Here’s the start of the top 5 in my blog-series: My Favourite Training Tools (For my American readers, please excuse the ‘u’ in favourite. It’s a Canadian thing).

Suspension trainers. This post was previously published with the TRX listed at #5, which is a great tool, but I have recently had the chance to try out a competing brand which made me change the post from a specific brand of suspension trainer (the TRX) to being about the suspension trainer. Whether you have a TRX or a WOSS trainer or a Jungle Gym makes ono difference to me. Just make sure you have one.

TRX Rear foot elevated split squat

The suspension trainer makes this list primarily for its versatility. You can use it for virtually any movement you would want to do in the gym. They are a particularly great option for inverted rows, rear foot elevated split squats, side plank variations, plank variations, leg curls, pushup variations, hip lifts.

In particular, it makes it easy to do pulling exercises away from a gym. It’s easy to do body weight pushes (pushups!), but pulls are harder to do without equipment. And for desk-sitters, they are more important.

I also like it because it is great for travel. It takes about the size of a medium sweater in your suitcase, meaning you don’t have to count on the hotel gym, which is usually poorly equipped.

Lastly, I like it because, for whatever reason, people really like doing exercises with it. Maybe it’s because it’s something different, I don’t know. Whatever the reason – my clients really love when I slip in some suspension trainer exercises over an equivalent exercise with weights. And the more fun the workout, the more likely they will keep doing it, which makes me happy.

TRX inverted row
If you decide to get one, make sure you get the version with the door anchor, unless you have something else at home to attach it to. At my house, it gets attached to the chin up bar. And some people attach it to beams in the basement. But if you don’t have something sturdy and high up to attach it to, get the door anchor.

Suspension trainers are available at most in-person and on-line retailers. TRX and WOSS are the two brands we have at Custom Strength, and I can confirm that both are excellent.

Wondering what my 9 other favourite training tools are? Here’s the list (Click on any of the links to go to the article to find out why):

  1. Free weights
  2. Functional trainer (sometimes called a cable column)
  3. Bands
  4. Functional Movement Screen
  5. Suspension trainer
  6. Chin up bar
  7. Kettlebells
  8. Agility ladder
  9. Foam roll
  10. Sled

Elsbeth Vaino is a personal trainer in Ottawa, Canada.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it. Do you have favourite gym tools that didn’t make my list (yet)? Share below, along with your why.

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