First of all, what is the Rip Trainer? Well, it consists of a resistance cord attached to a pole. You get a workout DVD and guide and a door anchor which works really well. If you have a door (or a tree or a banister) you have a fix point. In summer and fall we will use the TRX Rip Trainer in our garage, but during the winter we will bring it into the house where there is HEAT! We can easily move our training are to any room with a door and adequate space for moving.
Our first step was to watch the DVD included in the purchase. We buy a lot of fitness and sports equipment. Too often the DVD training is less than stellar. We were 10 – star impressed with the professionalism and information shared by each of the experts in the DVD. While too many knee and shoulder surgeries have provide us with lots of insights on rehab and the physiology of the body, the careful explanation of how the spine works and why the TRX system provides movement challenges in many different planes of motion was enlightening.
It wasn’t long after watching the dvd that we set out to do the Beginner Workout. After the warm-up we did a few planks, a practice we like for controlled rotation using the entire body. Next we were ready for a session of producing rotation with the RIP Trainer. As Ed is returning to standup paddling after 5 months of shoulder rehab, mitigating the risk of future injury is a top priority. The expert guidance throughout the beginner workout was exactly the confidence-building we wanted.
This is certainly NOT to say that the beginner workout was easy-breezy. It’s incredible how versatile the workout intensity can be. Simply increasing the frequency of the movement or stepping further from the fixation point of the cord UPs the intensity. Both the spiral movement patterns and the unbalanced rotation of the force provided a controlled activity that worked the core and specific parts of the anatomy safely. As we are learning how complex even the easy to follow exercises are, we moved relatively slowly during our first session.
As the weather is turning cooler here in Oregon we won’t be able to get into the water as often as we like. For me, simply standing on my board in bare feet is fun. I love to practice balancing on my Indo board with its smaller roller. With the addition of the TRX RIP Trainer to our workout area I decided to try using the Gigante cushion with the Indo board as the platform for trying some of the TRX training moves. I am absolutely NOT a fan of sit-ups.
After a summer of paddling an hour or so 5 days a week I gained solid evidence of SUP as an ab exercise that delivers core strength and balance. What a foundation! In order not to lose that foundation during cooler months I decided to combine some moves. I fixed the TRX RIP Trainer a bit lower than usual (with the door connection, included). Standing in a stance with feet parallel on the Indo board on the Gigante cushion facing the door, I began to mimic paddle strokes. My lower hand was closest to the cord, on the low end of the “paddle.” Slow and steady didn’t seem like much of a workout until the next day – wow! Quads and abs, even my lats were definitely worked! Be sure to do the same movements on each side for symmetry.
I have been following some great training suggestions on Suzie Cooney’s blog so I decided to quickly review some of her tips for using the TRX. If you search through the site you’ll find solid information and have the ability to connect for a custom session via Skype.