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Hang on to your health

PUBLISHED: 13:54 09 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:54 09 January 2014

Instructors Maria and Albie keep in shape

Instructors Maria and Albie keep in shape


Try a new fitness technique - TRX suspension training. Photos by Matt Austin

Michael GreenlandMichael Greenland

RX ought to be on the NHS! It’s absolutely brilliant.” So says Ed Caudrelier,63, who started TRX suspension training to improve his strength and mobility after a knee replacement operation.

TRX is a simple and highly adaptable fitness technique that helps people of all ages and abilities to get fast results and core strength without going to the gym, doing sit-ups or pounding the pavements.

Ed’s instructor is Albie McMahon at Hands-on Health in Exmouth, where 
the small class size -three is the 
maximum - and individual tuition are proving very popular with clients aged from 18 to over 80.

“The beauty of TRX is its versatility,” explains Albie. “The simple suspended straps use gravity and movement. Just changing the angle at which you stand while holding the straps will make an exercise more, or less, demanding, and every exercise has a number of possible adaptations depending on your strength, mobility and fitness.”

"‘I’m not interested in the gym. Here you don’t feel intimidated or under pressure - it’s fun’"

TRX is ideal for safe rehabilitation after surgery or injury, because exercises can be focused on specific areas of the body. Clients often report that their doctors have been surprised by the speed and extent of their recovery.

It’s also safe for those with physical limitations. Julia Chapple, 80, has been doing TRX for almost two years: “I can’t go to the gym because of back problems, but I can do TRX at my own pace. And it keeps your mind going as well as your body.”

At the other end of the scale, TRX is a highly effective way of enhancing sports training – programmes at Hands-on Health can be tailored to sporting goals. Golfers, runners, squash players and surfers, for example, experience huge improvements in performance after TRX training, which can include cardio workouts too.

Typh Dagorn, 28, says she has become addicted to TRX.

“The first time I went surfing, about a month after starting weekly TRX, I noticed the difference in my balance – because it’s linked to core strength. I realised my arms and legs were much stronger – paddling was easy and I rode some really long waves.”

Michael Greenland, 40, took up TRX in order to lose weight and get fit in preparation for a Commando Challenge: “Having lost over a stone and thoroughly enjoying the Commando Challenge, I’ve now got a place in the London Marathon. TRX is helping me make huge changes to my lifestyle - I’ve got more energy every day!”

“I’m not interested in the gym,” says Henry Pryse, 54. “Here you don’t feel intimidated or under pressure - it’s fun! I’ve even been doing TRX press-ups which have inspired me to keep some press-ups going at home – something I’d never have done!” n

Trainers Albie and Maria run TRX classes every weekday at Hands-on Health, bookable in blocks of six. They offer free 15-minute tasters. A New Mums class, where babies are welcome and mums can do TRX with baby in a sling, is also on the timetable. For more information see


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