Suspension Training Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Strength and Fitness with TRX

Welcome to the world of suspension training basics! If you’re ready to take your fitness journey to new heights and challenge your body uniquely, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll delve into the basics of suspension training and introduce you to the incredible benefits of using TRX. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, get ready to discover how suspension training can help you build strength, improve flexibility, and achieve your fitness goals. So grab your TRX straps, prepare to suspend disbelief, and let’s dive into the exciting world of suspension training!


What is Suspension Training?

Suspension training is a unique and dynamic exercise that utilizes specialized equipment, such as the TRX suspension trainer, to leverage body weight and gravity for resistance. It involves various exercises by suspending oneself from straps or ropes, allowing for a wide range of movements and positions.

Unlike traditional weightlifting or machine-based workouts, suspension training engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, promoting functional strength and stability. The adjustable straps provide an opportunity to modify the intensity of each exercise, making it suitable for individuals of all fitness levels.

Benefits of Suspension Training

  1. Improved Strength, Balance, and Flexibility: Suspension training engages the muscles functionally and holistically, improving overall strength and stability. By constantly challenging your body’s balance, it also enhances proprioception and coordination. Additionally, the full range of motion achieved during suspension exercises promotes flexibility and joint mobility.
  2. Versatility and Adaptability: Suspension training offers countless exercise variations, allowing you to target specific muscle groups or perform full-body workouts. With simple adjustments to the straps and body positioning, you can increase or decrease the difficulty of exercises, making it suitable for beginners and advanced individuals. This versatility makes it an excellent option for those looking to challenge themselves and avoid workout plateaus constantly.
  3. Core Activation and Stability: Suspension training emphasizes core engagement throughout each exercise. As the body remains suspended, the core muscles stabilize and control movement synergistically, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. This continuous core activation promotes core strength, stability, and postural alignment.
  4. Joint-Friendly Exercise Option: Suspension training is a low-impact exercise method that puts minimal stress on the joints compared to high-impact activities like running or jumping. The adjustable nature of the straps allows for modifications that accommodate individual joint limitations or specific injury concerns. This makes suspension training a viable option for individuals with joint issues or those in the rehabilitation process.

How Suspension Training Works

Suspension training relies on leveraging body weight against gravity to create resistance. The suspension trainer typically includes adjustable straps with handles or foot cradles at the ends. The straps can be anchored to a stable structure, such as a door frame, a sturdy beam, or a dedicated suspension training frame.

During exercises, you use your body weight as resistance while holding onto the handles or placing your feet in the foot cradles. By adjusting the angle of your body and the length of the straps, you can modify the intensity and difficulty of each exercise.

The instability created by the suspended position challenges your muscles to work harder to stabilize and control movement. This engages the targeted primary muscles and stabilizer muscles, leading to a more comprehensive and functional workout experience.

Suspension training offers a highly effective way to build strength, improve flexibility, enhance balance, and promote overall fitness. Now that we’ve explored the basics of suspension training, let’s dive into specific exercises and techniques to get you started on your journey to a more robust, fitter you.

Getting Started with Suspension Training

If you’re new to suspension training, it’s essential to understand the principles, gather the necessary equipment, set up your TRX suspension trainer correctly, and prioritize safety and proper form. Let’s explore each of these aspects in detail:

Understanding the Principles of Suspension Training

Before diving into the exercises, it’s essential to grasp the key principles that make suspension training effective:

  1. Bodyweight Resistance: Suspension training leverages your bodyweight as resistance, providing a scalable challenge for all fitness levels.
  2. Instability and Core Engagement: The suspended position creates an unstable environment, engaging your core muscles to stabilize and control movement throughout each exercise.
  3. Adjustable Intensity: By changing the angle of your body and adjusting the strap length, you can modify the difficulty of exercises and target specific muscle groups.

Equipment Needed for Suspension Training

To get started with suspension training, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. TRX Suspension Trainer: Choose a high-quality suspension trainer like the TRX system. It consists of adjustable straps with handles and foot cradles designed for optimal durability and functionality.
  2. Anchoring System: Ensure you have a secure anchor point, such as a sturdy door frame attachment, a beam mount, or a dedicated suspension training frame. Verify that it can support your body weight and the forces generated during exercises.

Setting Up Your TRX Suspension Trainer

Follow these steps to set up your TRX suspension trainer correctly:

  1. Anchor Point Selection: Choose a suitable anchor point that provides stability and ample space for movement.
  2. Strap Length Adjustment: Adjust the straps to an appropriate length. Shorter straps increase exercise difficulty, while longer straps decrease it.
  3. Handle and Foot Cradle Positioning: Ensure the handles are comfortable, allowing for a full range of motion. For foot cradles, position them at a height that aligns with the exercise you plan to perform.

Safety Considerations and Proper Form

To prevent injuries and maximize the effectiveness of your suspension training sessions, pay attention to safety considerations and maintain proper form:

  1. Proper Body Alignment and Engagement: Maintain proper alignment throughout exercises. Engage your core, keep your spine neutral, and avoid excessive swinging or arching of the back.
  2. Avoiding Common Mistakes: Avoid common mistakes such as excessive shoulder shrugging, hunching, or holding your breath. Focus on maintaining tension in the targeted muscles while breathing steadily.

