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TRX: 5 Fast Facts About This Total Body Workout

Mar 23, 2016 02:00PM ● By Becca Newell
By Becca Newell

In the fitness world, there’s always something new. Whether it’s a fad or routine or equipment, the list is endless—and not only confusing—but slightly overwhelming. But, for the most part, one thing is certain: these improvements to the industry create more variety when exercising, making it easier than ever for anyone to find the motivation to get in shape.

One concept that’s been around for some time and slowly increasing in popularity is TRX, which stands for Total-Body Resistance Exercise—an enjoyable practice and miracle-worker that, if desired, can be wrapped into a small, portable package.

Here are the Top 5 facts about TRX

1. TRX is suspension training—an adjustable two-strap system that hangs, typically, from a mounted bar, metal fixture, or door—that allows the body to work against its own weight, along with gravity, to add extra resistance to maneuvers, like lunges and pushups.

2. The concept was created in the late ‘90s by former U.S. Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick, who fashioned the original design with a jujitsu belt hung from a door. The contraption offered the ability to exercise the entire body without training facilities, no matter where he was stationed. He later formed a more versatile system with parachute webbing, creating Y-shape handles at the end of the strap to support a host of movements, such as pull-ups, curls, and squats. His fellow SEALs loved it. Hetrick left the military in 2001, to earn his MBA at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. In early 2004, Hetrick began selling the system out of his car in San Francisco, and by 2009, TRX was boasting more than one million users.

3. The core of TRX training is, well, your core. From side planks to hanging dips to knee tucks, suspension training engages your midsection with each maneuver, resulting in a complete—or rather, total—body workout. Additionally, TRX improves mobility and flexibility and helps to build lean muscle. Even better, TRX can be catered to your fitness level, so you can perform moves as basic and simple or as advanced and creative as you’d like. If, for example, a maneuver is too difficult, a simple adjustment to your body position will decrease resistance.

4. Gymophobes and apartment-dwellers unite! TRX is a great alternative for those of us too afraid—read: intimidated or embarrassed—to step foot in a gym or who lack the luxury of an extra room or empty garage, often the perfect spot for an at-home training facility. Lightweight and portable, the TRX Suspension Trainer takes minutes—if not seconds—to construct. Use the door anchor over any sturdy door or the suspension anchor on any bar, pole, or hook (just be sure it can hold your weight!), and you’re good to go.

5. Like any workout regimen, TRX might not be suitable for everyone. In a 2007 New York Times article, Fabio Comana, a research scientist at the American Council on Exercise, said that TRX isn’t ideal for people with little-to-no core strength because they often use the wrong muscles and injure themselves. For those new to TRX, who are interested in giving it a try, it’s worth investing in a few group classes at the gym to learn the basics and proper form.