TRX 101

You may have seen this ropey, strappy thingy hanging around at your gym. This contraption is a TRX (total-body resistance exercise) Suspension Trainer and was originally designed by the Navy Seals. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be in military-grade shape to use this device.

One of the main benefits of the TRX system for the military was its versatility and portability. You can take it with you and work out anywhere: inside the home, outside in your backyard, on vacation or set up shop at the gym. It’s more of an investment than some equipment (about $199), however, a TRX trainer is much cheaper than a home-gym system while offering a comparable workout. All exercises utilize your own bodyweight, plus that of the device and gravity, of course. It’s not only convenient but durable: it can hold up to 1,400 pounds, equivalent to the weight of a cow.

TRX allows your body to work in all planes of motion; frontal, sagittal (vertical) and transverse (crosswise). It can help you improve your balance and flexibility or increase your strength and endurance. If you’re someone who tends to become bored with workouts or often needs to change things up, there are also an enormous variety of exercises that can be performed with the trainer.

It also utilizes your core, which is more than just your six-pack. Your core is made up of your back, pelvis, chest muscles and abdominals. It’s also responsible for your flexibility and stability. Improving your core can reduce the risk of injury to your lower back, as well as to your entire body because the core is responsible for all the multi-plane movements you make every day.

Need a quickie? The trainer delivers an effective total-body workout in a limited amount of time while taking up a small amount of space. Strap your TRX around a door during your lunch break, and voila, 15 minutes later your workout is complete.

Make your own

2 ratchet straps Approximately eight-feet-long and able to hold up to 300 pounds – Home Depot, $10

4 load clips to put on the ends Home Depot, $5

2 foam handles Walmart, $8

1. Set ratchet straps at even lengths.

2. Place clips on all four ends of the straps.

3. Secure foam handles on one end of each strap.

4. Secure the other end, using the metal clip, to your basement beam.

5. Give a few tugs to make sure the ratchets are locked, and you’re ready to go.

Where to find TRX classes: DK Fitness, PAI Yoga & Fitness, The Wellness Development Center, Columbus Sports Connection, Yun Fitness Boot Camps, Turning Point Fitness, Body Pure Pilates, Victory Fitness and more.