By Keith Paine

Have you heard of TRX Suspension Training? Chances are you have, if you are at all interested in fitness. TRX has grown from a handful of devotees to a widely accepted fitness tool. The New York Times reports that TRX equipment is now used “at over 1,000 gyms nationwide.” And the interest is not just limited to the US. At Nimble Fitness in New York City, we’ve hosted instructors and students from India, Hong Kong, Australia, and all over Europe to our monthly TRX Teacher Training Seminars.

Like all great ideas, the TRX system is really simple. And it has a great backstory. It was born out of necessity in the Navy SEALs, where commandos need to maintain peak physical condition while on deployment. TRX founder and inventor Randy Hetrick, a Navy SEAL Squadron Commander for 14 years, used a jujitsu belt, parachute webbing and “sheer ingenuity” to develop the first version of the TRX® Suspension Trainer. [trxtraining.com] Yes, that’s him in the picture with Nimble Co-Founder Daniel Lucas and his original prototype! What started as a practical, very portable solution for training anywhere (literally anywhere—it can be attached to a tree) has become a staple of most gyms nationwide.

Some fitness training tools are fads, some are OK but limited, and others find new markets because their usability becomes more apparent. TRX is that kind of tool—one that can deliver on many levels when used properly. Says Nimble’s Daniel Lucas “Because of its unique neurological connection to the body through either your hands or feet, TRX can be used for corrective exercise, strength training, power training, HIIT training and everything in between.” On the most basic level, we also use TRX training because it works for almost anyone.

Here are some of Nimble Fitness’ biggest takeaways from a decade of teaching and training with the TRX:

*User-Friendliness – At Nimble, our training is based on individual needs and goals. TRX straps are a simple tool that can accommodate a wide range of individual needs and ability levels, from senior clients with limited stability to professional athletes (NFL star Drew Brees has used TRX for years). Because TRX uses gravity as resistance, most exercises can be immediately modified, so that some movement patterns become easier while others become much harder. We’ve also found that the TRX can be a very effective bridge for our clients from bodyweight and balance drills to bigger lifts.

*Bodyweight Training—the (nearly) forgotten fitness tool! Functional bodyweight training “leverages gravity and your bodyweight” [trxtraining.com] to develop stability and strength throughout an athlete’s full range of motion, an important consideration for any athlete. TRX also makes our stabilizing muscles work harder and coordinate more effectively with our big mover muscles, promoting more balanced strength and helping to prevent injury. With bodyweight suspension training you can definitely get strong; you’ll also get balanced and coordinated.

*Versatility–The TRX straps allow for an almost infinite variety of variable and dynamic stability challenges : feet up in the air, single arm or single leg, swinging moves, jumping moves, speed drills, static holds, etc. This is why athletes from all across the movement spectrum use TRX. You’re developing real strength in real time, with moves that mimic what athletes actually do.

*Portability—Many of our clients use and enjoy TRX for travel once they’ve learned the basics.

At Nimble Fitness, the TRX has been a valuable tool for many years. It definitely stands the test of time! If you have never used the TRX, it’s a great opportunity to change things up and recharge your fitness program. TRX training can help you drive through some of those plateaus we all experience, get the results you desire, and help prevent injury. If you’re in New York City and want to try a TRX class, or get private instruction on the TRX system, contact us at info@nimblefitness.com or call us at 212.633.9030.

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