Do you want to incorporate suspension trainer exercises into your clients’ workout program? Or pick the perfect product for your home gym? Maybe you’re trying to decide between TRX straps or a CrankIt trainer but aren’t quite sure what the differences are. Whether you’re looking at a home suspension trainer or one for your personal training studio, we’ve got it covered here.

 

⇒ In this article, we compare the best suspension training products and exercises so that you can choose the ideal ones for your needs.

 

It covers the key training benefits, unbiased suspension trainer reviews of the different products available (including the best alternative to a TRX suspension trainer) and a comprehensive FAQs section. Let’s jump straight in…

 

Note: this article was prepared by a certified personal trainer and fitness equipment specialist. We may earn a commission if you click some of the product links but this never influences our editorial choices. Fitness is an important topic (especially since it relates to people’s health) so we always offer 100% unbiased information.

 

Suspension Trainer Benefits

Suspension training has grown in popularity since the early 2000s, led by the marketing efforts of TRX. Body weight training remains one of the top 10 fitness trends according to the ACSM, helped in part by mainstream adoption of suspension equipment.

 

The term ‘suspension training’ is actually a trademark of TRX who launched the first dedicated product in 2006. However, it’s often used to refer to all bodyweight fitness resistance exercises that take place in a suspended position.

 

Suspension training equipment offers a number of fitness benefits and practical advantages…

 

  • Strengthens muscles including core and stabilisers as well as larger groups.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Provides full-body workouts by enabling you to target every muscle group.
  • Highly customizable so that you can tailor and personalise workouts.
  • Allows creativity to design new movements and combine exercises so that you never get bored.
  • Supports endless progression that you and your clients can never outwork or outgrow.
  • Easy to transport as they are lightweight and fold up into a small space.

 

What Is the Best Suspension Trainer?

The best suspension trainer brands are TRX, CrankIt, and 4D Pro. However, you can sometimes pick up discounted products from Aldi, Decathlon, or eBay (ideal for those on a budget). Here’s an overview of the different straps and products that are available, along with the pros and cons of each…

 

TRX Suspension Trainer

The TRX system is the original product that formalised this type of approach to body weight training back in the early 2000s. It’s recognisable by its signature black and yellow design and is renowned for the quality of manufacture. They offer several different products in their range…

 

  • TRX Pro System – For personal trainers and gyms as it’s designed for more frequent wear and tear.
  • TRX Home Suspension Trainer – Also known as the TRX Home Gym, this is for personal use.
  • TRX Tactical Gym – Made for the military as its rugged and supports outdoor suspension trainer workouts.
  • TRX Rip Trainer – Focuses on core strength and rotational power, ideal for sports-specific training.

 

TRX suspension straps are at the core of the pro, home, and tactical gym products. They are easily adjusted to suit a wide range of heights, grip sizes, and fitness abilities. You can perform a huge variety of movements using them, including pull-ups, suspended push-ups, planks, lunges, rotations, hinges, and much more.

 

 

The TRX suspension trainer basic kit contains straps, three types of anchoring solutions, and a year’s subscription to the TRX training program app. You can also purchase bundles that include the Rip Trainer, resistance bands, and exercise booklets. If you’re a PT, then you can complete a professional TRX training certification course to learn the correct form and master crucial coaching points (view the schedule here).

 

  • Pros – easy to set up, comprehensive training programs, certification available, ideal travel suspension trainer.
  • Cons – more expensive than other suspension trainer options.

 

⇒ Buy the Pro System for $249 or £199.

 

CrankIt Pro Straps

CrankIt is the newer kid on the block but their product is arguably better than TRX’s. Their straps are super-strong and made from commercial grade materials. They are also slightly more versatile since their components are modular which means you can add to or take away different parts. This allows for a lot more flexibility which is why it’s our pick as the best alternative to a TRX suspension trainer.

 

 

  • Pros – more versatile than other products, cheaper than most commercial grade products, online training courses can be studied from anywhere.
  • Cons – fewer live workshops and in-person training events than TRX.

 

⇒ Buy it for $199.

 

4D Pro Reaction Trainer

The 4D PRO® reaction trainer (also known as a sling trainer) is a little different from other suspension straps. It’s elasticated for one, which makes it a lot more dynamic and a whole heap of fun!

 

It was developed by a doctor who wanted a product that could improve multiple aspects of a user’s health. It’s suitable for everyone young or old, flexible or stiff, strong or untrained. Best of all, it allows for flying movements that other products can’t match! Just look at how much fun it is…

 

 

  • Pros – facilitates a unique range of fun exercises, provides studios with a key point of difference from competitors.
  • Cons – expensive to purchase, in-person training courses mainly happen in Germany, less stable than other products which means some beginners may not be able to perform certain movements.

 

⇒ Buy it for €379.

 

What About the Woss Trainer?

The Woss suspension trainer was popular for several years but is no longer available to purchase. The company was found to have willfully infringed on TRX’s patents and was ordered to pay almost $7m in damages.

 

It’s a shame as their products were excellent quality and the Woss attack trainer was a favourite with boot camp instructors. But since their products are no longer distributed or supported, you’re better off going with TRX, CrankIt, or Stroops.

 

Top 7 Suspension Trainer Exercises

There’s a huge range of suspension exercises that you can perform with a TRX, CrankIt straps, or 4D Pro trainer. Bodyweight suspension training challenges your muscles in different ways and can be adapted to suit different fitness levels and abilities. Some of the most popular suspension strap exercises include…

 

  • Suspension rows
  • Suspended lunges
  • Suspension mountain climbers
  • Suspended pull-ups
  • Suspension bicep curls
  • Suspended press-ups
  • Suspension planks

 

This video does an awesome job of summarising 25 of the best suspension exercises…

 

 

Suspension Trainer FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions that crop up about suspension equipment and exercises.

 

What are the benefits of TRX training?

The benefits of TRX training are…

 

  • Strengthens muscles including core and stabilisers as well as larger groups.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Provides full-body workouts by enabling you to target every muscle group.
  • Highly customizable so that you can tailor and personalise workouts.
  • Allows creativity to design new movements and combine exercises so that you never get bored.
  • Supports endless progression that you and your clients can never outwork or outgrow.

 

Is TRX training good for weight loss?

TRX training is good for building lean muscle which increases your calorie-burning and leads to weight loss. If performed at a high tempo, it can also provide a cardiovascular workout which directly burns and can have HIIT fat-burning benefits.

 

What can you do with TRX?

You can do a huge range of TRX suspension trainer exercises, including rows, lunges, and press-ups. Almost any exercise can be adapted for suspension purposes, usually making it more challenging to perform. Check out their YouTube channel for lots of different TRX strap exercises and TRX workout routine ideas.

 

What’s the difference between straps and a system?

Straps are just the fabric part that hangs down from where you’ve attached it. Systems include the anchoring gear and a frame that you can suspend it from.

 

Are there any safety issues I should consider?

Yes, there are several safety issues to consider when setting up and using a suspension trainer…

 

  • What you attach it to – will it hold the weight without buckling?
  • How you attach it – will it come apart under stress?
  • Using correct form – are you teaching or performing the movements correctly to minimise the risk of injury?
  • Avoiding falls – are you practicing safe movements and transitions so that you or your clients don’t accidentally fall while using it?

 

Suspension Trainer Guide Pinterest

 

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