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Homemade Suspension Trainer Tutorial

November 2011 Update – Inexpensive straps from Strapworks are also ideal for suspension trainers (as seen here)

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Below is a new video tutorial that I recently filmed.  It shows how to create a suspension trainer from an inexpensive pair of cam-buckle tie-downs.  Most of the previous tutorials that I have featured on the blog required lashing straps.  Many readers have mentioned their inability to find quality lashing straps so tie-downs are one option to consider.

A sampling of exercises is also included (starting at approximately 5:22 within the video).

YouTube Preview Image

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As for this particular design, I use two separate straps.  Many popular suspension trainers utilize a single attachment point with double handles.  With such models, you only need to make a single adjustment when changing the height of the unit.  Personally, I prefer the separate straps however.  With separate straps, there is less rubbing on the skin when performing exercises such as dips and muscle-ups.  I also find the separate straps to be useful when performing inverted exercises such as handstand pushups (seen within the video).  Lastly, I find the single straps to be more convenient when performing single arm exercises such as the one-arm standing rollout.

Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference.  It would not be difficult to add another strap to this DIY model if you preferred a single anchor point.

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Additional exercise demonstrations can be found at the previous entries below:

Suspension Trainer Exercises I

Suspension Trainer Exercises II

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For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below:

Homemade Exercise Equipment Archives

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43 comments

43 Comments so far

  1. Naveen February 17th, 2011 6:47 am

    Hey Ross,

    Awesome vid. My problem is, I live in Germany and I
    don`t really know the difference between Suspension trainer and Lasihing straps. I tried t figure it out
    from the pictures from the previous blogs. I still don`t get it. Could you post some pictures especiallay from the thing that you use to change the length of the “Rope” for the exercises?

    Greetings from Germany,

    Naveen

  2. Ibrahim February 17th, 2011 8:45 am

    I also live in Germany. When i could not find the right term, i just searched via goolge pics.
    The “Suspension Trainer” is what you´re later using as a training equipment.
    There is no difference between lashing straps and the suspension trainer. In this video the difference is that the “suspension trainer” is made with a pair of cam-buckle tie-downs.
    What´s funny is no matter where you live wether Europe, Asia, Australia etc. (outside the U.S.) it could be hard to find the equipment at first because you cant find the direct meaning of the equipment. Especially if you live in a non English speaking country.
    For everybody living in Germany and not knowing, LASHING STRAP = ZURR GURT. They pretty easy to find in the home depots.

    When it comes to iron pipes you can´t find some at the most home depots.

  3. Ibrahim February 17th, 2011 8:57 am

    The “CAM-BUCKLE TIE-DOWNS” term was very interesting for me. So i searched the web and looked for the meanings and to make a term. But the most effective was again the good old Google pics search. :)

    OK, for every body in Germany who don´t know the “Cam-buckle tie-downs” meaning in German, it´s called Cate-Zurrband. I don´t know why the “Cate” is concluded, but it´s used for safe (motor)bike carrying.

  4. Naveen February 17th, 2011 10:29 am

    Oh yes!!

    thank you very much!!. (Jetzt erkenn ich sie wieder alles klar!!.

    Naveen

  5. Al February 17th, 2011 11:06 am

    Great video Ross, I am a certified TRX instructor and I love the fact that you help everyone realize that there are more ways than one to “skin the cat”. I love using the suspension trainer and I appreciate your “beastly” demo’s with some of the exercises. I continue to recommend this site to family and friends for it is one of the best in the fitness industry when it comes to useful information. Thanks a million!

  6. Ibrahim February 17th, 2011 11:27 am

    No prob man!

    All the best from Düsseldorf

  7. Faust February 17th, 2011 1:29 pm

    Just wow at the ring HSPUs!
    Great vid. Thanks for sharing.

  8. nunh February 17th, 2011 1:34 pm

    Bravo for another great, inexpensive solution!

    Not trying to steal thunder from this great idea but, want to tell everyone about a cheap product sold by Bodyweight Culture called the Protege – cost me $39.95. They have limited supplies at times but, when they were in stock – took me about 2 days to receive.

    I will still build this alternative – looks great!

    Thank you!

  9. Southern Trainer February 17th, 2011 1:44 pm

    Great tutorial Ross. Love the exercise demos too.

    @Nunh, I read on another blog that BWC was being sued over their Protege design. Here is the screen shot I saw posted elsewhere,

    http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/patent-lawsuits/california-northern-district-court/70479/fitness-anywhere-inc-v-pavel-quot-paul-quot-zaichik/summary/

    Has anyone else heard any recent updates?

