Homemade Suspension Trainer

More recent options for a suspension trainer can be found here and here

Below is a video that has been added to the homemade equipment archive of the forum. Within the video, you will find instructions on how to build an inexpensive, yet durable homemade suspension trainer.

These suspension training tools have become very popular in the last few years. The downside has been the expensive price tag that is required to purchase one. If you are interested in a homemade alternative, this tutorial should come in handy.

Building My Own

After watching this video, I decided to build one of my own suspension trainers. I already had a pair of 12 foot lashing straps so I only needed to purchase one more. The cost was minimal. I had all of the other parts. If I had to purchase everything new, I’m guessing that the cost would have been around $15. If you can’t find anything in your area, Strapworks.com is one site that sells inexpensive, yet strong straps.

I followed the instructions provided within the video above. I did make one small adjustment to the foot handles however. My lashing straps were too long (12 feet) so I cut them down to 8 feet and created foot straps with the extra length.

An image of the mid-point connection can be seen next:

I used the recommended bowline knot to secure the straps. I also added a layer of Gorilla tape around each knot. If you are unfamiliar with a bowline knot, a quick search of Google will bring up several tutorials:

Bowline knot

In terms of adjusting the device to various heights, I’ve found that I only need to adjust the top lashing strap. I have the bottom two straps set at a fixed length. It takes a matter of seconds to adjust the length of the top strap. I have my device secured overhead, but it could be easily packed for the road.

This is one of the easiest pieces of equipment that I’ve put together. It took less than 10 minutes to complete.


As for testing it out, below is a quick video demonstration. This was my first test drive with the device. There are obviously countless exercises that you could perform with it. I just videotaped a few that came to mind this morning. I will likely add more in the future. For example, dips are one more that I thought of after taping. The device is certainly strong enough to hold me for dips.

Related Links:


  1. This is a great video. I have been looking at pricing these systems and they are terribly expensive especially with how simple they are.

  2. Hey Ross,

    Thanks so much for posting that. I have been interested in acquiring a suspension trainer but the TRX seems ridiculously overpriced for what it is. Now I can make my own.

  3. Thanks for the comments everyone, I hope you try it out! Ross thanks for sharing this on your site so more people can view it than through my blog πŸ™‚

    All the materials cost me $30-$40 which definitely beat the price of the actual TRX. I’ve used the real TRX, and I wasn’t able to do anything different/better on it as opposed to using the straps as shown in the video.

  4. Thanks for posting this informative video.
    I am trying to source these items in the UK.
    Could you tell me the correct name for the type of buckle used on the straps as there are a few to choose from and I don’t want to the wrong one for obvious reasons
    face + asphalt = not good!

  5. I just made one. Also learned how to tie various knots (I used double bowline for increased safety). It works great and it can hold 190 pounds of me without any problem.

    Simon, I used carabiner with a screw lock, and straps will snap way before that thing.

  6. Thanks to you all,
    I am keen to get exactly the right type of buckles for reasons stated in my last post, so as soon as one of you guys can fill me in on the fine points I want to get cracking on a set for myself.

    Did manage to blag a huge tyre from a port in Ipswich today, must way at least 180lb and it didn’t cost a penny, just need a sledgehammer now.

  7. Simon,

    In regards to your question, all that you need is a standard lashing strap. They should be easy to find at any hardware store. The lashing strap includes a buckle to adjust length. You do not need to purchase anything separate.

  8. Thanks for the demonstration video. I made a set a couple of months ago after seeing exercises demonstrated on a Vegas Prostrap video on YouTube. Can’t believe I never thought of doing standing rollouts with it though. Hopefully your ideas will help me progress to a full rollout.
    Thanks again.

  9. I never gave suspension trainers much thought, always considered them kind of ‘gimmicky’ but that actually looks really good.. especially like it for progressing to standing rollouts.

  10. Great video. However, I’m not sure how to build an door anchor for using the suspensions at home. Anyone of you guys an idea?

