Recent research by Dr. Stuart McGill on spinal health and Suspension Training suggests that TRX training truly does deliver on the motto “All Core, All the Time.” In part one of this three-part series, we take a look at research that examines the amount of core-muscle activation for certain movements on a TRX Suspension Trainer versus using a stable surface and other implements or bodyweight resistance to perform similar exercises.
Using EMG to measure the activation of the musculoskeletal system, as well as 3-D reconstruction and modeling, researchers took measurements from a total of 34 pushing, pulling and core exercises, performed for three reps each. For example, they could measure which muscles were used and how hard they were working while performing a regular push-up on the ground versus a push-up on a Suspension Trainer.
Their findings show that exercises on the Suspension Trainer require more muscular activation across the entire body. “In general, the instability associated with the TRX training system required greater torso muscle activity to maintain a straight body position,” says the study.
Here’s what it means for your training: Using a Suspension Trainer to perform bodyweight exercises that involve pushing or pulling--like a pull-up, push-up or row--requires a greater, total-body effort than performing these same exercises using a fixed bar or the ground. The instability of the Suspension Trainer forces you to brace your core, glutes and lower back in order to create the leverage necessary to perform the movement. The Suspension Trainer really does enable training that’s all core, all the time.
This study provides a great reference for trainers, coaches and athletes to make decisions on which exercises are most appropriate for their clients. As a fitness professional it is critical that you fit the appropriate exercise selection to the abilities and needs of each client. To master this craft and add a new skill to your training offerings take a TRX Education Course.
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