  10. Rob February 17th, 2011 2:48 pm

    Very good video.
    I just want to warn people that all cam straps are not the same. I purchased a 12′ long strap to use for isometrics. The local hardware store cam buckle slipped often. If you are in the US go to http://www.strapworks.com for the straps. I use the polyester instead of nylon. Same strength, but poly doesn’t mildew.
    I have no money invested in strapworks other that a frequent customer.

  11. Administrator February 17th, 2011 2:53 pm

    @Rob – When a cam-buckle slips, it is often because the strap has been fed through in the wrong direction. If you put the strap through the buckle in the opposite direction, it will often remove the slippage problem. With many buckles, the way to avoid slippage is the more difficult way (looks like you are feeding it backwards).

    @Southern – I do not know, but that is a matter that is best handled by those parties involved.

    @Ibrahim – I assume there must be straps in your area that are used to secure cargo in the back of a truck. I wish I had looked through the hardware store while in Germany last year. I actually was at one, but I was looking for something else. I never thought to look for straps.

  12. Ibrahim February 17th, 2011 3:45 pm

    Haha that´s great Ross!

    You was training while the preparation of your fighter, wow!

    I think there must be some to secure cargo but the ones for motorbikes where the most i´ve found online!

    Thanks & best wishes

  13. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by fitnessexperts, fitnessw8. fitnessw8 said: http://rosstraining.com/blog/2011/02/17/homemade-suspension-trainer-tutorial/ [...]

  14. mike February 18th, 2011 4:04 am

    you are a beast Ross!

  15. Matt February 18th, 2011 4:45 am

    I used to work in a bike shop where we used these straps frequently to transport bikes and/or tie them down to the lift.

    An extra step that you can take to prevent slippage is to take the excess strap and tie it into a slipknot right underneath the buckle. Just make the knot real tight and it’ll work just fine…once you’re done, pull the end and the knot will simply come undone.

    From looking at the hook over the pull up bar, it seems like it could come undone as well if someone was swinging aggressively enough. You can further secure that by taking a small piece of chain and a bolt/nut and maybe a cotter pin and securing it around the bar and putting the bolt/nut through the eye of the hook on the strap.

    Both these options should be good enough to keep you from getting hurt in case something does go wrong and options that are fast enough to undo while in the middle of a workout.

  16. Administrator February 18th, 2011 1:20 pm

    @Matt – The small piece of chain demoed at 3:40 in the vid can be used to secure the hooks. All that you need is a spring clip which is shown. There is an opening where you can attach the spring clip (directly under the hook).

    Personally, I do not find it necessary however. I initially thought the hooks would come undone, but I haven’t had any problems (I’ve been using these straps for a long time). I’ve actually tried to get the hooks off just to see if it is possible. With the exercises I use, the the downward pressure keeps the hooks in place. It’s one of those things that may not make sense entirely until you get your hands on it and see. Once again though, chain could certainly be used. It is a matter of personal preference.

  17. Cornelius Chiropractor-Dr. John February 19th, 2011 3:00 am

    Great video. I thought I had a fairly good understanding of suspension strap exercises but starting with that full body core move at 6:26 I took notes. I was considering buying the TRX system but now I’m excited to go to Home Depot and begin incorporating some of those movements into my routine. Thanks again Ross.

  18. Coach Briody February 19th, 2011 9:42 pm

    Great stuff ! Built my own as well for the handles I used 1.5 inch wide PVC about 7inches long and wrapped it with bicycle handle bar tape. Really comfortable and that extra thickness fires up those forearms!

  19. Rich February 20th, 2011 6:20 pm

    I’m buying from the UK and this was what I searched for:
    I got 2 Silverline Cargo Lash off amazon for £7
    2 cycle handles off ebay for less than £4
    A few metres of sailing rope off ebay for less than £4 (for the hand loops, foot loops and lashing to a wide bar)
    Total cost £15

  20. Javi February 21st, 2011 5:18 pm

    These worked great! I just picked up a package for less than $14 and they were very sturdy. Much better than blast straps for $60.

  21. Jones February 22nd, 2011 6:34 pm

    TRX from fitness any where is easy to make. To easy. still people buy it for a ridiculous price. You just can’t understand how even poor advertising and poor programs that TRX has are still sold. Not only sold but at over hyped blown up price. In few years people are going to look back and laugh.

  22. Cornelius Chiropractor- Dr. John February 22nd, 2011 9:49 pm

    Ross, just to follow up I got the straps and hooked them up as described. Worked awesome and I am sore this afternoon from the last two days of working out. Thanks again.