Remember, if you’re unsure about proper form or technique, seek guidance from a certified suspension training instructor or fitness professional.

By understanding the principles, gathering the necessary equipment, setting up your suspension trainer correctly, and prioritizing safety and form, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your suspension training journey. In the next section, we’ll explore specific exercises perfect for beginners, allowing you to experience the benefits of suspension training firsthan

Suspension Training Exercises for Beginners

To kickstart your suspension training journey, let’s dive into a selection of beginner-friendly exercises that target different muscle groups and provide a well-rounded total body workout. Remember to maintain proper form, engage your core, and adjust the intensity as needed. Let’s explore these exercises:


The plank exercise is excellent for strengthening your core muscles:

  1. Start by facing the anchor point with your hands shoulder-width apart and extended in front of you.
  2. Walk your feet back until your body is straight from head to heels, supported by your toes.
  3. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and hold the position for a set amount of time or as long as you can maintain proper form.

Low Row

The low row targets your back muscles and improves upper body strength:

  1. Stand facing the anchor point, holding the handles with your arms extended in front of you.
  2. Lean back, maintaining a straight line from head to heels, and keep your core engaged.
  3. Pull your body toward the anchor point by squeezing your shoulder blades together, bringing your hands toward your chest.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position with controlled movement.


Squats using suspension training engage your lower body muscles:

  1. Stand facing the anchor point, with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended in front of you.
  2. Lower your body into a squat position, pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
  3. Keep your chest lifted, weight in your heels, and core activated.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Chest Press

The chest press exercise targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps:

  1. Stand away from the anchor point, with your arms extended at chest height and your palms facing down.
  2. Step forward to create tension in the straps and position yourself at an appropriate distance.
  3. Push your body away from the anchor point to keep your core engaged by extending your arms.
  4. Slowly bend your elbows to return to the starting position while maintaining control.


Lunges with a suspension training focus on your legs and glutes:

  1. Stand away from the anchor point, with one foot in front and the other positioned behind you in a lunge stance.
  2. Hold the handles with your arms extended in front of you for stability.
  3. Lower your back knee toward the ground while keeping your front knee aligned with your ankle.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.

Bicep Curl

The bicep curl exercise targets your biceps:

  1. Stand facing the anchor point, holding the handles with your palms facing up and arms extended.
  2. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you bend them, bringing your hands toward your shoulders.
  3. Lower your hands back down to the starting position with controlled movement.

Hamstring Curls

Hamstring curls using suspension training basics engage the muscles in the back of your legs:

  1. Lie down facing up, with your heels in the foot cradles and your arms by your sides for support.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Bend your knees, pull your heels toward your glutes, and focus on squeezing your hamstrings.
  4. Extend your legs back to the starting position while maintaining control.

Sample Total Body Workout with TRX

Here’s a sample total body workout incorporating these exercises:

  • Plank: Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Low Row: Perform 10-12 repetitions.
  • Squat: Perform 10-12 repetitions.
  • Chest Press: Perform 10-12 repetitions.
  • Lunges: Perform 10-12 repetitions on each leg.
  • Bicep Curl: Perform 10-12 repetitions.
  • Hamstring Curls: Perform 10-12 repetitions.
  • Repeat the circuit for 2-3 sets with a short rest between exercises.

By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you’ll experience the benefits of suspension training while strengthening your entire body. Remember to start with proper technique, gradually increase the intensity, and listen to your body. Enjoy your suspension training journey!

Comparing TRX Training to Lifting Weights

When it comes to strength training, both TRX training and lifting weights are popular options. While they share similar goals of building strength and muscle, they differ in equipment, muscle activation, and training approach. Let’s compare TRX training and lifting weights in various aspects:

Targeted Muscles and Muscle Activation

  • TRX Training: Suspension training basics engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously due to the unstable nature of the straps. It activates your core muscles to stabilize and control movement, making it an effective full-body workout. Additionally, TRX exercises often involve functional movements that mimic real-life activities.
  • Lifting Weights: Weightlifting allows for targeted muscle isolation, making focusing on specific muscle groups easier. By using various equipment like dumbbells, barbells, and machines, weightlifting enables you to progressively overload individual muscles, promoting muscle growth and strength development.

Strength and Muscle Building Potential

  • TRX Training: While TRX training can build strength and lean muscle, it may not provide the same level of muscle hypertrophy as weightlifting. Suspension training focuses on bodyweight resistance, which can be challenging but may not lead to significant muscle mass gains. However, it promotes functional strength, endurance, and overall muscular balance.
  • Lifting Weights: Lifting weights with progressive overload is a well-established method for building muscle and increasing strength. Weightlifting stimulates muscle growth by gradually increasing the resistance over time, leading to hypertrophy and increased muscle mass.

Balance and Stability Training

  • TRX Training: Suspension training inherently challenges your balance and stability due to the instability of the straps. It requires constant engagement of your core and supporting muscles to maintain proper form and control during exercises. TRX training can enhance your overall balance, stability, and body control.
  • Lifting Weights: While weightlifting primarily focuses on building strength and muscle, it may not offer the same balance and stability training as TRX. However, squats and deadlifts can still engage stabilizing muscles to a certain extent.

