I celebrated a masochistic mini-Christmas last night. Sounds weird, right? On Monday night a package arrived from the good people at EliteFTS, so I broke out the claws to open it:
The claws didn’t work that well, so I just tore the box open. Inside were 6 foam rollers and a pair of the EliteFTS brand suspension trainer, Blast Straps. The entire order is intended for a team that I’m training, who needs more soft tissue work and access to suspension trainers. While I do love the TRX, it’s more than three times as expensive as the blast strap. According to their Blast Straps Report:
The Blast Straps are the newest way to perform bodyweight exercises in a challenging way.
These movements are excellent as they allow athletes to move their bodies against external
resistance in a multi-dimensional environment. They also force athletes to move their bodies
against unstable forces.
If you’ve used a suspension trainer before, this isn’t anything surprising to you; it’s one of the biggest benefits of suspension training devices, and it’s why I love using and recommending them. In the past I’ve used rings, and use the TRX very frequently, so I wanted to see how the Blast Straps compared after my first workout with them. I was able to set them up in multiple configurations because they have two separate anchor points:
Yesterday was a dynamic/rep effort bench press day, (that’s my Fitocracy link) and I completed most of my accessory work using the Blast Straps. I included tricep extensions and fallouts, but today I’m going to discuss my tried-and-true favorites, inverted rows and push-ups.
I’ve yet to see someone who is too strong with either exercise, and I love finding different variations of either of them. During my inverted row sets the Blast Straps were anchored a foot apart, while I used the band pegs for my push-ups so that the movement felt like a modified push-up/ fly combination. Here are videos of each:
These are awwwweeeesome. Srsly; they’re awesome. I found the inverted row variation to be more challenging, and felt a difference in my arms and posterior shoulder. The work sets of push-ups were definitely more challenging for my pecs due to the set up, but during warm-up sets with a closer set-up, I noticed that I felt less of a stretch through my anterior shoulder at the bottom of the push-up. This made the movement feel better, and I definitely appreciated that the metal wasn’t scraping my arm like the TRX tends to do.
If you’re searching for a suspension trainer, this one is definitely a viable option. (If you’re not in the suspension trainer market, then I’d suggest searching for one!) The Blast Strap is much less expensive than the TRX, although you’re also limited with the exercise variations you can use. As an accessory to your barbell and dumbbell training, this might be your go-to device. As a stand-alone workout, the TRX might be a better option. Let’s not forget, that there are also plenty of other devices out there.
I’m looking forward to utilizing the Blast Straps with clients and athletes and seeing how the two stack up. If you’ve used either device and have a preference about either, please let me know in the comments below!