Considering suspension training?
You’re in the right place!
Keep reading to get reviews of the best suspension trainers of 2021, followed by a guide to their benefits, a few beginner and intermediate exercises, and the differences between seemingly similar TRX models.
- TOP 9 Best Suspension Trainers of 2021
- TRX Training GO Suspension Trainer Kit
- TRX Suspension All-In-One Home Gym
- TRX Training Pro 3 Suspension Training Kit
- CrossCore Rotational Bodyweight Training System
- Recoil S2 Pro Suspension Trainer
- FitIndex Bodyweight Resistance Trainer Kit
- Moulyan Bodyweight Resistance Training Straps
- NOSSK RT-17 Rope Bodyweight Fitness Trainer
- TRX Training RIP Trainer Basic Kit
- What is Suspension Training? What is TRX?
- The Benefits of TRX Suspension Training
- TRX Home vs TRX Pro? TRX Tactical vs Pro vs TRX Go?
- Best Suspension Trainer Exercises and Workouts
TOP 9 Best Suspension Trainers of 2021
What is Suspension Training? What is TRX?
TRX Suspension Training originated in the US Navy, and has grown in popularity due to its simplicity, portability and the fact that it offers a complete full-body workout.
It’s a popular training method utilized by many professional baseball players, military professionals, Olympic athletes, and championship UFC fighters.
TRX is an abbreviation for “total body resistance exercise”, which is exactly what TRX suspension training workouts do.
Suspension training uses a series of nylon webs or suspension straps with a hook at one end, and hand grips at the other. The hook latches onto a mount, hooks around an anchor like a bar or hooks over a doorway, anchoring the straps.
You can use the handles to hold or place your feet in the foot straps to perform the moves outlined in the training.
TRX and other suspension trainers use your body weight to exercise. See the exercise section below for more details.
The suspension system frees you from using a series of workout machines.
Due to the nature of using hanging straps during exercise, your core and stabilizing muscles are used to give you balance as you work each major muscle group.
You may even see an increase in your flexibility as you master some of the more complicated moves.
In fact, the nature of the work out makes TRX training a great way to lose weight while toning your whole body.
But if weight loss alone is your goal, check out our guide to the best exercise machines for weight loss too.
The Benefits of TRX Suspension Training
Obviously, all effective exercise improves your health and helps build muscle.
Nonetheless, TRX Suspension Training is a completely different form of fitness training from what you’re used to at the gym and suspension training has its own unique benefits.
The following differences make TRX workouts stand out among other workout programs, like CrossFit, and make TRX Suspension Training a frontrunner in terms of home fitness options.
You Get a Full Body Workout in Less Time
When you’re at the gym, you may be bouncing from machine to machine to work out different muscle groups.
Machines at the gym are good for isolation movements, but usually fail with compound movements and targeting stabilizing muscles.
You might spend a lot of time in the gym, using free weights, to work all the same muscles you can with the best suspension trainer.
Using only one piece of equipment saves time. Plus, you don’t need to drive to the gym to get it done.
Suspension trainers are perfect for the home gym due to the minimal space they require.
Have a read of our guide to the best compact home gyms if this is something you’re interested in.
Work Major Muscle Groups and Stabilizing Muscles at the Same Time
With TRX Suspension Training, you can choose to isolate and build on individual muscles or muscle groups by staying in one position and focusing all of your energy into a limited workout.
You will always be using core and stabilizing muscles to maintain position, or move out of position, which is what makes suspension training so well rounded.
TRX involves moving around, keeping several muscles engaged at once.
TRX and suspension trainers have the variety necessary to target virtually every muscle in your body. This type of workout allows you to hit all muscle groups in one session, or focus on specific muscle groups if you choose, all using the same piece of equipment.
TRX and Other Suspension Systems Save Space and Travel Well
Tight on space?
No problem. These suspension trainers originated in the Navy and were used by sailors in tight quarters.
Suspension trainers are the perfect solution for:
- Your bedroom
- Any small area
And you won’t have to give up your couch to free up space for a treadmill.
Suspension trainers allow for cardio and bodyweight strength training using just one small piece of equipment.
