STACK Approved: TRX Rip Trainer
Although traditional strength training exercises are highly beneficial in developing running, jumping and overall strength, they neglect many sport-specific skills that involve dynamic rotational movements. Recognizing this limitation, Pete Holman, TRX director of business, invented the Rip Trainer for explosive and rotational exercises. At the 2011 CSCCa National Conference, Holman gave STACK an exclusive demo [see video above].
The Rip Trainer, TRX's latest innovation, is a 43.5-inch bar that attaches to a resistance cord. Like other TRX products, the bar has a high-quality feel and is easily disassembled so you can take it to your local gym or with you on the road.
For most exercises, the Rip Trainer's cord attaches to only one end of the bar, forcing the body to battle against asymmetrical resistance [an uneven load affecting one side of the body]. This adds challenge to exercises like the Chest Press and Row. "As soon as you grab the bar, there's a huge force going through the body," says Holman. "All of the core stabilizers through the hips, abs and low back are engaged to prevent rotation."
The Rip Trainer really shines in explosive and rotational exercises. Most movements begin with power originating from the lower body, traveling through the hips and core, and finishing with an upper body movement, closely simulating common sports skills like throwing or serving a ball, shooting a puck, swinging a bat or tackling an opponent. "During the exercises, you produce rotation—that's athleticism," says Holman.
Testing the Rip Trainer, we noticed a significant improvement in core strength after three weeks of training. Over time, the bar becomes easier to control while maintaining balance and stability. During each exercise, almost every muscle is working to both move the body and control the bar. The tension is constant throughout the entire movement.
Athletes will appreciate the ability to perform several exercises that closely mimic sport-specific movements. For example, the Slap Shot is perfect for hockey players. In addition, the Rip Trainer's full body explosive movements and unrelenting challenge elevate the heart rate to upwards of 80 percent max, making it ideal for anaerobic conditioning [more on conditioning here]. You will be able to sustain performance for the short bursts of strength and speed commonly used in most sports.
The TRX Rip Trainer is available at trxtraining.com for $189.95.