  23. Dustin Sanchez February 23rd, 2011 12:31 am

    Hey Ross
    That was a great vid, I had everything you used in your vid, in my garage even the handles for a swing set, (my daughters wanted more swings instead). Thanks for another great idea

  24. Yves February 24th, 2011 11:57 am

    Great tutorial Ross! Thank you very much! I’ll have mine done tonight!

    Btw, you should do more “speaking tutorials” videos like this.

    Awesome vids!

    All the best to you.
    Yves

  25. Gennaro Ferra March 5th, 2011 5:09 pm

    Great tutorial Ross. I am going to try my luck at building those suspension straps. What was the name of the foot straps again which I can purchase at Home Depot?
    Best,
    Gennaro

  26. [...] Originally Posted by Diane I am taking a TRX training class geared towards golfers. I hate to exercise, but this class is so much fun. Suspension Trainers are cool. If you decide to buy one but don't want to spend that much money you can make one pretty easy. Here's a link to show you how. RossTraining.com Blog [...]

  27. Tyciol May 5th, 2011 10:40 am

    You mentioned something like ‘husky hang downs’ for the foot straps… I’m trying to look these up on the home depo web site so I am wondering could you spell out the names of these things we need to buy?

  28. Duffy July 11th, 2011 8:57 pm

    How would you go about mounting one of these to a door?

  29. admin July 12th, 2011 4:26 am

    @Duffy – You can find some door anchor ideas within this entry:
    http://rosstraining.com/blog/2011/01/13/another-suspension-trainer-with-door-anchor/

  30. John September 16th, 2011 10:54 pm

    For those that are using the Husky Hang-Alls, did you go with the medium 24″ (up to 200lbs) or large 36″ (up to 300lbs) size?

    The 24″ medium ones seems like it should do the job to me. Thanks.

  31. tammy December 15th, 2011 7:53 am

    Searching the net for the term you’re using here Ross as I’m not familiar with it and thanks to Google found what it means and I’ve tried to use it already with and its great. I really love it and won’t stop using until I reach my goal. Thanks for sharing this to us. Keep us posted please on the new technique.

  32. [...] baggage fees, I opted against bringing my kettlebells out here – I have put together a homemade TRX setup for under $30 that I highly recommend (though they just came out with some elastically-rigged [...]

  33. [...] resistance safely. You can also put together your own, check out these links for homemade versions: homemade suspension trainer link 1, homemade suspension trainer link [...]

  34. TRX Ropes May 12th, 2012 11:10 am

    [...] Check these out yoo! RossTraining.com Blog can find the straps anywhere online or should have them in halfords or b&q. Check some of his [...]

  35. jason griese May 13th, 2012 8:27 pm

    Thanks , I have made a varyation of this using chain ,quick links and blue pvc tubing for handles.

  36. user1 July 24th, 2012 6:34 am
  37. admin July 24th, 2012 7:51 am

    Can’s say for sure without seeing them, but they appear to be similar to the handles I’ve had for several years now.

  38. Milan October 6th, 2012 3:39 pm

    For those looking for Cam Buckle Suspension Straps in Germany…

    It’s “spanngurte metallverschluss” preferrably “heavy duty” ;)

  39. Simon December 5th, 2012 7:32 am

    Hey Ross,

    Good stuff. My only question is, and I’m sure the answer is obvious (cost), but why not just purchase TRX instead of building it yourself? I’m the product of a mindless generation where money is the bitch of convenience…

  40. admin December 5th, 2012 7:36 am

    Cost is obviously a consideration. Why pay for something that is ridiculously marked up when you can go to the hardware store and build something as good or better at a fraction of the cost?

  41. Robert February 2nd, 2013 8:54 am

    I still use my trusty old Jungle gym that I bought for something like $35 years ago, and it is very handy to bring along when I travel, BUT this solution is great for home use on my pull up bar in the garage!

    Robert

  42. Ian June 25th, 2013 8:21 am

    So you prefer this system to your previous lashing system? I need to know which one to buy. Also do you just have one swing hanger on your cieling?

  43. Sam October 26th, 2013 1:25 pm

    “Cost is obviously a consideration. Why pay for something that is ridiculously marked up when you can go to the hardware store and build something as good or better at a fraction of the cost?

    I absolutely agree. Your video is great and the setup is going to work absolutely as well as the one they want to hundred dollars for. I’d feel like a real chump if I’d spent that much money on those straps before I had seen your video. Thanks for putting it up

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