Body Leverage Training can be done without any equipment at all but there are tools that make it easy to modify exercises to suit any fitness level. For the smallest form factor and minimum expense, consider building it yourself with off-the-shelf parts. No tools required!
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Inexpensive and time-tested: Gymnastics Rings
Over the years, I’ve come across several great options. The oldest, cheapest, and simplest choice is gymnastics rings. Unique among the options on this page, rings will not spin in your hands. That reduces the grip challenge on heavy lifts. I’ve never had room for a pair of rings in my bag, so I use my own DIY quarter rings.
A straight handle might be more comfortable but this two-anchor option allows for advanced exercises that most suspension trainers can’t accommodate such as pull-ups, dips, and muscle-ups. Look for a set with a door anchor or two for easy set-up and take down at home or on the road if you plan to use them for exercises like push-ups or inverted rows.
Straight Handle Options: TRX, Recoil, and NOSSK
The most familiar body leverage tool is the TRX Suspension Trainer™ by trxtraining.com. Formerly Fitness Anywhere, that “TM” probably tells you what you need to know: this was the first company to popularize a single-anchor alternative to gymnastics rings. Their design allows for quick transitions from pulling to pushing exercises (no need to let go of the handles between sets) and increased comfort over rings for foot-suspended exercises. All that said, they haven’t shied away from cashing in on their brand recognition. If you’re looking to invest in a premium set of straps, consider the comparably priced Recoil S2, which offers the same single-anchor option with easier, faster adjustments and a ten-year warranty that speaks to its durability. TRX warranties range from two to five years.
For a two-anchor option at a bare minimum of cost, consider the no-frills but well-reviewed NOSSK Gym Trainer. These heavy duty straps are versatile enough for advanced movements like dips and pull-ups. Unlike their other models, this one has no door anchor included, but you could easily cinch the loop ends tightly onto a shoulder-width length of PVC or a short broom handle to sling it over a door if you prefer that to an overhead or wall-mounted anchorpoint.
Do It Yourself!
Strength Training Rig (STR)
After years of searching for the perfect straps, I gave up and built my own! It takes about 10 minutes to assemble your own DIY rig using less than $50 worth of off-the-shelf parts. You’ll need:
- 1 x handle set: Lights Mountain (Amazon link) ~ $20 shipped
OR DIY handles (including a curved, “quarter ring” option for increased stability)
- 2 x 6′ Rollercam Loop Ends (Rollercam.com) ~ $25 shipped
Note: The “Rollercams” are sold separately, so you’ll want to get two.
- Optional Accessories:
What sets it apart? These STR “Must Haves” 👇
• Separate anchor points
• Versatility of gymnastics rings (suitable for dips, pull-ups, muscle-ups)
• Shoulder width for optimal biomechanics whether pushing or pulling
• Stable enough for absolute beginners
• Ergonomic handles
• Strong and durable
• Rollercam + webbing break strength: 1100 pounds
• Lights Mountain handles: 900 pound break strength (working load limit of 300 lbs/handle)
• Handles that can come completely off the straps for fast setup and take down and for use with pull-up bars and stretching.
• Ability to move handles to shoulder-height or higher for vertical pushing and pulling
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