Nice collection of gear, as kit includes a locking carabiner, three anchoring solutions, and straps. Included workout guide will help you get started. Kit gives you more versatility in how you use the trainers than straps alone. Rubber handles provide a sturdy grip. Lightweight materials are also tough.
Far more expensive than some other options, so it's tough to justify the price for beginners.
A no-frills suspension training kit that comes with only the essentials: handles (with foot loops), straps, instructions, and travel bag. This model costs considerably less than comparable suspension trainers and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
The materials are not as thick and sturdy as you may like, but it does the job.
Setup with this kit is easier and faster than with some other suspension training kits. Includes a suspension anchor, door anchor, and a 35-page workout guide along with the training straps. Nice kit for beginners. Straps are easy to adjust, so people of different sizes can use the same kit.
Expensive for those who don't need the full kit. Does not contain a ceiling or wall mount. Handles have a foam coating instead of rubber.
This kit's split anchor design lets you create wider angles for greater resistance. Allows you to work more muscle groups. Great for rehab because it is so low-impact. Molded, comfortable foot cradle. Comfortable handles. Straps adjust quickly.
Cam buckles have been known to slip and release under pressure.
Easy to set up and use indoors or outdoors. Weighs only 1 lb., but it still has a high level of durability and should prove to be a long-lasting product. Includes a suspension anchor for outdoor workouts. Has plenty of information to help beginners start using the gear immediately.
Costs a little more than some other options. Doesn't have the same level of materials as some higher-priced models.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
From time to time, even the most dedicated individual can lose steam. Luckily, stoking the engine usually only requires shaking things up a bit by adding some variety, increasing the difficulty level, or changing the scenery. When it comes to working out, all of that can be accomplished by incorporating a suspension trainer into your exercise regimen.
Suspension trainers were developed to help U.S. Navy SEALs stay in peak condition in any environment. The best models are adaptable to your needs and strong enough to easily support your full body weight. Additionally, suspension trainers must be durable and have nonslip buckles to be safe.
If you'd like to learn how a suspension trainer can help you unlock your body's full potential, keep reading. If you’re already committed to leveling up your workout routine, consider one of the top-quality products that we've listed in this article.
When it comes to finding a suspension trainer that’s right for you, the first decision to make is if you want to go with the market leader. The brand with the best reputation also happens to be the company that invented suspension training. TRX (Total Resistance eXercise) was first marketed in 2005 by Randy Hetrick, a former U.S. Navy SEAL. When he was deployed, he didn't have the same resources that were available back at his command post. As a result, he created this method of training, which quickly caught on and can now be found in homes and gyms alike.
TRX suspension trainers and units from other manufacturers may have many of the same features (which we cover below), but choosing TRX is like purchasing Coke or Pepsi instead of a store brand soda. In other words, many athletes prefer TRX. Their decision is based along the lines of "It feels like a better-made product" rather than pointing out a specific feature that is unique to TRX. That being said, TRX suspension trainers tend to have a higher price tag than other trainers, so if you choose the market leader, you’ll be paying extra for the quality associated with the respected name.
No matter which brand you end up choosing, consider the following list of features to make sure you purchase a suspension trainer that is appropriate for your needs.
Weight capacity: First and foremost, your suspension trainer needs to have a maximum weight capacity that easily accommodates your full body weight.
Mounting: Most suspension trainers are designed to be mobile so you can take them with you and work out wherever you are. These models can be fastened to a door, wrapped around a horizontal bar, or even wrapped around a tree limb. Alternatively, some suspension trainers come with a mount that can be permanently installed on the wall or ceiling.
Anchor points: A suspension trainer with a single anchor point is much easier to install, but since both handles are attached to a central location, it can limit the types of exercises you can perform. A suspension trainer with individual anchor points, one for each strap, requires a little more finessing to set up, but it’s fully customizable and allows you to include exercises such as dips and pull-ups in your workout.
Extension straps: If you need to mount your suspension trainer at a higher point, you will need an extension strap or two, depending on if you have a single anchor point or two.
Materials: Your suspension trainer should be manufactured using a durable nylon for the straps and metal for the nonslip buckles. The best models feature carabiners to allow you to quickly secure the apparatus. The handles should be comfortable and easy to grip and have integrated foot loops so you can more easily perform a wider variety of exercises. Also, if you plan on exercising outdoors, be sure the suspension trainer that you’re considering is manufactured to handle more extreme conditions without slipping or failing.