Flexibility and Range of Motion

  • TRX Training: Suspension training basics allows for a wide range of motion in various exercises. By adjusting the length of the straps and the angle of your body, you can modify the difficulty and increase your flexibility over time. TRX exercises often involve dynamic movements that promote mobility and flexibility.
  • Lifting Weights: Weightlifting exercises typically follow specific ranges of motion dictated by the equipment used. While weightlifting alone may not directly improve flexibility, incorporating stretching and mobility exercises into your routine can help enhance overall flexibility.

Pros and Cons of TRX Training vs. Lifting Weights

TRX Training:

  • Pros:
    • Portable and versatile, allowing for workouts anywhere.
    • Engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
    • Promotes functional strength and balance.
    • Suitable for all fitness levels, including beginners.
    • It can be integrated with other training methods.
  • Cons:
    • Limited potential for muscle hypertrophy.
    • Requires an anchor point for setup.
    • Mastery of proper form and technique is crucial.
    • Progression may be limited without additional equipment.

Lifting Weights:

  • Pros:
    • Effective for muscle hypertrophy and strength gains.
    • Allows for targeted muscle isolation and progressive overload.
    • Offers a wide range of exercises and equipment options.
    • It can be adapted to various training goals and programs.
  • Cons:
    • Requires access to a gym or weightlifting equipment.
    • Increased risk of injury if performed with incorrect form.
    • It may be intimidating or overwhelming for beginners.
    • Potential for muscle imbalances if exercises are not well-rounded.

TRX training and lifting weights have unique benefits and can complement each other in a well-rounded fitness routine. Consider your fitness goals, preferences, and available resources when deciding which approach to incorporate into your training regimen.

Who Can Benefit from Suspension Training?

Suspension training basics, such as TRX, offers a versatile and effective workout that can benefit a wide range of individuals, from beginners to advanced athletes. Let’s explore the different groups of people who can benefit from incorporating suspension training into their fitness routine:

Beginners and Fitness Enthusiasts

Suspension training basics is accessible to beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike. Here’s why:

  1. Adjustable Difficulty: Suspension trainers, like TRX, allow you to adjust the difficulty of exercises by simply changing your body position or angle. This makes it suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels, including beginners who may be starting their fitness journey.
  2. Versatility and Adaptability: Suspension trainers offer a wide range of exercises that target different muscle groups. This versatility allows beginners to improve their strength, stability, and mobility.
  3. Total Body Workout: Suspension training engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a comprehensive workout. This efficiency is beneficial for individuals who want to maximize their workout time.

Individuals are looking to Build Lean Muscle or Lose Weight.

Whether your goal is to build lean muscle or lose weight, suspension training can be an effective tool. Here’s how:

  1. Muscle Building: Suspension training promotes muscle activation and recruitment, which can help stimulate muscle growth. While it may not provide the same muscle hypertrophy as heavy weightlifting, it can contribute to building lean muscle mass.
  2. Weight Loss: Suspension training can be an effective form of resistance training for weight loss. It increases calorie expenditure during the workout and helps maintain lean muscle mass, crucial in boosting metabolism.

Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention

Suspension training basics can be a valuable tool for rehabilitation and injury prevention. Here’s why:

  1. Joint-Friendly Option: Suspension trainers, with their adjustable straps and bodyweight resistance, offer a low-impact option for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries. The instability of the straps also challenges stability and proprioception, which can aid in injury prevention.
  2. Functional Movement Training: Suspension training exercises often involve functional movements that mimic real-life activities. After injury or rehabilitation, this can help individuals regain and improve their movement patterns, balance, and coordination.

 Athletes and Sports Performance Enhancement

Suspension training can benefit athletes and individuals looking to enhance their sports performance. Here’s how:

  1. Sport-Specific Training: Suspension trainers allow for sport-specific movements and exercises that mimic the demands of various sports. This can help athletes improve their strength, power, stability, and agility functionally and practically.
  2. Core Activation and Stabilization: During exercises, suspension training emphasizes core engagement and stability. This benefits athletes as a solid and stable core is essential for optimal performance in many sports.

Suspension training is a versatile and effective method suitable for beginners, fitness enthusiasts, individuals aiming to build lean muscle or lose weight, those undergoing rehabilitation or injury prevention, and athletes seeking sports performance enhancement. You can benefit from improved strength, stability, flexibility, and overall fitness by incorporating suspension training into your fitness routine.


Suspension training, such as TRX, offers a unique and practical approach to building strength, improving stability, and enhancing overall fitness. Throughout this guide, we have explored the basics of suspension training, its benefits, how it works, and exercises for beginners. Now, let’s recap the importance of suspension training and encourage you to take the next step in your fitness journey.

If you’re passionate about fitness and want to take your journey to the next level, we invite you to consider becoming a certified personal trainer. Educate Fitness offers comprehensive personal trainer courses and qualifications designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and credentials to succeed in the fitness industry.



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