  11. I made one of these from this video. My straps were purchased at lowe’s for $16.97. I got the 10 foot ones. I got the PVC handles for under $2.00. I went home and opened my package of straps and there was already great hooks on each one, so instead of having the straps joined together I have mine as two separate straps. This works great for me. My husband has a door pullup bar already and I am WAY too weak to do pullups, so this system works wonderful for me. I just put each strap up on either side of his pull up handles and off I go. I had watched youtube vids of the trx system and looked it up and I just saved myself a ton of money. These straps adjust very quickly and easily and thanks to all the youtube vids I have a ton of exercises I can do on them. I have been working out with it along with doing regular bodyweight exercises (jumping jacks, knee push ups, squats, lunges etc) and I have never been so sore!! Thanks a ton for sharing this video. I had a hard time with the bow knot but once my husband saw what I was doing he just did the knots for me real quick. Thanks again for the very valuable money saving information on your site!! I will use my suspension straps for a long time.

  12. Roll on pay day,
    I’ve found all the items in the video, just need to empty out the garage and get on with building my gym.
    Thanks for the inspiration guys.

  13. Great video and a very easy piece of equipment to make. For info, I picked up all of the components in the UK for just under £10 (though you can get all of the bits from B&Q for a few £s more). You can also make an easy door anchor by looping the top strap through one of those sand-and-fabric wrist weights and feeding the strap through the top of the door (this is essentially what the TRX anchor appears to be). I’m slightly concerned about wear on the straps from the edges of the handles so will probably add tape to these tonight. Good piece of kit though and very flexible and portable.

  14. Hey Ross! Thanx for another great video. I’m using rings at the moment and finding suspension training pretty damn testing. Although I find roll outs easy in comparision to the single arm rollers wich I made thanx to your great informative videos.
    Keep inspiring brother


  15. This is great stuff. I plan to make one of these suspension kits in the near future.

    Knive, thanks for the tip on the door anchor. I was trying to figure out the best way to make one.

  16. Hey these look awesome! one question though
    How did you go about attaching them to the ceiling/wall? Don’t wanna land flat on my nose!!

  17. Ross and Stevo, thanks for sharing the videos!

    I personally like this system better than TRX πŸ™‚ Here is why. TRX doesn’t allow for asymmetrical / unilateral exercises… it’s handles are basically a one piece threaded through the loop of the top strap. You let one end go – you fall πŸ™‚ In Stevo’s design the handles can be used independently – big plus IMHO. So Stevo – you can actually do things on this system better then on TRX πŸ™‚

    +1 on vegas pro straps. I like their system and was going to make a similar one myself but after calculating the cost, which would come to around $65-75 (I was looking at: 2xBlack Diamond 18mm 60 cm Nylon Runners – $9.90, 4x Omega Pacific ISO Oval Carabiners – $22 both from REI; cam buckles and slings from Strapworks.com – around $30 shipped; pvc pipe and some kind of tube/hose over it for handles – another $5-10), I decided against it and opted for buying vegas pro commando for a fraction more.

  18. Totally great, thanks.
    In South Africa whole thing cost R228 (<$30) πŸ™‚
    Excellent for a broke student like me!!!

    got just under 4m of conduit left though cos they only sold it in 4m lengths πŸ˜€

    great site!

  19. Bought the bits and built it in ten minutes, total cost £5.10p ($10 approx)
    Rushed out and strapped it into the roof truss of my garage, all going well at this point, except that I have no electricity and all this is being carried out with the aid of a mouthheld torch and a rubber bucket to stand on.
    First test from a seated position, knots holding strong, carabiner holding strong and straps holding strong……sadly the same could not be said for the buckles, they gave way…however I do weigh 17st (238 pounds) so I am now on the hunt for some more meaty straps here in Blighty, any suggestions for the boys and girls of the UK would be gratefully received.

