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by RN Graham
As we move back to normalcy in the age of covid-19 some of us may be thinking about heading back to the gym, while others have decide to hold off for a little and continue their pursuit of fitness at home. For both groups it may be time to introduce a new body weight workout equipment to your gym bag. This week at maximalbeing.com, we delve deep into suspension training.
If you have been to any cutting-edge gym within the last few years you may have noticed a yellow and black band hanging from the ceiling or in the personal training area. These bands are called TRX bands and they are the most popular suspension trainers. If this term is unfamiliar to you, suspension training is a form of resistance training that incorporates bodyweight exercises in which a variety of multi-planar, compound exercise movements can be performed. The goal of suspension training is to offer strength development, flexibility, balance, and joint stability simultaneously. Suspension training develops physical strength while using functional movements and dynamic positions.
Background on Functional Training
Suspension training is nothing new. In fact, rope training can be traced back to as early as the 1800s. The Total Resistance eXercise better known as the aforementioned TRX was developed by Randy Hetrick. Hetrick, a former Navy Seal and MBA graduate from Stanford University, developed the TRX suspension trainer in the 1990s.
Though there are many options on the market today, Hetrick’s TRX bands are the leader in the market raking in around $60 million a year.
How Does Suspension Training Work?
Suspension training brings a whole new dynamic to strength training. The premise is actually quite simple. Suspension training uses the same principles as calisthenics such as push ups or dips. The difference is that there is an added element of instability. This forces the user to constantly engage the core to gain stability. Your body becomes the machine and gravity becomes your resistance. As you perform dynamic movements while suspended there is a neuromuscular response to the shift in your body positioning.
Why purchase a suspension trainer?
We recently gave away a pair of TRX bands that we purchased from our partners at Rouge Fitness to one of our lucky Instagram followers because we genuinely believe in the benefits of suspension training. Ask anyone that has used a TRX band and more than likely you will hear them praise the functionality. We will start by emphasizing the portability of the suspension training system.
Most weigh around 2-5 pounds and come in a convenient carrying case. This makes them idea for tossing in a gym bag, bookbag, and as soon as the world starts traveling again a carry on or weekender. TRX bands like other suspension trainers are easy to set up and turns any doorway, tree, fence, or anything with enough room, clearance, and strength to hold your body weight into your own personal gym.
If you do a quick internet search you will find that there are a plethora of workouts ranging from simple to insanely complex and difficult that can be performed by using suspension trainers. For your convenience we have included a suspension workout.
Suspension training also helps to strengthen tendons and joints by incorporating the stabilizer muscles, which will ultimately lead to an increase in strength and stability.
Does Suspension Training Work?
The short and simple answer is yes. Like any workout, when done correctly while also incorporating proper nutrition, suspension training will lead amazing results. In 2016 an Article in International Journal of Research and Exercise Physiology, conducted a study on The Acute and Chronic Health Benefits of TRX Suspension Training in Healthy Adults found that, “TRX improved muscular fitness and positively modified several major CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk factors including reductions in waist circumference, body fat, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Another study was conducted on the effects of TRX lower body workouts and their roll in reducing fall risk in health adults over the age of 68. The research found that both of male and female participants had improved balance confidence and scored better in improved gait, dynamic balance, and fear of falling. If you are new to suspension training as always first and foremost consult your physician prior to starting any form of exercise routine. We also recommend starting off slowly with until you gain enough core strength to add more complexity to your routine and if possible try to enlist the help of a qualified personal trainer.