Why You Should Try TRX Training

TRX, developed by the Navy Seals, might be good for you, too.

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What is TRX Training? Well, it's amazing! There's not one thing I don't love about TRX for myself and my fitness clients. Maybe you've seen that "ropey, strappy thingy" at the gym, maybe you just want to know more, or perhaps you're hearing about TRX for the first time. No matter what, I want to cover the basics for you in hopes that you try it out and learn what all the hype is about.

Monica Nelson
Monica Nelson
Being a TRX certified instructor, I use TRX in my own training routine as well as with my clients. I use TRX Training at my gym, and I also have one in my home for an anytime workout. I love how you can pack it up and take it to the park, do a workout in your own home, or bring it along with you when traveling. No excuses, right? No matter your fitness level, the TRX is perfect and versatile for everyone: athletes, those who are rehabbing, stay-at-home moms, body builders and the young and old. TRX offers a cardio workout, a resistance workout, a muscle flexibility workout, and balance. No matter what your goals are, you can benefit from the TRX. But first, it's important to understand exactly how the body works.

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How the Body Works

I am a trainer who incorporates many types of functional and corrective training in my clients' routines. You'll see why in just a moment. It is so important to understand the fundamentals and foundation of your body. Everything you do in life starts with one part of your body. Any guesses? It's your core. Your core is not just about those six-pack abs you see – it's so much more than that. Your core is made up of your pelvis, back, chest muscles and abdominals. It is your core that is responsible for your body stability, flexibility and balance. Makes sense, right? Also, do we always move in the same direction every day like robots? No, we surely do not! We move with twisting, bending movements, and we're going left, right, down, up, and side-to-side, as well as forward and backward. This is called "multi-plane" movement. Once you think of your body moving "all around" these difference ways, wouldn't you agree it's important to train your body the same way?

Whether you're picking up after the kids or dog, playing sports, cleaning your house or car, and of course then working out, you are using your core – whether you know it or not. For the most part, you're moving multi-plane. This is very important for us to understand, because the stronger your core is and the more familiar your body is with moving multi-plane, the less injuries you'll have – not only in your lower back, but in your entire body.

Now that you know how important your core strength and mobility are, imagine a workout that keeps your core engaged at all times while having the ability to move multi-plane. Enter the TRX. Not only does your core stay involved on every movement, but you can work your entire body with TRX as well.

[Read: Why You Should Try Tabata Training.]

What is TRX, Exactly?

TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise. It's a type of training that uses your own body weight and gravity to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability, all while preventing injuries. The TRX was originally designed by a Navy Seal who needed to stay in shape within limited space using something he could easily take on his travels. (This is why you can pack it up and take it with you nearly anywhere you can place the anchor point.) Consequently, he created TRX – and boy, did the rest of the world catch on.

[Read: How to Overcome a Workout Rut.]

The Many Benefits of Using the TRX System

For starters, you can minimize your training time by working your entire body, switching from one exercise to the next in just seconds. The best part? As I mentioned, in every exercise you engage your core. This is great news if you've already been focusing on your core. Now watch how much harder things become when you really engage your core. Are you up for the challenge? Just think of how developing good core strength and stability will only enhance your performance and way of life. Your whole body will work and feel better.

Another advantage in using your own body weight and gravity is that you're able to adjust to your own personal fitness level. I love that you have control of the intensity just by walking yourself closer or further away from the anchoring point. That means instead of having to grab a different set of dumbbells or add more weight to machines, you simply adjust your foot placement. Easy enough, right? This is also why you can keep your heart rate up and keep moving. No wasted time (important in my workouts!), which keeps you constantly challenging your body through every exercise.

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What are Some Exercises I Can Add to My Routine to Help My Performance?

With any new workout routine (yoga, weights, spin class), it's important to start off with the basics. Make sure you have mastered the proper form and technique before you move on to advanced movements. The basic movements (yet still challenging) include: chest press, row, lunge, squat, plank, tucks, pike, side lunge, oblique twist and back extension. Say hello to core work! Some of my favorite moves that are more advanced are: atomic pushups and single-leg squats. What I also love doing with TRX is stretching. You can get fantastic full body stretches for your entire body in ways like no other.

TRX has become a huge part of the fitness industry and is only growing larger, from professional athletes who need peak performance to everyday people who just want to feel and look their best. I love that TRX is exactly what I preach all the time – there's no tension on the joints if alignment and form are on point. That's how all workouts should be. It's not hard to learn, and it's a truly great way to incorporate new resistance training to any workout routine. You can find videos online to understand more, and when you purchase one, it comes with a fantastic workout DVD.

[Read: 4 Exercises Trainers Hate.]

Tell us: Have you tried TRX before?

Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns and feedback. 

Monica Nelson, or "Moni" to her friends and clients, is a personal trainer, healthy foods chef, accomplished athlete, model and well-respected health and fitness expert. She works with celebrities and has been featured in publications such as SHAPE, Fitness and Women's Health. She's been a competitive snowboarder and is a true fitness fanatic. Moni's motto in life is "EAT WELL.STAY FIT. FEEL GREAT." Another one of her greatest passions and talents is cooking and baking. She runs a healthy recipe blog where she has created more than 350 healthy and decadent meals to enjoy. You can connect with Moni on Facebook and follow @monimealfitness on Twitter and Instagram. Grab a recipe or two at www.monimeals.com then head over for a workout and get her latest tips at www.monicanelsonfitness.com. Moni lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful husband Mark, who is also a trainer, and their incredible English bulldog Eddie.