A visit to the gym during peak hours is almost enough to make even the most stalwart gym rat quit going. Nearly every station you want to use is occupied with others already waiting in line. So many people are moving around that it looks like an anthill was kicked. There’s little space to move, and it’s close to impossible to get in a full body workout in a timely manner.

It’s times like that which make a person grateful for the ability to exercise every part of the body without having to use much room. In fact, just a couple of feet in every direction can have your muscles burning, your heart pumping and your sweat dripping.

That’s right, I am talking about suspension training. Just throw a set of straps up, and your whole body can be worked in a relatively small space and timespan.

One of the easiest and most versatile forms of suspension training is TRX, which stands for total body resistance exercise. TRX was designed by Randy Hetrick, a Navy SEAL, specifically for the purpose of getting in quality exercise in limited space.

If it works for a SEAL, there ought to be little doubt in your mind that it has the ability to push all muscle groups to work hard. They are, after all, the poster boys for military fitness.

TRX utilizes nylon straps that are anchored to a point overhead. Handles and loops are combined at the ends, creating the ability to perform exercises with either hands or feet located at this point of contact.

“The benefits of TRX training is that it’s a full body suspension workout,” Haelin Steward, a TRX instructor at CMU, said. “It incorporates cardio, lots of core and bodyweight training that improves muscular endurance.”

One of the great benefits of suspension training is that it does not simply work one prime mover at a time. All of the exercises, regardless of the targeted muscle group, involve core muscles being engaged to hold proper form. Stabilizer muscles are also recruited to this purpose.

The end result of engaging the core and stabilizers with every exercise is that the participant builds agility and balance as they exercise. Proper core strength and stability are the foundations upon which solid fitness goals can be built.

As a personal trainer, one of the things I love about TRX is the ability to adjust the level of difficulty simply by stepping closer to, or further away from the point anchor point of the straps. This allows people of differing fitness levels to work out simultaneously without the need for a variety of weights off the rack.
Now is not only a great time to learn how to perform TRX exercises in a manner that gives the whole body a great workout, it is also a good time to become qualified to teach it. Whether interested in becoming a personal trainer, a group exercise instructor or just wanting to learn more about a great form of exercise, CMU has you covered.

CMU is looking to host instructor training for TRX on August 29th. The training will teach participants how to properly perform a variety of suspension training techniques, adjust the difficulty of all exercises and correct common faults.

For more information about TRX instructor training, contact Kylie Holley, Manager of Wellness and Fitness. She can be reached by calling 970-248-1234 or sending an e-mail to kholley@coloradomesa.edu.

If you just want to try out TRX exercise, CMU offers multiple days and times of TRX Core and Conditioning group fitness classes. More information about scheduled classes can be obtained at the front desk of the Hamilton Recreation Center.

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Chris DeLeon
Chris DeLeon is The Criterion's news editor for the 2017/2018 academic year and a certified personal trainer and military veteran. He is in his second year at CMU, working towards a bachelor of science degree in exercise science before going towards a doctorate in physical therapy. Chris began writing seven years ago but recently brought his love of the written word to journalism.


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