  20. Hey! great idea guys, Im just gonna add something I read a few days back on a DIY forum. The guy was making a pair of gym rings from pvc pipe, and there was a reply from a engineer about the safety of the straps he was using. The guy said that the breaking weight should be calculated higher than the actual weight the straps are gonna be lifting. He said this because in terms of physics when you apply a force to the strap (as in making a dip or a pullup) the resistance against it increases, in the end the guy recommended a break strenght that was 4-5 times higher than the actual weight the straps are gonna be carying. If u are using 2 straps each for an arm they should at least hold 400 punds each if you’re a 200 pound person. Hope it helps!

  21. Roberto, I was thinking the same thing. The instruction of straps also say: don’t use for lifting. So it’s better to buy some straps with high breaking strength. I guess I have to buy some stronger ones.

  22. Ross, Thanks for the great site. With your suspension trainer what’s the strength of your straps? I can’t seem to find anything over 200lbs.
    Thanks again

  23. Made mine yesterday!
    All from Home Depot
    2 packs 2 cargo lashing straps (4 straps total) $9.00
    2 1×6″ pvc $2.00
    1 Quick link $1.00

    $12 not to bad for a $200 system.

    Its not too hard to find straps to meet the need. Everything I saw in the store was rated to 1500 lbs.

  24. found a suspension trainer described in “Athletic sports for boys: a repository of graceful recreations for youth” published in 1866!

    Have a look:


    I had a Century Cornerman bag frame going unused, a pair of motorcycle tie downs with S hooks, and a two foot long 2 inch diameter aluminum tube laying around. I drilled holes just in from the ends slipped in the S hooks and have what is best described as a trapeze! Hooked it up to the cornerman and its great for what Ross shows above. My son came home from college and loved it, when he went back he bought an exercise wheel but likes my bar better!

  25. Was glad to see you’ve added suspension training to your site. Will be good to see you develop a workout specifically for suspension systems.

    In my opinion, the TRX system is inferior to the 2-point secured adjustable sytems such as the USA and Vegas Pro Straps.

    I’ve made my own using two ratchet straps secured to a beam and it’s very like the system shown in this video.


  26. OMG! So AWESOME!!!! I was looking at the TRX system for group training…uhhh yeah…I think I’ll pass and build multiple sets for a fraction of the cost!! πŸ˜‰ Thanks to everyone who has commented…great exchange of ideas!

  27. @ Simon, make sure you have the webbing threaded thru the buckles in the right direction. I picked up some straps from Amazon.com that claimed 1200 lbs. weight limit for the buckles and they provided no resistance to the weakest pull. So I changed the setup and now they’re rock solid. Give it a shot, most cam buckles should be able to withstand a static load under 300lbs.

  28. “OMG!” is right! How the devil can the TRX manufacturers get away with charging almost $200 for a couple of lashing straps I don’t know. I like this design just as much as the TRX at my gym and I bet I could make more than a dozen of these for less than $200 and they would be just as useful. In fact, I have a sewing machine and some strong nylon thread and I could make those foot loops even better without using bowline knots. Also, if you look at the TRX, there is a small “bridge” of strap material between the two straps just below where they meet at the carabiner. The “bridge” keeps the straps from sliding more than a few inches either way. That helps equalize the lengths of the hand grips and foot cradles. This would be a cinch to produce even if your sewing skills are limited. I’m saying “hell no” to spending $200 or more on a TRX when this one is so simple!

  29. Just built one today. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so it took me a bit longer. Some pointers:

    1) Proper “lashing straps” were hard to find. I ended up at Harbor Freight, where they have two for 3.99. Best price I saw all day (and I saw them ALL). http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=67386. With these, you won’t need extra rope for the foot holders.

    Make sure you take the time to BE SURE THE STRAPS will be anchored properly. This was kinda tricky but the way Stevo does it eliminates the the excess straps hanging down.

    2) I used tennis racket grips and then wrapped the ends with black electrical tape.

    3) For the door anchor, I kinda copied the Jungle Gym and used a 6X1 PVC pic around the anchor strap. I wrapped the PVC with the remaining tennis racket grip to prevent it from scratching the door.
    Total Cost: $18.

  30. That’s awesome ! Big thanks to Steevo & Ross, and all the people who commented on this post.

    I made one today, took me some time to figure out the knots :-p, and it costed me just shy of 25Γ’β€šΒ¬ !

