on the straps. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs
are parallel to the floor. Reverse the move to return to the start.
MAKE IT HARDER Perform a single leg squat or add an explosive hop.
The three fundamentals of suspension training: learn these three rules to master the straps
Nail the Basics
“You have to earn the harder movements,” says Piercy. “Jumping ahead without mastering the fundamentals will give you a shaky foundation, and you won’t have the skills you need to maximise your gains from the harder progressions.” You’ll also be more prone to picking up
Lock Down Your Core
Unlike a stable bench or mmachine, a suspension trainer puts your muscles in a constant battle with gravity. “Gravity always attacks your weakest point,” says Piercy. “For most people, that’s their core.” Fight back by bracing your abs at the beginning of each exercise. Thatway, you reinforce your spine and boost stability. The payoff: you’ll generate more power.
“If you don’t apply even pressure to both handles, they’ll ‘saw’ back and forth, throwing you off balance and increasing your risk of injury,” says Piercy. “Scraping” (that is, when the straps rub against your arms) is another sign of bad form. “If you can’t finish an exercise withoutsawing or scraping, you’re probably progressing too quickly,” Piercy says.