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Suspension Training Offers New Approach That Builds Muscles, Strengthens Core

The original suspension training system was developed by a Navy Seal for a portable workout modality.

Suspension training has become a popular new trend in the fitness industry. The original system—TRX Suspension—was developed by a Navy Seal for a portable workout modality. Many of the workouts took place outside, not in a gym setting.  He needed a way to get his troops the strength training they needed remotely, and the TRX was born.

It's design is simple. It's a strap that anchors to a ceiling or wall and separates to two handles at the bottom. It can also be portable and comes with instructions on how to temporarily attach it to a jungle gym at a park or other locations. 

The idea behind the design is to maximize strength training by taking away some of the stability that you get from simply standing on the floor and lifting a dumbbell. Imagine a basic bicep curl. Typically one would stand firmly on the floor and lift a dumbbell in a curling motion toward the bicep, working only that muscle. With suspension training, you grip the straps, lean backward, engage your entire body into a plank (straight as a board) position, and curl your bodyweight forward.  The total body is engaged, working the bicep as well as the abdominals, upper back and lower back simultaneously.

There are limitless exercises to perform with suspension training. Any typical strength training move can be duplicated, but the results are multiplied because the entire body is working to perfom the move. 

Gyms and trainers all over the nation are incorporating suspension training into their training sessions and class offerings. Eric Tostrud, NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of uses suspension training in almost every training session at his private studio and leads a TRX class at . 

"The TRX suspension system has changed the way I train my clients," Tostrud said. "I use it in every session with people of every fitness level and have dedicated a 45-minute class to it. It gets results faster than any other training mechanism I've used. My clients are building muscle and losing fat faster than before because of this system. The best part is that it is never mastered. There is always a way I can make the workout more challenging and original. I love it and they love it."

You can find suspension training systems at the , Life's 5 Studio and Victory4You Fitness. While these are the only three as of now, other gyms in the area are investing in systems to incorporate it into their offerings as well. 

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