    First test was ok, I’ll do my first Steevo Trainer workout tonight !

    Thanks !

  31. Some observations: The single point attachment allows you to use the suspension trainer in more places. The two point requires a bar or rafter or fairly horizontal tree limb. The single point anchor allows you to use vertical poles. Although you can try using two straps on a vertical pole I find that they tend to slip.

    But by far, the biggest advantage of a single point anchor is that it’s easier and faster to level the handles. With two straps (especially if they’re not hooked up evenly) leveling handles becomes a chore. ELITE TRAINER tries to fix this by marking their straps in 3-4 inch increments but if your attachment isn’t perfectly level to start, this doesn’t work.

    Generally, for doing standing press movements or dips, the two straps are much better. For all other exercises, it doesn’t matter.

    I think the single point attachment (like TRX) has the likelihood of wearing out faster since there’s a lot more friction on the straps. On the other hand, they’ve solved some problems like not having lose straps dangling and fast leveling.

    Overall, though, I like the two straps better. Less wear and tear on the material and less potential damage to skin and shoulders. The pressing movement on the TRX has you elevating the hands so you don’t rub the straps on your skin and literally get strap BURN. But just doesn’t look natural to me. It also makes you lower your head as you press which puts big stress on the neck and really reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.

    So . . . bottom line . . . make two straps and try to find a place to hang them. If all else fails, make a third strap to use as an anchor and use it to wrap around a tree or light pole, then attach your two straps to that.

    Chains work great on trees for that but slide too much on metal. Rope anchors may also work.

  32. I laid up 10ft of SuperStrut on a beam in the basement. This lets me mount 3/8″ eyebolts in springnuts wherever I like. I attach chain to the eyebolts and grips with 27KN carabiners. For grips, I used chain with pvc, along with 1 set of Vegas Pro EPDM Grips & Straps. I went with the commercial gripset for the footstrap… and after tying several bowline knots, I decided my life was worth $20.

    Using chain makes it easy to align handles. You simply pull the chains together then latch your carabiners to the matched links. It also makes it easy to set up single point TRX-alike or 2-point Vegas Pro-alike as the mood strikes.

    My chain & channel setup lets me re-purpose some of my cable attachments, too. For example, I often use my lat pulldown bar for unstable pullups and inverted rows.

  33. Anyone try the new variation out? Seems a bit easier to use and less to worry about then the buckles…


  35. Hey I just built one of these because I lift at home with just a power rack and so I have been neglecting ab work for 3 years now. I am wondering if there is an even easier version of standing roll outs than the 2 shown in the video? I can barely stay stabilized in the very ending, laying position, but it still gives me a decent ab work out. If not I’ll just try to get better with this exercise.

    Also, is there any way to arrange these for hanging leg raises?

  36. Corey – You can adjust the angle of the exercise to make it easier (or more difficult). Raise the handles to make it easier. You could also work from the knees (similar to a kneeling rollout with an abdominal wheel).

  37. Found your website via “TOP-20” fitness blogs over at Gym Junkies. Your blog has some fresh and unique flavour to it – these colours are like calm you down and make you feel safe.

    Looking forward to looking throught your content as I am not going to be the fan of this device, but what I would want to do as a fan of body-weight exercises (pull-up bar, rings e.t.c) is to maybe make some sort of gymnastic rings at my home.

    Thanks, the post about a gym in Kongo is thought-provoking.

  38. For those who live in the UK, like me, you can find all these items in TKMax ( gadgets section) for about £8.

    Can the Gymnastic ring replace this, by the way?

  39. Thanks heaps Ross. Like many others here, I suspect, I was ready to put down my hard-earned cash on the overpriced systems. I paid less for the whole solution than I would’ve paid just for postage!

    The instructions were clear and simple, and the whole thing was done in about 10-15 minutes. It’s every bit as good as I thought it would be, but with the added satisfaction of saving a couple of hundred bucks.

    If you’re ever over in this part of the world email me and I’ll shout you a beer or three.



