Best suspension trainer

Fitness Equipment

Suspension trainers can be used to perform almost any exercise, including the basics such as push-ups, sit-ups and lunges.

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Which suspension trainers are best?

Designed by U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick while deployed away from his base and later sold by the company he founded, Total Resistance eXercise (TRX), suspension trainers have boomed thanks to their ability to push your body as hard or as lightly as you wish with minimum equipment. A good suspension trainer set also costs less than buying a bunch of different equipment to reach the same goals.

The best suspension trainer set is the TRX Training Pro 3 Suspension Training Kit. It’s hard to do better than the original, and this set is perfect for any range of experience or ability.

What to know before you buy a suspension trainer

Mounting

A suspension trainer needs to be mounted to an object. When Randy Hetrick first began using his prototypes as a Navy SEAL, he would secure them to anything that could hold his weight — trees, doors or secured bars. You can secure your suspension trainer the same way today, and many do — one of its biggest benefits is its extreme portability. If you intend to use it mostly at home, though, it can be a good idea to install a mount to your wall or ceiling. Many suspension trainers include such a mount in their packages.

Materials

Nearly all suspension trainers use straps made of nylon; they’re durable and resistant to even the most intense conditions. Depending on the set, though, the rest of the materials can vary. Some sets have handles with rubber grips or other padding. Some use carabiners to quickly and easily attach to mounts. Others use metal buckles. There isn’t necessarily a bad set of materials to use, so before buying, check the user reviews.

What to look for in a quality suspension trainer

Anchor points

Suspension trainers can use either one or two anchor points during setup and exercise.

  • Single: Single anchor points are easier to set up as the handles and straps extend from one central point. This does limit some of the exercises you can do, however.
  • Double: Double anchor points can be more difficult to set up. At home, you need the space to install two wall or ceiling brackets, while on the go it can be tricky to find two perfectly even points spaced apart for securing your set. Using a double-anchor setup does let you perform all the possible exercises, though, so it’s worth it if you can manage it.

Extensions

Suspension trainers only reach so far. If your anchoring points or mounts are higher than normal, you’ll use extension straps to give yourself the range of angles you need for a proper workout.

How much you can expect to spend on a suspension trainer

A basic lset with limited pieces and no included mounting gear can cost as low as $30, though you’ll struggle to get the most out of sets this inexpensive. It’s better to start shopping in the $40-$60 range, as these sets will include methods of mounting in addition to extra goodies like more straps and bands, bags for storage and mounting gear. TRX-branded sets cost at least $100, and some reach $200, but many suspension-trainer advocates say it’s more than worth it.

Suspension trainer FAQ

How is an exercise’s difficulty changed when using a suspension trainer?

A. It’s all about the angles. All suspension-trainer exercises can be performed at many angles, with the far extremes providing very little or huge amounts of difficulty, even for a simple push-up. The angles are easy to adjust, a big reason why suspension trainers are so popular with all skill levels.

Are suspension trainers safe?

A. As with any equipment used to push the body toward improvement, improper use can result in injury while proper use has little chance of damage. The most important factor is securely mounting the suspension trainers with equipment rated to hold hundreds of pounds and checking that mount before each session. Then make sure your hands aren’t slick, so they won’t slip out of the handles, and don’t push yourself harder than you can take.

What’s the best suspension trainer to buy?

Top suspension trainer 

TRX Training Pro 3 Suspension Training Kit

TRX Training Pro 3 Suspension Training Kit

What you need to know: An excellent set from the brand that invented the method.

What you’ll love: A true starter kit that sets you up for continued success as you grow more comfortable instead of requiring you to buy a bigger, better set later.

What you should consider: You’ll need to separately purchase a bar or bracket for the wall or ceiling if you want to perform all the possible exercises.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top suspension trainer for the money

Lifeline Jungle Gym XT

Lifeline Jungle Gym XT

What you need to know: A change to the design gives you an increased ability to change the suspension straps’ resistance.

What you’ll love: Additions such as foot cradles, padded handles and low-impact settings make this set perfect for people who may have difficulty with the usual set.

What you should consider: Its straps tend to stretch out a little after long use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

FitIndex Resistance Trainer Kit

FitIndex Resistance Trainer Kit

What you need to know: This set can get the blood flowing when paired with an already-present support bar or beam.

What you’ll love: Extra goodies like additional bands and a storage bag round out its offerings.

What you should consider: The bands aren’t the softest available and can rub uncomfortably against any exposed skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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