Portability: If you’ll be traveling with your suspension trainer, you want it to be lightweight and easy to set up. If it comes with a travel bag, that's even better.
Workout guide: In the grand scheme of fitness, the suspension trainer is a relatively new piece of workout equipment. Because of this, individuals are still making modifications and coming up with new exercises; so many, in fact, that some sources boast there are over 300 different exercises that you can perform with a suspension trainer. Even if that number is an exaggeration, you're going to want a workout guide, DVD, app, or website link that outlines the multitude of possibilities you'll have with your new gear.
The strong core that you develop from using a suspension trainer can help protect your lower back.
Besides portability, one of the biggest benefits to using a suspension trainer is that there is no downtime when adjusting the difficulty level of your exercise. You simply change the angle of your body to increase or decrease the intensity.
Inexpensive: Suspension trainers have a broad price range, but you can get an entry-level model with a travel bag but no mounting equipment for as little as $30.
Mid-range: The $40 to $60 range is where you’ll find the most value. These units are versatile. They come with instructions, mounting equipment, at least one extension strap, and some even have bonus resistance bands.
Expensive: If you want the name brand, a product manufactured by the originator, you will have to pay more. TRX suspension trainers range from $100 to $200 depending on the accessories bundle you choose.
Besides enabling innovative workouts that challenge the body in new and unfamiliar ways, suspension trainers can elevate tried-and-true exercises into something remarkably intense. The benefit here is that there is no learning curve; you can jump right in and feel comfortable from the first set. The following are a few familiar exercises that can be significantly amped up by incorporating a suspension trainer.
Mountain climbers: Support yourself with your arms, put your feet in the foot loops and get climbing.
Planks: If you thought it was difficult holding a plank on a stable surface, wait until you try holding a plank using a suspension trainer.
Push-ups: Whether you prefer holding the handles in your hands or slipping your feet carefully into place so they’re supported, suspension trainers can make push-ups hard again.
Single-leg lunge: Slip one foot into a strap and do a forward lunge. Note: You may want to use a spotter in case you lose your balance while performing this exercise.
Single-leg squats: If regular squats are too easy, try them while balancing on one leg.
Sit-ups (curls): While lying on your back and holding the handles, execute a sit-up by lifting your chest up to your fists using your arms (like a curl).
A suspension trainer can be beneficial to individuals of all fitness levels.
If you'd like a few more options besides the highly rated products we've listed above, you're in luck. The following three suspension trainers have something just a little bit different to offer, yet they’re all top-quality products.
If you exercise on the go, the TRX GO Bundle includes resistance bands, a travel bag, and a stainless steel water bottle. Additionally, the gear is lightweight and can be set up in seconds.
The QonQuill BodyWeight Fitness Training Kit is an affordably priced unit with a wide variety of anchoring options (mounting gear is not included for permanent installation), including single or multiple anchor points along with an extension strap. This kit will support up to 400 pounds.
However, if you want it all, you should consider the TRX All-In-One Home Gym Bundle because this kit includes everything from a wall mount to a shaker bottle. Additionally, this model has been safety tested to support up to 350 pounds of body weight and is suitable for over 900 pounds of resistance.
Q. What are the benefits of incorporating suspension training into my workout?
A. Using a suspension trainer hits all the workout bullet points. Suspension training builds strength, develops your core, increases balance and coordination, burns fat, gets your heart pounding, enhances your flexibility and range of motion, and intensifies exercises that are no longer challenging enough for you. Plus, it’s low-impact and completely portable.
Q. Is suspension training safe?
A. There are a few factors that you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to safely using a suspension trainer. The unit must be installed securely (according to the instructions), rated to support your full body weight (and then some), and inspected for signs of wear or damage before each use. Additionally, make sure you have a secure grip (no sweaty or greasy hands). As long as you don’t push yourself beyond what your body can handle (consult with your doctor first), you can begin your new exercise regimen with confidence.
Q. My body weight doesn't change. How do I make an exercise harder?
A. Adjusting the angle of your body is how you increase difficulty. In other words, if you perform a push-up while standing nearly vertical, you will barely be exerting yourself. However, if you drop down into a horizontal position, the exercise may be too difficult for you to complete even a single push-up.
Q. Suspension training looks like a tough workout. Is it appropriate for a beginner?
A. Suspension training can be extremely difficult — it was invented to keep U.S. Navy SEALs in peak condition, after all. However, by adjusting the angle of your body, you can decrease the difficulty level to beginner for many exercises.
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