Total Resistance Exercise, or TRX, is a revolutionary type of exercise. It uses an innovative suspension system to build flexibility, balance, stability, and strength. This exercise method has been developed and backed by detailed research. It is also used by all four branches of the military and by elite and Olympic athletes. So what are the TRX suspension training benefits?
TRX suspension training offers several undeniable benefits. The biggest one is that it is adaptable for all fitness levels. Some other benefits include developing core stability and functional strength. Additionally, it provides an effective total-body workout and improves mobility and flexibility.
In this article, you will learn more about the specific and unique benefits TRX provides. You will also be able to read some of the research and science that backs TRX. By the end of the article, you will understand why athletes, trainers, and people of all ages and fitness levels use TRX.
What Is TRX?
TRX is a unique form of suspension training using suspension straps and leverages body weight and gravity. This produces a very effective, total-body workout. TRX was developed by a former Navy SEAL. It boasts research collected from academic institutions, pro athletes, and the military.
Below you will find a list of some of the benefits of using TRX suspension training.
Adaptable for All Fitness Levels
TRX suspension system and TRX exercises are easily modifiable. These modifications are made through the three principles of the progression of TRX. The three principles are:
- Vector resistance principle: Based on the angle of the body
- Stability principle: Based on the position of the feet
- Pendulum principle: Based on the angle of the TRX suspension straps
Activating these three different principles or resistances impacts the intensity of the exercise. When performing a push-up using the suspension system, you have many options to impact the intensity. Adjusting the vector resistance principle will involve moving the feet away from the straps. This increases the load into the muscles. Keeping the feet closer to a straight standing position will decrease the load of the push up.
The stability principle may encourage someone doing a push-up to shift weight to a single leg to increase the intensity. The pendulum principle is more advanced, as it normally involves using the legs in the TRX straps.
These easily made modifications allow children to senior citizens to use TRX. The suspension systems is employed by elite athletes and personal training. It can also be used for therapeutic reasons to assist in recovering from injuries. The success regardless of the person or function proves there are huge benefits in choosing TRX.
Increases Core Stability
Almost every exercise you do with a TRX suspension system will challenge your core stability. So a TRX suspension training is great for strengthening your core muscles. Because of the design of the system, there is a constant level of functional instability.
This added instability can help improve core muscles, and it demands the muscles be engaged through all exercises. With this being said, it is important to ease into using TRX until you are confident in your baseline core stability to prevent injury.
In 2014 the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published an interesting study. It analysed the ways adding instability helps improve core muscles. The TRX reigned superior in the study, topping many stable exercises specifically designed for core muscles.
The TRX had comparable results for stable exercises for other muscle groups in the upper body. The research shows that TRX is one of the best ways to build core stability and strength.
Builds Functional Strength
Functional strength describes the body’s ability to move the major joints through a full range of motion without any pain or restriction. Functional strength is also referred to as load-joint articulation.
Although it’s not always thought of as a priority in an exercise program, it is important to do functional strength training. It allows one to better function and thrive in other exercises and activities of daily living or ADLs.
Functional training improves functional movement proficiency and patterns. This includes pushing and pulling, squatting, and gait or walking patterns. Emphasising functional training will allow you to achieve other fitness goals better.
Functional training is especially important people recovering from injuries. Functional training is a good replacement for standard strength training.
TRX training naturally promotes functional training as it destabilises the body. In this training the core and joint stabilisers engage to keep you from buckling or losing balance. As the muscles train this way, you are improving balance and stability. This will help you avoid future injuries and enhance your performance when it comes to other exercises.
Efficient Total-Body Workout
TRX gives the ability to quickly and easily have a productive full-body workout. The suspension system offers exercises to target all muscle groups effectively. Although TRX is normally considered a form of strength training, it is easy to incorporate cardio circuits.
The American Council on Exercise conducted a small study. The purpose was to investigate the long-term outcomes of TRX suspension training. The people studied did a TRX exercise program where they exercised using suspension training three times a week for eight weeks. The subjects were 21 to 71 years old, and their fitness and health markers were recorded before and after the exercise program.
The study showed people were burning 400 more calories per session compared to a normal strength training workout.
All subjects also experienced a significant change in waist circumference. Additionally there was also a reduction in body fat percentage, and baseline blood pressure. Improvements in endurance were also recorded, along with muscle strength improvement. Evidence of this was seen in the leg press, bench press, pull-up, and push-up tests.
Another added benefit is that you can use a TRX suspension system anywhere. TRX is a great option for training on the door as it can anchor easily to any door. Also, TRX can be used outside. There are ways to anchor TRX to a tree. The straps are very portable. This sort of versatility is part of what makes TRX suspension training so revolutionary.
Increases Mobility and Flexibility
TRX can work to increase both mobility and flexibility. Mobility, defined as the functional movement of a joint while in motion. Flexibility, defined as the total range of motion around a joint when it is passive, like being stretched.
The benefit of increased mobility is a more effective warm-up leading to a more productive and safe workout. At the end of the workout, flexibility exercises are most effective as the body is warm and ready to be stretched.
Using a TRX suspension system can unload body weight. By doing so, the body can safely move through a greater range of motion. The suspension straps can also add resistance, adding leverage to stretches for a larger range of motion.
Better Posture, Less Imbalances
The TRX is also highly correctional. Working against the suspension straps encourages and reinforces natural body mechanics and posture. Many people lose this due to the amount of time they spend in sedentary positions.
A lot of imbalance develops in the body because of the digital lifestyle and frequent, consistent sitting. Some muscles become very tight as others weaken because of inactivity. Teaching correct, safe form and body mechanics is easier using a TRX.
Also, by implementing the three principles of progression stretching and exercise is easier. Doing so will allow mobility and flexibility to appropriate and progressively increase.
The benefits of using TRX suspension training are undeniable. This versatile way of exercise has various unique benefits. It allows people of all fitness levels to achieve their fitness and wellness goals. From its adaptability and portability to the research-back superiority of strengthening the core, it’s no wonder TRX is used so widely.