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The good news is that you can work every muscle in your body without using any equipment. You can do exercises that use just your bodyweight…  and even adjust them to be either easier or more difficult.

The bad news is that unless you’re already strong enough to do chin-ups or pull-ups you won’t be able to work your upper back muscles.

This is why you need a suspension trainer. Also known as a ‘TRX’, they’re the modern day equivalent of gymnastic rings. Why do you need one?

This is the only way you will strengthen your back

The best exercises you can do for your upper back muscles are chin-ups and pull-ups. But… you need to be strong to get strong. If you can’t do these exercises then this important part of your body will miss out. A suspension trainer is like a stepping stone until you can do pull-ups. You can lengthen or shorten the straps to do rowing exercises. It’s not quite the same, but it means anyone can work the same muscles.

TRX Suspension Trainer to Keep Fit While Travelling

They take no space and weigh nothing

You’re travelling. Space is at a premium. You’re already worried about weight restrictions. Unlike an infomercial, a suspension trainer won’t fold up to slide under your bed or give you rock-hard abs in just 7-minutes a day…. but it will fit into a little bag that can sit in the palm of your hand.

Kmart Suspension Trainer

You can use them anywhere

You can strap a suspension trainer to a tree branch, a pull-up bar, a clothesline… even the monkey bars at a playground. Just make sure you first shave off your moustache.

TRX Suspension Trainer Can Be Used Anywhere

You can make simple exercises harder

So you can do 20 push-ups? Good work. Now lower the handles of the suspension trainer just above the ground and give it a go. You will work hard. You can do variations that will work your core like you’ve never worked before. This little torture device will open up a new world of things that you can do to yourself (if you’re so inclined).

This is the best value piece of equipment you will ever buy

I rate exercise equipment based on cost vs. the number of exercises you can do. You can do hundreds of different exercises on these things. They sell for $20 at K-Mart (or around $25 delivered here from Ebay). Bargain.

TRX Suspension Trainer Can Be Used Anywhere

You’re on the road and you can’t get to a gym. You can’t carry much stuff. If you want to keep your back healthy, get a suspension trainer. Not only will they fill the gaps in your training, they’re compact, versatile, and good value for money.

If keeping fit and healthy is important to you then make a date with yourself to go pick one up ASAP or jump onto E-bay.


This is from a series of articles from the 9-Week Health and Fitness Challenge for Travellers. The program designed for people who have no access to a gym, equipment, or special ingredients… while having clingy kids and an unpredictable schedule!

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