  40. Great video, I’ve been wanting a set of these for a while, but the cost has stopped me from using them. One change I would make though is to maybe use a figure eight knot instead of the bowline. If you don’t tape the bowline or back it up with another knot it may come untied over time.

    Keep up the good ideas coming.



  41. Excellent!

    I’ve followed these at Formosa Fitness blog but the kind he uses are god-awful expensive! It looks like I now have a Christmas break project!

    One question: Any advice on what to mount them to? My home “gymn” is a two-car garage. Everything I have in there is portable and storeable. I’m scared to try the ceiling but was thinking about the wall studs. Maybe some deep eye hooks that I could sink into the wall stud? I have a stud finder but I don’t want to tear out the dry wall.

  42. Jake, considering that the model you’ve mentioned has not yet been sold, how can you comment on quality? Also, where is your opinion coming from regarding the quality of various homemade versions? I didn’t notice you here testing mine.

    All joking aside, I’m glad to see that companies are starting to produce less expensive options. The model you mentioned has not yet hit the market, but I hope that it does well.

    There are still inexpensive options for those interested however, with DIY models that are as strong as any. I’ve had mine for almost a year and it is still as good as new. I wouldn’t trade it for any other as it does everything I need it to do.

  43. I want to thank you for the very useful and money-saving way to save a bunch of money by clearly explaining and demonstrating how to build our own suspension trainers. That’s good Karma.

    Ed S.

  44. Thank you very much for this Ross. Anyone who pays $200 for a piece of TRX junk is a damn fool.
    Please keep posting other home made ideas suspension training or other wise.

  45. TRX is a just a strap, wake up people. The service they provide is horrible. The exercises are horrible. “Body weight training on a hanged object” is good part of training. “Suspension training” is a term used by gymnasts for a long time, when it’s refered to ring training.
    Ross is the man of the people. All his products are high quality and below fair price.
    More on the Fitness anywhere, if you want to know the truth.
    “Fitness anywhere” or “Fitnessanywhere” is actually a small company that is trying to pretend to be big. It is ran by a Iranian named Omidam (Omid) A. Mantashi. His friend Randal Hetrick is registered as the president, but they really decided to do that, because “former Navy Seal” is a lot more marketable than a Persian Lawyer. So they registered Omid Mantashi as the registered agent and Randy Hetrick as the owner.
    It’s a rather small, unreliable company.
    My friends aquentance worked for TRX for a while and he got all the scoop. He was treated misarably by the owner (Mantashi. So if you want something with good DVD’s and good programs and good products, go get Jungle Gym XT or even Rip60, or do the DIY and watch some of Ross’s video, both for exercises and inspiration.
    TRX is not good as product, Fitness Anywhere is not good as a company and suspension training is a stolen name.

  46. Pingback: Leads Blog
  47. thanks for posting this. I’m concerned about it not feeling even on both sides though. It’s not much of a hassle is it? When you are making the handles there would be a very slight discrepency in length created, which i’m assuming can be adjusted pretty easily with the black metal adjuster (not sure what it’s exactly called) from the middle of the lashes and then trial and error by feel from there I suppose?

  48. I have an even better DIY suspension trainer, made from:
    1- 1 – 25 foot section of 3/8″ rope (~$4)
    2- Bowflex handles (~$10)
    3- an eye bolt (~$2)
    4- 2 carabiners (~$2)

    Cut 2,3-foot chunks of rope. Connect each to the 19 foot remaining chunk with prussik knots. Attach the Bowflex handles to these leads with bowline knots. Attach the eyebolt through/to an anchor point. Affix a carabiner to the eye bolt (the other carabiner clips the two handles together for one hand exercises).

    Prussik knots are easily adjustable and hold under tension. Amazingly simple, but as effective as anything you can buy. I can take a video or pictures of my setup if RossTraining wants to host them, let me know.

