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Product Review: The TRX Suspension Trainer

by Coach Seiji

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After 15+ years in the personal training and fitness industry, it’s not often that I pay that much attention to the “next revolution in fitness” let alone get excited about new exercise equipment. I have tried almost every device that makes its way to market and honestly these fitness products seem to recycle themselves every decade with new spokespeople, packaging and gimmicky names. I have developed a skeptical eye when a company claims “this could really help your athletes…” Well that has just changed. I have been working with a new product that honestly blows me away in its functionality and the benefits it can provide a rider. It’s also portable and inexpensive. Yes, it’s true, I am addicted to the TRX Suspension Trainer and it has easily become my most used piece of equipment. This is saying a lot as I own a personal training studio full of expensive equipment; this inexpensive, simple,  yet ingenious device has become a staple of my strength, core and flexibility training routines.

Yep, that is all there is to it!

Part of the allure of the TRX system is its simplicity. It is just an array of adjustable length webbing that is anchored above you body by handles with foot straps. The only resistance is your body weight (hence their tagline “make your body your machine”).

You can implicitly adjust the resistance on the muscles being targeted by adjusting the angle of your body in relation to the ground or the distance of your center of gravity from the anchoring point of the device. Not only is this clever and surprisingly simple, it also has these advantages:

1.) No external form of resistance needed: highly portable, entire unit fits in a small bag.

2.) Safe: body weight is the only load and it is infinitely and instantly adjustable on the fly; no weights to drop off or fall on any body part and you can immediately abort an exercise safely. You can actually have load assistance as well as resistance.

3.) Device can be used anywhere there is an anchor point about 7 feet above the ground: trees, doors, anywhere! This is great for the travelling racer, you can do a full body strength, core and flexibility routine right at your RV!

4.) Saves time: switching between exercises and changing loads requires only a small movement of the body; no switching between machines or fumbling with changing the weight stack.

5.) Variety in planes of movement: since the device and body can freely move in any direction, exercises can be multi-planar just like in actual athletic movement. Most machines force you to only move in a single plane.

6.) Almost all exercises are closed chain (meaning the end of the limb being used is anchored) which most closely mimics motor patterns of actual sport.

7.) Almost all exercises require core stability and awareness: since your body is suspended at an angle, you must be aware of your core and it must stay stabilized and engaged for the duration of the exercise.

8.) Since the handles are free to move in space, the TRX promotes joint awareness, stability and full range of motion.

9.) Device also doubles as a stretching assistance device; increases range of motion, reduces muscle tension, decreases injury rates and corrects postural deficiencies.

10.) Cheap! Since it’s only made of webbing it is super inexpensive compared to the usual strength training device: around $150 for the professional quality version.

After over a year of steady use, I am still totally pumped at the versatility and effectiveness of the TRX. It is great for young riders because body weight is the only load and this can be assisted. This creates inherent safety but also teaches integrated core stability and balance that must accompany strength training for real world effectiveness. It is also ideal for mature, seasoned athletes because of the multitude of movements, direction of loading and exercise intensities possible, You can isolate known weak areas with a single joint exercise if you wish,  but you can also do complex, functional exercises that require integrated and super challenging motion patterns.

It is rare that an exercise device actually creates a new and effective mode of training but the TRX Suspension Trainer has done so admirably in my professional opinion. I and my clients have enjoyed challenging, progressive and fun workouts utilizing this device inside my studio but also in garages, shops and at the tracks. It is truly a go anywhere, do anything training partner and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to any rider looking to improve strength, core awareness and stability, flexibility and athletic performance. All this in a unit that is inexpensive and can be thrown in your backpack and taken anywhere. Get Yours here.

Learn How to use the TRX specifically for motocross here.

About the Author: Seiji Ishii is the head coach of www.coachseiji.com. Coachseiji.com provides online coaching and personal training services to motorsports athletes. Coach Seiji has worked with both pros and elite amateurs including: Heath Voss, Ryan Clark, Austin Stroupe, PJ Larsen, Hunter Hewitt, Drew Yenerch, Jason Anderson, and Andrew Short. Learn more at coachseiji.com or contact Coach Seiji directly.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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