Hang About…

Mimi ON Jan 31, 2012 AT 12:52 pm

TRX Suspension Training

TRX Suspension Training

by Emma Parlons

Much like Spiderwoman, I love a mission.  Today’s mission was to discover whether TRX is just another exercise fad or a legitimate way to develop my core strength.  As a regular boot-camper, swimmer and runner, the idea of exercise was not about to put me off.  Nevertheless, I do find gym work-outs rather uninspiring places; the mass of blank faces, aggressive looking machines and the deafening noise of a highly irritating chart song.

Billed as the ‘spider-man yoga’, I sized up the TRX apparatus at my local Virgin Active.   What goes in the loops?  Will I be hanging myself or do my feet remain on the ground?  Either way, it looked like an archaic form of torture.  Just as I was backing away, I was cornered by one of those gym angels you have no chance of escaping.  Liz is exercise general manager of Virgin Active, Swiss Cottage, and formally introduced me to the TRX Suspension Trainer.

Randy Heatrick

Randy Hetrick

In short, TRX is a workout system designed by US Navy Seal commander, Randy Hetrick as he and his team were desperate to work out while deployed on missions.  So much so, Hetrick’s first versions used parachute material and he sold hundreds of these to the troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was fascinated as to how effectively the workout could be but soon understood that, by using your own body weight, you are developing strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.  There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with this piece of equipment and it can be easily adapted to suit all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels.

After a number of gags such as ‘hanging out has never been so much fun’ and a little humming of the tune ‘in the navy’, it was time for me to step inside this tangle of straps, ropes and loops.  While Hetrick is clearly a genius, this is hard core (excuse the pun). Without engaging every muscle in your body, you sway and therefore dangle uncomfortably.  There is no way of skiving; making no coincidence that this workout is reputed to burn more calories in 45 minutes than you would in a spinning class.

As with so many of these new training disciplines, TRX has been embraced by LA.  David Beckham, Amber Valetta, Gwen Stefani, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and of course the real Spiderman, Tobey Maguire, are massive TRX-ers and, from what I hear, it will not be long before TRX Suspension classes will be at a gym near you.    Until then, put the nylon contraption in your pocket, run to the local park and hang from trees…

For more updates from Emma Parlons, visit www.lifeofyablon.wordpress.com

Or…. follow her on Twitter:@yablons


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