  49. Re Ronny on 2.23.2011: Omid Mantashi is a citizen of the USA and an attorney licensed in California and Washington. He was valedictorian in political science at the U. of Washington; he did graduate work at Harvard; received an M.A. and wrote a Ph.D. dissertation at Berkeley (Cal); and was a good student and graduated from a “top ten” law school, NYU.
    Ergo, Ronny’s characterization of him as an Ò€œIranianÒ€ and “Persian Lawyer” is fallacious and also sounds a bit like Orientalism (look up Edward Said), e.g., racism.
    Note well, “Ronny” seems to say almost the exact same things as “Jenny” at another site — with only an 8 minutes difference in their posting times:

  50. I’m from the uk, and I bought some lashing straps from baldness worked great with two
    straps working together but when I use only one strap it slips?? You have any idea why that
    Might be??

  51. THANK YOU SO MUIt’s true that they sell them for so much. And I live in Canada and I cant find it anywhere in canada, so I was able to make my own because of the video provided! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH :D!


  52. Great stuff. You know this of course cause folks are raving over what you’ve done and your presentation. Bravo.

    Now, I’d like to know if you’ve anything in your magic hat regarding suspension training s-frame?

    I’m stuck here in Singapore for the next year and need to make a multiple suspension Rack of sorts so I can have up to 5-members at one time on the contraption. TRX is great and all but, it’d cost me a fortune to order their s-frame and ship it over here.

    Got any links, construction plans, visuals, schematics that might work for me?

  53. My buddy bought the trx system and showed me when we were on a business trip out of state. He hooked it up to the door and I tried a couple of movements and liked it. He paid around $200 and I thought that was outrageous. I come home and do some research and find this video. 20 bucks later exactly like the TRX. Google trx workout PDFs and you will find the exercises. Sometimes I feal sorry for people, it’s like they are buying the “fix”. If you are a lifelong fitness type of person, there is no fix, just a refreshing different way to work out for a while. Thank you for the video.

  54. Thank you Ross! I just made one of these for about $20 using the $4 2-packs of straps from Harbor Freight. We used 1/2″ PVC for the handles and then put gray foam hot water pipe insulation on them. I may make a second one – all I need is another pair of straps and carabiner, which together will run about $10. I like the idea of using a door frame pullup bar for a hanger!


  55. it’s actually crazy stupid to see a non-elastic band like TRX be sold for $150 and up since it are only body weight workouts..

    I will create this set-up myself and try it out.. unfortunatly I have to
    work only with a door anchor because my ceiling is not strong enough.. or I would have to locate the beams..

    Thanks for your vid.

    Simon – Dutch royal army reserves

  56. Just for everyone to know, I =sell straps that are similar to these but superior in my opinion for way cheaper than TRX or any of the other brands. Around the DIY price for a real nice pair. Plus you can customize the color of the straps and the handles. The handles are super thick and strong great for grappling, wrestling, mma, boxing, and all around forearm strength. Just Ebay KazTraps Suspension Trainer, they are durable, effective, and affordable. It would only take a sec and I greatly appreciate it! KaZtraps Suspension Trainer. πŸ™‚

  57. I made my handles by cutting 6 inch strips from broken composite hockey sticks – even better if the sticks have the grip finish. The sticks are hollow so they are perfect to slot the webbing through.

  58. I’m in the process of trying to decide if I want to make this. My biggest question, is why do we need to loop it through a mid-point connection? If each strap is exactly the same length, couldn’t they just be hooked up to a stationary point that is adjusting for height? Is the action of sliding back an forth used during exercise , or is it just used to adjust so they are the same on each side?

  59. I was wondering if you made a door anchor as well. I won’t be able to use an anchor point from the ceiling as I live in an apartment… but would definitely be able to use the doors in the apartment. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. @Paul – There is actually a door anchor post within the blog (search within the homemade archive sticky and you will find it)

  60. thanks for putting up such a great video. As couple of the other posters have commented on it’s hard to believe that the TRX get away with charging 200 bucks for their product. I bought my straps today. I haven’t gotten the PVC tubing yet but I can’t imagine it’s going to cost me more than $15 make the whole setup

  61. Thanks – I have wanted a strap to use at home and this is a great tutorial. Making one this weekend and will tell friends too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *