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March 28, 2016 by
Jay Medley
TRX training has exploded in popularity. It’s in the news, on TV, and it’s popping up in gyms and homes everywhere. Developed for Navy SEALs, it is known for offering a great, intense workout (if the SEALs do it, you know it’s got to be tough.) TRX stands for Total body Resistance eXercise because you use your own body weight as resistance rather than lifting weights.

The suspension part comes from being suspended on nylon straps. In a gym, the straps will already be hanging, but if you do it at home, the straps can be used on trees, jungle gyms, and doors. So, if the workout is intense enough for Navy SEALs, can you do it, too?

Yes! Well, probably or eventually. TRX is a great workout for the core, but your core muscles (the muscles that support the spine) need to already be developed to properly handle the workout.

If your core is too weak, you make end up misusing other muscles to compensate. Starting TRX isn’t the best idea for those who are brand new to working out, but you can work up to it. Once you’ve been hitting the gym for about six weeks, you will likely be ready to get into the straps.

The good news is that TRX can be adapted to different fitness levels. TRX uses many traditional workout moves like lunges and pushups. Think of all of the ways that you can adapt a traditional pushup to make it easier: pushups on the floor, on your toes is the most difficult; doing the pushups on your knees is easier; pushups done against a wall, standing up are even easier. It’s the same with TRX: adjusting your position and bringing your feet in closer to your body will make the moves easier.

Just like with yoga and aerobics, there are many different ways to do a TRX workout. TRX training can be adapted to be most beneficial to rock climbers or those who wish to lose weight.

Some workouts are so intense that they get your heart rate up as if it were a cardio workout. Some TRX workouts are more relaxed with soft music and are like yoga, but suspended. Consult your gym to find out the different types of TRX workouts they offer and which one would be best for your fitness level and goals.

The key here is to pick the right TRX workout for your fitness level, which can be hard to gauge on your own. Starting out, if you are concerned about being fit enough for a certain class, consider booking a one-on-one session with a personal trainer to learn some TRX moves and adapt them to your level. The trainer may also be able to recommend a class for you. Then, attend classes.

You’ll learn the moves and how to do each one properly for safety and maximum benefits. There are home versions of TRX straps that you can take with you to exercise outdoors or on vacation, but it is best not to start out with those. Starting at a gym will ensure that you learn how to safely use the straps and you’ll learn moves that you can use at home if you then wish to buy your own set.

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