DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Adelaide McMillan demonstrated a few of the exercises at Manoa District Park. Above, McMillan does the suspended chest press.
Burn those calories
The TRX Suspension Trainer can be used for many exercises almost anywhere
Take a break from the oven and the cookie sheets.
Never mind ordering those massive gift baskets loaded with salami, cheese and crackers.
No one really needs more wine.
This year during the holidays, help your loved one burn calories rather than consume them.
The TRX Suspension Trainer might be the perfect choice.
Created by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy SEAL, the TRX (Total Resistance Exercise) is multi-faceted; there are literally hundreds of possible exercises. Hetrick came up with the concept to keep himself in peak condition while he was deployed on ships, submarines or in remote locations miles from the nearest gym.
"It was nearly eight years ago when I started experimenting with suspension training along with some of my buddies in the Navy SEALS," Hetrick said. "We were deployed in Southeast Asia and we really needed to keep our climbing muscles strong. We were doing a lot of climbing up on rope ladders into ships with 100 pounds on our back. We were miles away for any conventional training equipment so I knew we had to create a way to train the 'pulling' muscles of the body."
Hetrick said exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups and squats don't address the larger, powerful muscles -- the back, rhomboids and the core.
"So we took some nylon harness webbing from a parachute and some rubber handles and the very first TRX Suspension Trainer was born," he said. "It wasn't pretty at first of course but we worked on it a bit. See, the dirty little secret that no one knows about is that all SEALS know how to sew! We are all well versed on a sewing machine, we have to be, in order for us to tweak and customize a lot of our gear."
The two-pound set of adjustable straps and handles goes just about anywhere and can attach to just about anything overhead that is secure enough to handle your body weight.
How does the TRX work? Rather than using dumbbells, barbells or medicine balls, you use your body weight for resistance. The TRX straps allow you to position yourself at various angles to train different areas of the body.
The movements are tough on the core. You have to keep your abs tight at all times to even perform the exercises properly. Form and technique are especially important, but the TRX works for virtually anyone at any fitness level.
"I hadn't worked out in years, so I was a little nervous when my trainer introduced me to the TRX," said Justin Clark of Kaneohe. "I was surprised how well I could do the exercises when my body is positioned at the proper angle. As I became stronger I simply adjusted my body angle and now I can do some of the hardest movements."
Said Lisa Bailey of Honolulu, "I love the TRX. It gets my core, legs and arms like never before, and I get to work on my balance and flexibility at the same time."
is owner of Fitness Together, a training studio at the Manoa Marketplace. Contact him at 306-1485 or at email@example.com