Written by: Leslie Peacock
A quick re-cap: So far we’ve done basic strength training, kick-boxing and parkour (which is still one of the most interesting sports I’ve done). This time I tried a TRX workout. I don’t know about you girls, but I have no upper body strength. None. I was one of those girls who could not do a simple push-up. And if I did try, it looked like I was mimicking a worm or doing the wave on the ground. So the thought of having to pull, push, twist, and do exercises using my own body weight using straps was scary.
What does TRX stand for? TRX = Total Body Resistance Exercise (I never knew, thank you Google). A Navy Seal invented the TRX; He needed a way to keep himself and his fellow SEALS in top shape no matter where they were in the world, whether conducting a mission or standing by. Since all of their deployments are covert in nature, the SEALS can’t just walk into a gym for a workout. Thus, the TRX was born. The TRX is an extremely versatile tool which can be used anywhere from the gym, outdoors and even your home.
TRX has to be the most fuss-free equipment for exercise I’ve come across so far. All you need is an anchor point or a door! Let your imagination go wild with the thousands of exercises you can think of! You can either use the TRX to add variety to your training or as a complete workout on its own. The sky is the limit! TRX allows you to crest unlimited choices and variations.
Suspension training, as it is known, is a form of resistance training that allows the user to work against their own body weight. It combines strength, flexibility, agility and stability into every exercise.
Ron was my trusted trainer for today. This guy has 15 years of personal training experience under his belt. Ron also specializes in boxing/kick-boxing/self-defense; myofascial therapy/sports massage and is somewhat of an expert when it comes to the TRX! So I knew I would be in good hands today.
Before starting any form of exercise, warm-ups are always a must. Just to get the heart pumping, joints lubricated, and sweat going! With most workouts, you do the warm-up away from the main equipment. Common warm-up choices would include calisthenics, skipping, burpees or jumping jacks, to name a few. But with a TRX, you can start using the bands straight away (that’s how versatile this form of training is). So I started off with squat rows just to get limbered up. Then, we moved onto this exercise called Sprinters. Basically, it mimics what a sprinter does on a track, right before they start running. It’s all about the push-off, being able to mobilize my core, and maintaining coordination.
The beauty of the TRX is that the exercises don’t stop just there. Resistance can be adjusted simply by changing the distance from the anchor point or the length of the straps. Exercises can be progressed into more challenging variations; transitioning a squat into a single-leg drive and then into a single-leg drive with a jump follow-through, for example.
Next was my all-time nightmare. Push-ups. Thankfully, it was done slightly different than I expected. Ron paired push-ups and rows for an antagonistic superset on the TRX. I wouldn’t say that it became easier but it definitely made it more interesting and allowed more rest time (psychologically at least) in between each set of push-ups as I was doing a set of rows (which for me, was the lesser of two evils). The result was that my entire upper body got a helluva burn!
Moving on, we did jumping lateral lunges paired with single-arm rows. I think you are starting to get the idea that the TRX isn’t just about working on one muscle group at a time. It combines multiple muscle groups through a selection of full body exercises to give a thorough workout.
What’s a workout without activating the loving abdominal muscles that we ladies try oh-so-hard to find? Ron had me doing leg tucks and the like. This was hard! And again to show the versatility of TRX, he introduced variations such as side-to-side leg tucks and pikes for trainees who might find the leg tuck too easy. For beginners, simply performing a plank with the TRX would be sufficient to hammer the core.
Ron said that there’s no limit to the usage of the TRX. He proved that point by making me perform split lunges with my rear foot cradled in the TRX, while holding DUMBBELLS. Additionally, I got to attempt some exercises unique to suspension training, such as the ‘W’ flye, which works the upper back and shoulders. They can be mimicked on a cable pulley machine, but the movement pattern is fundamentally different.
The entire session was done in less than an hour. Ron promised me that there was so much more to try! He was telling me stories of how some of his clients were hooked onto the TRX not just because it’s fun to use, but also travel-friendly. It takes up very little luggage space and gives you a great workout in the convenience of your hotel room.
Honestly, I did not need more convincing. My entire body had a good work out; especially my arms, legs, butt and definitely my tummy . For a beginner, this is definitely one form of training worth considering.
You can check out Ron’s profile here.