If you are looking for a unique, creative and effective way in which to burn calories, tone and strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and build lean muscle mass, it’s hard to beat a workout using a suspension trainer. A full-body training system, the suspension trainer utilizes fully adjustable straps and handles—straps that are “suspended” from a cross bar or door jamb—to help you achieve a bodyweight-based workout that gets results.
To help you get started, below we have put together some in-depth reviews on several of the most popular and best-selling suspension trainers currently available and highlighted some of the pros and cons associated with each model.
We have also included a Suspension Trainer Buying Guide, in which we will outline and explain the various factors and characteristics you should consider when picking out one of these effective exercise systems.
Home Gym Gear: Best Suspension Trainers for the Money (2018)
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TRX Suspension Trainer System
Created by a former Navy SEAL, the TRX Suspension Trainer System is a unique and very effective system that comes complete with the TRX extension strap—the piece of apparatus into which the rest of the system hooks. The straps on the TRX System feature two handles for the hands and two foot cradles. You will also receive a convenient door anchor which will allow you to perform the exercises even if you have no cross beam or bar to which to hang the straps.
To adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer System, which you will need to do frequently, the straps come with an adjustable buckle that helps you put more effort into your workout and less effort into adjusting the straps. To help you get started with the wide range of muscle-building, fat-burning exercises that are possible with the TRX system, your package will include a very informative DVD, which not only takes you through every exercise via the step-by-step instructions, it also demonstrates how to set the system up in your home or office.
The DVD also includes two live workouts with the TRX master trainers, providing a good visual as to the necessary form that is required to attain the best results. A comprehensive instruction/exercise book is also included—a book that includes all of the DVD information in an easy-to-carry readable format.
A convenient carrying bag comes with your purchase, allowing you to take your TRX Suspension Trainer System with you when on vacation or a business trip, ensuring you never miss a single workout.
- Very easy to set up. The TRX Suspension Trainer System can be set up in a matter of seconds, thanks largely to the quick-snap carabiners and the one-pull strap adjustment.
- DVD included. The DVD that’s included with the TRX Suspension Trainer System shows you how to set the system up and provides easy to follow instructions for completing each of the exercises correctly.
- Comfortable handles. Thanks to the soft-webbed handles on the TRX straps, every gripping position is a comfortable one.
- Portable. With the handy carrying bag, the suspension trainer system is very portable.
- No add-ons. The straps on the TRX Suspension Trainer System have no provision for adding extra pieces of equipment
- Premium-priced. Because the TRX Suspension Trainer System was the original system of its kind, it carries a price tag that is higher than similar products on the market.
GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System
Made by a company that truly knows the value of exercise for the human body and condition, the GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System is a doorway mounted suspension trainer that allows users who do not have an overhead mounting system to enjoy the same benefits of suspension training. Easy to set up and extremely safe and secure, the suspension trainer can be erected and disassembled in seconds without leaving any unsightly marks on your door. The proprietary strap on the suspension trainer is fully adjustable and made from superior quality webbing for user comfort.
When you purchase the GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System, which can support users up to 300 pounds in weight, you’ll receive all the equipment you need to get started, including two handles and two training straps, which allow you to work one side of the body or both sides simultaneously. The no-slip and very comfortable foam handles provide a secure grip that is easy on the hands and completely sweat resistant. Also in your package you’ll receive a handy laminated exercise guide that takes you through the series of effective exercises made possible by the suspension trainer; and a mesh travel bag that allows you to take your suspension training apparatus on the road.
- Versatile. Due to the manner in which it is constructed, the GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System is very versatile—able to be set up in any standard doorway.
- Easy to adjust. The suspension trainer has easy to adjust straps that can be lengthened with just a push of a button on the secure buckle.
- Great instructional manual. The laminated instruction manual that comes with the GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System is very thorough, showing you how to set up the system and outlining all the appropriate exercises.
- No DVD. Although the instructional manual is very thorough, there is not an accompanying DVD that comes with the GoFit Gravity Bar Bodyweight Training System.
- Straps are static. The straps on this suspension training system are not removable—as they are with other similar products.
Crosscore 180 Bodyweight Trainer
In recent years, bodyweight training has become all the rage thanks to the benefits it offers and due to products like the Crosscore 180 Bodyweight Trainer. A uniquely designed suspension training system, the Crosscore 180 includes a pulley system that effectively creates a degree of instability to enhance the core training features of the suspension trainer. And like all suspension trainers, it also includes handles that can be rapidly attached to the equipment’s ropes with carabiners.
What truly sets the Crosscore 180 Bodyweight Trainer apart from other suspension trainers is the level of instability it creates with the pulley system, which features a rope threaded through a movable pulley to create a greater degree of difficulty and instability. This instability forces the body to tighten in an effort to correct that instability, which in turn leads to more focus on the core muscles of the body.
- Pulley system. The pulley system on the Crosscore 180 Bodyweight Trainer will help you focus on the core and stabilizer muscles in the body.
- Rotation. The rotation of the pulley allows for a greater range of mobility, which will help you improve your flexibility while strengthening your core.
- Pin lock. The suspension trainer has a pin lock that allows you to stop the rotation of the pulley system, which in turn transforms the system back into a traditional suspension trainer.
- Heavy. The great addition of the pulley system on the Crosscore 180 Bodyweight Trainer makes the system twice as heavy as some other products in this class.
- Instruction manual could be clearer. Many users noted that the instruction manual for this suspension trainer was a bit confusing.
Suspension Trainer Buying Guide
If you have decided that suspension training might be for you, and if you plan to head out and shop for one of these products, there are several factors to consider and a number of things you should look for before making a final purchase. Here we have listed just a few of those factors:
Quality of the Straps
When shopping for a high-quality suspension trainer you are bound to run into models whose price seems way too good to be true. However, before you jump the gun and purchase one of these low-priced suspension trainers, you may want to do some research and read some reviews to get a better idea about the strap quality. While some straps can break and fray after just a couple months of use, potentially causing injury, others are finely woven out of quality materials and are thus made to last. Hence, try and shop around until you find a product you know you can trust.
All suspension trainers have buckles that help you adjust the straps to a longer or shorter length. Like the straps, these buckles can be made from a variety of materials, ranging from low-grade plastic to high quality carbon fiber. Also, try to find a buckle with one-touch adjustment capability—a buckle you can adjust in the midst of your workout without having to take the straps down for a manual adjustment.
Quality handles on the straps of your new suspension trainer can make all the difference in the world when it comes to working out. When shopping, be sure to look for handles that have a comfortable foam or webbed grip to avoid hand fatigue and abrasions. You should also be sure those handles are slip-resistant, even when wet from perspiration.
The anchor point of a suspension trainer is where the apparatus meets the door jamb. Naturally, you should read some reviews and select a product whose anchor points are extremely safe and secure. Additionally, for aesthetic purposes you should look for a product that will not leave any unsightly marks on your door.
When selecting your next suspension trainer, try to find one that offers a clear and easy-to-follow instructional manual—one that covers setup as well as the exercises. Products that also offer a DVD to accompany that manual are particularly attractive, as they give you a visual representation of how to correctly perform the exercises for best results.
Last but not least is portability. If you plan to travel with your new suspension trainer, try to find one that is not overly heavy and one that includes a handy travel bag of some kind. This will enable you to keep all of the components of your new system safely together.