Suspension training has become a widely popular approach to personal fitness that lets you train your whole body with just bodyweight.
The term suspension training is a method of strength training with the help of ropes and webbing.
TRX and gymnastic rings are developed on the concept of suspension training but they still differ in many different ways. While the rings were conventionally used by the gymnasts, TRX was developed for the general population.
Both the TRX and Rings have proven their effectiveness in developing serious strength but they both have their own set of differences.
Although both the tools are part of suspension training and it can be quite confusing to choose from. Both exercise tools are different physically and practically.
- Design differences: These differences determine the physical aspect of the tool and how they would respond.
- Usability differences: Their physical differences affects the practical implementation for people with different fitness levels.
Let’s talk about design differences first.
Design differences- Suspension trainer vs gymnastic rings
The simplistic design of gymnastic rings assures its longevity, two straps with buckles and rings seem quite indestructible and can prove to be your lifelong investment for personal fitness.
TRX, on the other hand, is a little complicated in comparison to gymnastic rings. Although the quality of the straps seems pretty high in comparison to rings.
Rotatable handles attached to TRX makes it easier to handle.
Gymnast rings need two anchor points for the installation, they also require a very stable surface to hold on.
TRX involves a single anchor point to hold the weight, which can be convenient for at-home installation.
Both the equipment are quite similar in size and weight.
But TRX proves to be more travel-friendly because of the requirement of the single anchor point. Additionally, a single anchor gives you the flexibility to anchor your TRX nearly anywhere, from doors to trees.
On the other hand, rings require you a stable surface which can be quite difficult to find while traveling.
There are people with different fitness levels and physical strength, both the tools offer a different level of stability.
TRX suspension trainers were initially designed for a wide variety of users, it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a pro, these suspension straps are stable enough to provide support.
Gymnastic rings, on the other hand, are more loved by the intermediates and experts. Gymnastic rings are developed for incredible strength which can be really really hard for any beginner. Additionally, these rings are suggested to only healthy individuals and elderly should avoid it because of their instability.
Usability differences – TRX vs Rings
Both are part of suspension training but designed for very different usability and purpose.
Benefits of TRX
Appropriate for beginners:
TRX system is developed with the intention of a versatile fitness solution for all age groups.
All the TRX exercises require only a partial body weight which makes it perfect for everyone. Some part of your body is always sitting on ground as a support.
For example, while doing an inverted row on TRX your feet sit on the ground as an anchor point, while doing plank your hands sit on the ground for support.
TRX suspension trainer is definitely the best core training partner (unless you are an elite gymnast), almost every TRX movement supports core strengthening and stabilization.
Wide range of anchor points
Another biggest example of TRX is its portability. Unlike the gymnast rings, TRX can be mounted on different plains.
There are a number of mounting solutions available, you can find TRX door mounts, X-mounts for ceiling installations, TRX extenders that gives you the flexibility to mount in different positions.
Versatile handle (Rotatable)
Most of the people find rings really uncomfortable and hard to work with.
TRX comes with rotatable handles that assist you to do better bicep and tricep curls. Its rotatable handles also help in a better-inverted row.
Locking loop Extensive support to ankles
TRX also features two loops at the bottom of the handles which are used to cradle your feet for different workouts. Whether you want to do planking, pike or lunges, these handles come really handy in the situation.
These two loops are something that you won’t find in the gymnast rings.
Another biggest advantage of TRX workout is the availability of a professional guide.
The creators of TRX made it really easy to stay healthy without spending money on expensive personal trainers. TRX comes with an extensive training guide that will not only help in achieving better form but also teaches you different workout drills to target every muscle in the body.
Drawbacks of TRX
TRX will cost you 3-4 times more than a gymnast rings.
Difficult to perform push movements
One area where TRX severely lacks is its ability to facilitate push movements. Exercises like chest press or dips are really hard to perform.
Partial weight resistance
Partial weight resistance can be good for the beginner or intermediate but not everyone is looking for partial weight resistance.
Because of the partial weight resistance, sometimes it gets really hard to achieve the maximum bodyweight resistance and resulting in inferior strength gains.
Video introduction to TRX suspension training.
Pro’s of gymnastic rings
Perfect for Gymnastic moves
Are you someone looking to develop a rock-solid physique without leaving home? Then rings suspension training can be the best choice.
These rings allow you the movements that are not possible with the TRX suspension trainer. Although these exercises will be really hard to do in initial days but will surely help in the development of incredible strength.
Supports push and pull movements
Rings supports push and pull movements really well, because the rings can be spaced shoulder-width apart.
Most effective compound workouts like pull-ups, muscle-ups, pushups, dips are really well supported by the gymnast rings.
Most of the ring movements demand full bodyweight which not just helps in greater strength but allows you to achieve greater stability.
Things that are hard to achieve deliver greater rewards. For most people instability of rings is the biggest hurdle but others like me, Instability is a great recipe for superior muscle growth.
Ringe will make any bodily movements more challenging because of their instability but they will also recruit whey more muscle.
Greater recruitment of muscle = Greater strength and muscle mass.
Rings are really difficult and will demand you to develop great upper body stability. Doing a set of dips with the ring is far more difficult than dips on parallel bars, pushup will feel harder than ever before because of the instability gymnastic rings.
Overcoming the instability of rings will result in greater strength and muscle gains.
Drawbacks of Rings
Can be too hard for beginners
These rings are not for beginners. Period.
Rings are for someone who is capable of doing bodyweight workouts with ease. We strictly advise elderlies to not try this tool.
Little hard to set-up
Rings require two anchor points with a stable base. If you are looking to install these in your home gym then you won’t be having any issue but if you are looking for a travel partner then TRX will be a better choice.
Lack of Professional guide
There is no as such a professional guide available, you can watch some videos to learn a few basics but everything else will be up to your creativity.
So which one is better for you?
Booth their equipment strong within their functionality, what suits best for you depends on your goals and level of fitness.
Or buy both of them, these suspension training tools are quite cost-efficient and won’t really affect your monthly budget.
Let’s recap with a Comparison Table
|Beginners||For beginners||Not for beginners|
|Intermediate||Works well with them||Works well|
|Expert||Not the best choice||Most preferred|
|Stability||Quite stable||Lacks Stability|
|Resistance||Low and medium||High|
|Push movements||Not the best choice||Works really well|
|Pull movements||Pullup and chin-up are still a problem||Works perfectly well|
|Core workout||Perfect for all ages||Not for everyone|
|Ankle support||Loops provide great support||Not Available|
|Professional guide||Available||Not Available|