When you aren’t using it, it’s small enough to stick in a duffle bag and store in the closet or under your bed.
They’re also super portable. If you need to travel, you won’t have to disrupt your workout schedule. The kits weigh anywhere from 2 to 4 lbs and easily fit inside your luggage.
You can set them up virtually anywhere.
You can set your TRX system up in your hotel room door. Or take it to the park and use it with the monkey bars or a tree.
TRX is One of the Least Expensive Ways to Work Out
Consider the cost of a gym membership. You pay start-up costs, extra fees, and monthly or annual membership. This can come close to $1,000 per year. And, if you’re building a complete home gym, that’s a lot more money.
Though home gyms are more economical when you think about how much you’ll save over time, they’re still quite a steep investment at the start. Using a TRX Suspension Training system is one of the least expensive ways to get a workout in at home.
Even if you only buy a few pieces of cardio equipment and some basic home gym staples, the TRX is still a huge money saver.
For under a couple of hundred dollars you have a complete full-body workout that you can take with you just about wherever you go, or combine with other small, compact items like a pull up bar for even more variety while keeping the cost down.
Anyone Can Use TRX Suspension Training
Some pieces of equipment are designed solely for experienced users. For example, someone who is completely new to fitness may not be able to complete a workout on an intermediate piece of equipment, like a rowing machine or a SkiErg.
Since the functions of the TRX suspension training system are so versatile and flexible, anyone of any level of fitness can start with it.
A TRX suspension training system is completely human-powered.
It will work however you use it, and that’s what makes it so great. If you’re not yet at a point where you can complete an intense workout or fully commit to certain exercises, you can work at your own level and build up to the harder moves.
Start with the easier stuff, increase your reps, and eventually transition into harder workouts.
It’s a simple workout you can tailor to your needs! – You don’t have to worry about hurting yourself by attempting to take on too much, too fast.
TRX Home vs TRX Pro? TRX Tactical vs Pro vs TRX Go?
There are a handful of TRX branded suspension trainers available so you may be asking “what’s the difference?” or “what is the best suspension trainer?”
In order to clear things up, I will call out the special features of each set.
Want more travel-friendly fitness equipment? We’ve got it for you Right Here.
Best Suspension Trainer Exercises and Workouts
Since anyone at any level of fitness can use the TRX, I have separated workouts into two categories: beginner, and advanced.
Start at beginner level, and as that gets easier, start to incorporate some advanced exercises.
The goal is to slowly transition into solely advanced workouts. As your advanced workout becomes easier, raise your reps or add intensity by limiting your balance to only one arm or one leg.
This will turn advanced workouts into expert workouts.
A great set of beginner exercises will provide you with an excellent foundation from which to grow.
Beginner Move 1: Easy Rowing
Rowing is great for your core, back, and arms. These are three target zones to develop if you want to advance to the next level.
For easy rows, grab the handles of your TRX straps with your palms facing inward and slowly lean back until all of your weight is on the balls of your feet. Go as low as you can while still maintaining your balance, keeping your arms extended as far as you can.
Tightening your core and squeezing your shoulders tight, put a bend in your elbow as you raise your torso up to your hands, and lower yourself back down again.
Beginner Move 2: Push Ups
Push-ups help build the shoulders and chest. With TRX pushups, you place your feet inside the foot straps.
You’ll want your straps a few inches up off the ground, with the strap between your toes and your ankles.
With your palms flat on the floor, support your body weight on your hands. Bend your elbows out to lower your body to the floor, and push back up.
Beginner Move 3: Lunges
Lunges are one of the easiest workouts to do, and many people don’t use extra equipment to do them.
The handle of your TRX holds your foot in this variant, making the lunge more challenging while putting your balance to the test. With your back to the TRX, double the handles up around your right foot. Put your left foot on the floor.
As you bend your knee and bring yourself to the ground, extend your strapped foot further, and come back up. Switch legs and repeat.
Beginner Move 4: Inverted Rows
Inverted rows help you build your lats. You’ll start inverted rows by lying on the floor with your knees up and your feet flat down. Raise your arms all the way up, and grab onto the handles with your palms facing inward.
Without moving your elbows away from your sides, bend them until your core is level with your knees. Slowly lower your core back down to the floor.
