by Eden Univer
Courtesy of Crunch
If the weight room is about as familiar to you as a space station, TRX is going to be your new strength training best friend. This cool suspension workout has you exerting multiple muscles as you use the resistance of your own body to get strong. But before you dive right in, Crunch fitness manager Mitch Rice breaks down the basics of this effective exercise. Instead of slamming weights Schwarzenegger-style, you'll be pushing and pulling your way through a fitness routine that's actually fun. Come see how it works!
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Say goodbye to barbells.
They're bulky, hard to maneuver, and you won't miss them. "TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise," explains Rice. "This means participants are using their own body weight for functional movements that build core stabilization and improve flexibility. Many traditional weight training workouts will only isolate one or two muscles. TRX exercises are designed to make you engage multiple muscle groups through compound movements. This means you're going to work more efficiently in less time without having to walk around to different machines scattered throughout the gym."
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If you'd like you try it, you can likely find it near you.
"Gyms are increasingly offering these classes as part of a comprehensive fitness program." And (serious insider tip) Crunch gyms offer complimentary TRX classes-you just have to ask!
Come prepared for a challenge.
This may not be the time for short shorts or cozy sweats. "You should wear lightweight, non restricting, breathable workout gear. Also, make sure to bring a towel and plenty of water because these body weight exercises will challenge you unlike anything you've ever done before."
You can start at any level.
There's room for pros and newbies in this exercise. "Another benefit of using the TRX is that exercises can easily be progressed or regressed depending on an individual's abilities. If you don't have great balance, you can start with a wide base of support with two feet on the floor. As you get stronger and your stability improves, you can work your way up to using just a single leg."
No need to get freaked out by the setup.
You're not going to be dangling around, but you might feel a little bit like Spiderman. "The TRX Suspension Trainer has come a long way since its parachute prototype designed by former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. The new model is lightweight, portable, and can hang from a door mount, wall mount, or an industrial S-Frame. Every TRX hangs from a main carabiner that supports two six-foot straps with handles and foot cradles on the ends. There are also cam buckles and adjustment tabs to lengthen and shorten the straps on both sides."
The moves you'll do in this workout will probably be familiar.
But if you have a cool trainer, like Rice, they can also have awesome names. "Many well-known resistance training exercises can be performed on the TRX, like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and rows. My favorite exercise is called the New Kids on the Block. This is basically a squat with a single arm row and 180 degree rotation. Start with your feet shoulder width apart facing the anchor point and one hand griping the handle to the side of your chest with your shoulder retracted. Bend both knees, extending the arm gripping the handle and dropping your butt down to the floor. Rotate from the hips reaching for the floor with your opposite hand. Drive through your heels, pulling from your arm holding the TRX. Finish the rotation and tap your opposite hand to the straps as high as possible. NKOTB works your upper body, lower body, and your core. If you really want to push it, complete three sets of 15 reps on each side as fast as possible."
Okay, so you might not be ready to New-Kids-on-the-Block it right away, but you can work up to it in no time. Hang tough!
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by Eden Univer