In the last decade, several new pieces of training equipment have been developed that have been proven to be suitable for training baseball players. Some have elaborate design features and come with complex manuals, computer chips and expensive price tags. Others, despite being simpler and cheaper, are extremely effective. One of the simplest, least expensive and extremely effective pieces is the suspension trainer aka TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise). Developed by a former Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick, from a spool of nylon webbing used to make parachute harnesses, the TRX is an inexpensive, portable tool that can be used almost anywhere to provide an effective total body workout.
It is not uncommon to go into almost any home weight room, visiting weight room or visiting clubhouse in professional or college baseball and see one or more TRX devices being used to improve both bilateral and unilateral pushing strength, pulling strength and joint stability. And, because it uses body weight as resistance and provides a relatively unstable base of support, it forces the core to remain engaged through out every exercise in order to help resist unnecessary movements and maintain the proper amount of proximal stability needed to support distal mobility in the limbs.
While there are many advantages to TRX training, the one thing that it doesn’t do effectively is provide a good source of rotational training. Some degree of rotation is possible, but because the anchor point is fixed, you have to you let go of one handle and rotate the body around the opposite hand and handle. Because baseball is a sport that requires a lot of rotation, it would be better if there was a suspension device that would allow the body to rotate around its center of mass as it does in hitting and throwing, not around a fixed point at the end of an extended limb.
Enter the CrossCore180®, a suspension training device that permits movements that more closely resemble those used in game and practice situations because it allows you to rotate around your center of mass. Because this device uses a locking and unlocking pulley system instead of a fixed anchor point, you can perform traditional suspension training exercises by locking the anchor point and rotational movements by unlocking the anchor point.
Athletes and strength coaches are always in search of new and exciting ways to improve performance and prevent injury. Conventional suspension training devices like the TRX and newer versions like the CrossCore180® are effective, inexpensive, portable training tools that can be used to strengthen the body and help reduce the risk of injury.
Christopher Camacho, MA, CSCS