Beginner Move 5: Basic Chest Presses
Chest presses target the arms and chest. Rather than lying on the floor, you’re performing the chest press upright using your body weight as resistance.
Stand in basic stance, with your feet at shoulder width distance, with your back to the TRX anchor. With an overhand grasp on the strap handles, push your arms out until they’re at shoulder height.
Your body should be diagonal. As you bend your elbows, lower your body until it’s between the handles. Push back up.
If you’re already physically fit, you may want to start with intermediate workouts. The main challenge is getting used to the configuration of the TRX, which is different from other workouts.
Advanced Move 1: Hardcore Suspended Planks
It’s time to get your obliques in on the action. With your back to the TRX, put your toes into the handles.
Put your legs as far apart as you can get them while still maintaining control of your core and a straight back. Perform a regular plank with the upper half of your body, by lifting yourself onto your forearms and holding the position.
Hold the position as long as you can, and go back to your starting position.
Advanced Move 2: Intense Bicep Curls
These bicep curls are a lot harder than traditional curls with a dumbbell or a barbell. They really get your abs involved.
Facing your TRX, grasp the handles with your palms facing each other. Lean back until your arms are fully extended and the strap is fully stretched.
Bend your elbows, keeping them level with your chest, and pull your body up until your hands are near your ears.
Go back to the starting position, and pull again.
Advanced Move 3: Work Your Hamstrings
Strengthening your hamstrings is very important when you’ve reached an intermediate level of fitness.
Running, jogging, swimming, and any kind of squat lift will require strong hamstrings. If you don’t beef them up, you can injure yourself.
Lay flat on the floor with your arms out to your sides. Put your heels into the straps’ handles, and by pressing down with your legs, raise your body until your hips are off the floor.
Pull your heels towards your hip as slowly and gently as possible before returning to your starting position.
Advanced Move 4: Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers use almost every muscle in your body, and also provide you with great cardio. It’s one of the single most effective exercises you can do with your TRX.
Put your feet in the handles, the same way as if you were about to execute a plank. Rather than doing planks, you’ll be alternating your knees and bringing them up to your chest.
Get faster and faster as you go, until you’re found your comfortable top speed.
Advanced Move 5: Advanced Jump Squats
Ready to take your squats to the next level?
Suspension trainer jump squats will activate nearly every single muscle in your body. It’s intense and it’s effective. Stand with your feet at shoulder width, just like a regular squat.
Hold onto the handles with your arms out in front of you. Enter a squat as you reach your arms up, and once you hit the bottom, spring back up and open your arms, throwing them up like a jumping jack.
Are Suspension Trainers any Good?
Obviously this depends on your goals and how you like to work out. But, if you’re looking to build strength, muscle, flexibility and balance, then yes, suspension trainers are excellent.
Which is the Best TRX to Buy?
This depends on your budget and priorities. All TRX trainers are excellent options. I’ve listed the differences between them above.
Is Suspension Training Better than Weights?
In some ways, yes. Weights are best for developing a specific muscle and building mass. But suspension training trumps in terms of overall strength and performance benefits.
You don’t just strengthen isolated muscles, but a huge amount of core and stabilizing muscles too.
Does TRX Build Muscle Mass?
TRX builds strength, so yes, you will gain some muscle mass provided you’re not doing huge amounts of cardio and are eating right.
But TRX uses mostly core muscles so you won’t build bulk in quite the same way as using weights.
Is TRX Cardio or Strength Training?
It’s both! TRX is mostly strength training that incorporates a little cardio too depending on the workout.
Where do You Hang a Suspension Trainer?
There are many places you can hang a suspension trainer – it’s just a case of getting creative. The most common is a door, but you can also use a tree, stairwell, pull up bars, lamp posts… the list goes on.
It just needs to be strong and the right height, with enough space to allow you to move through your workout.
That’s a wrap for the best suspension trainers of 2021.
You’ll never outgrow a suspension training system, and they are the perfect solution while traveling, making them a wise investment.
I would love to hear what you think. How are you using your TRX or other suspension training system? Where is your favorite place to set it up?
Drop me a line in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!