An Introduction to TRX Suspension Training

TRX for Baseball

Baseball is a game of tradition and superstition.  From pre-game rituals to batting and pitching routines, everything about the game and its players lends itself to repetition and everyday habitual activity.  So, it is no surprise that it took baseball players and coaches some time to see the benefits of a sound strength and conditioning program.  Even now, there is some hesitation to expand thinking to more non-traditional forms of training.  But if you want to be the best in your profession, you have to do what others are unwilling to do.  Many athletes across a variety of sports are beginning to incorporate more bodyweight training into their strength and conditioning programs.  And one way they are accomplishing this is with the TRX Suspension Trainer.

What is TRX?

The TRX is a piece of equipment that was developed by a Navy Seal so that he and his teammates could train wherever they were able: on a ship, in a hotel, at home, anywhere.  The set of straps can be attached to any high point and utilized for a variety of bodyweight exercises.  Most (if not all) of the exercises that can be performed on the TRX will challenge the athlete’s core strength, balance, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility.

Benefits of TRX

At our facility in Colorado Springs (Max Performance), we use the TRX on a daily basis with our athletes.  Depending on the athlete or training program, we will include various exercises using the TRX or we will incorporate an entire workout using it.  It has been an extremely useful tool in developing our athletes into stronger and more stable individuals.  Furthermore, when training groups that have athletes from different sports, we can adapt on-the-go with each athlete so we can focus on the individual without slowing down the training session.

It’s Portable

Sometimes, space is an issue if there are lots of athletes in the facility at one time.  So, we have to move the TRX to different parts of the gym to be able to utilize it.  The unit is lightweight, portable, and easy to set up.  Furthermore, it fits right into its own carrying bag so athletes who own one can take it with them anywhere.  This allows the athlete to maximize his  training time with full body, efficient workouts wherever he is – in the gym, on the field, or on the road for the college and pro ballplayers.

It’s Versatile

There are literally hundreds of functional exercises that can be performed on the TRX.  Once the basic concept is understood and the user has mastered the simpler movements, exercises can be combined to create unique and challenging training programs that can help enhance the performance of a baseball player.  For our baseball guys, we utilize mostly posterior chain exercises, as well as back and core strengthening.

Improved Conditioning

Whether you are playing Little League, college baseball, or at the professional ranks, the TRX can adapt for any level of fitness.  The TRX allows the athlete to train in three planes of motion which causes muscle groups to work together to help build strength and core stability, as well as balance and flexibility.  By circuiting multiple exercises back to back the athlete can challenge his cardiovascular conditioning while he strength trains.

Learn More

You can find out more about the TRX and Fitness Anywhere (the company who makes the unit), by clicking here.  Also, look for future posts on The Full Windup discussing different exercises that can be performed with the TRX so you can learn how to properly incorporate this fantastic tool into your training program.

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About The Author

Phil Tognetti, CSCS

Phil Tognetti, CSCS, is the founder and editor of The Full Windup. He has written the eBook ARMing for Success which teaches players and coaches how to set up a proper throwing program. You can learn more about him here and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Mikschmidt

    Hi Phil,

    I would have to say this is a great article. As a High School Varsity Baseball Coach and a Sports Performance Trainer, I do enjoy this piece of equipment. Today, most to all high school baseball programs consist of some running, some agility and some weight training. But I thought coaches are to provide their players with baseball instruction, not sports performance training. So would it be feasible to say coaches are looking for the quick fix in the weight room to make their players better athletes? Is this always a good thing? Yes and No. There is enough weight training information (on the web) for a good baseball coach to create complications for their players. Every coach wants their players to hit the ball harder and further, to pitch and throw faster, to have more stamina and to run like the wind. This would be nice, but in reality it doesn’t happen. So how do you create better overall and injury free players? Another answer would be to train them with the TRX.

    The TRX allows athletes and sports performance coaches to train the body in a body weight fashion. For high school athletes this is the smart route for so called “weight training”. Body weight training allows the athlete to create a solid foundation. If an athlete can’t do a pull up or split squats with their own body weight, why should an athlete use X amount of weight to build muscle? The Earth provides enough gravitational pull to create a substantial force against the body. This force can build a foundational base for the athlete in the earlier stages of their career. Adding the TRX into a sports performance program allows the athlete to be put in atypical positions causing different forces on muscle groups and in the long run challenging the body.

    In the Dexter Baseball program, we use the TRX for mainly upper body exercises, such as Inverted Rows (see below for example), Push-Ups and other shoulder combinations. What’s forgotten with these exercises is that the core (definition of core – the area from shoulders to hips from front side to back side in a cylindrical manner) is being challenge by gravity. Most young athletes do not have the body strength to do these very basic exercises. Try them out. Develop a foundation. Become a better athlete!

    Starting Position for Inverted Row w/ Knees Bent

    Middle Position for Inverted Row w/ Knees Bent

    Varsity Baseball Coach and Sports Performance Coach

    • Mike,

      Thanks for sharing your great thoughts.You make a great point about creating a solid foundation with bodyweight training before adding any external weight. It’s amazing how weak many high school athletes are, yet they continue to perform weighted exercises terribly. We take a lot of these kids, as well as the junior high kids, and get them performing 4 basic movements on the TRX before we ever pick up a weight:

      TRX Squat
      TRX Inverted Row
      TRX 1-leg lunge
      TRX Push-up

      Once these basics have been mastered, we can progress the level of difficulty on the TRX and then begin to slowly introduce the kids to weighted exercises.

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  • Don Ervin

    There are many false belief’s and comments made out there about {Preventing} injury and or injury free programs which neither exist due to the fact that injury prevention is not possible.
    Prevent—Stopping or to keep something from happening.—Make impossible.
    Don Ervin

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