Budget ($12) Suspension Straps (TRX-type)

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Introduction: Budget ($12) Suspension Straps (TRX-type)

About: I have a B.Sc with specialization in Biochem, Inter-provincial Red Seal in Carpentry, a Private Pilots License, and am PADI open water certified, Released from the Canadian Military Engineers in 2017. I am cu…

Build yourself some inexpensive but very strong TRX-like suspension straps for functional strength training at any level or age. Suspension strap training is much older than the popularized TRX system; gymnasts have used rings and ropes for generations. The straps make certain things, like push-ups easier for beginners where standard pushups on the floor are difficult or impossible by elevating the body to an angle that reduces the body weight supported to a weight the beginner can manage. Gradually this angle can be increased as strength grows and excess body weight diminishes. For those more advanced in fitness, moving the hands off the floor and into the straps for a pushup adds an incredible level of difficulty as the straps must be held below the body as the pushup is lowered! Legs, back, biceps, triceps, and abdominal groups can be trained and there are an amazing amount of videos on the internet to teach you how to use the straps to increase your fitness level, whatever it may be.

Supplies

Materials cost me just over $12 bucks Canadian

Tools: Tape-measure, marking pen, saw, sandpaper or file, screw driver

Materials: Three ratchet straps at least 10'/3m I purchased two packages of two 12' Erickson straps for 8 dollars Cdn at a dollar store

12" (305 mm) of 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC plastic pipe (metal is not suitable for this project as it will likely cut the nylon straps)

at least one quick-link, a d-ring anchor loop, 4 wood screws.

Extras: A cordless drill and bit makes installing the d-ring much easier.

The quick-link can be replaced with a carabiner but it must be very strong from a climbing or safety supplier, cheap ones will deform. The quick-link is the more wallet friendly choice. The larger carabiner can make installation easier.

Step 1: Cut and Sand the PVC Pipe

  1. Mark the pvc pipe at 6 1/2" (165 mm).
  2. Cut the pipe with a saw, I'm using a mini hacksaw in the picture.
  3. Use the sandpaper or a file to clean up the edges of the cut and pay special attention to the inside of the pipe as a sharp edge could wear and damage the nylon strap.

Step 2: Tying Handles and Foot Loops

  1. First remove the long straps from the ratchet assemblies. Set the ratchets aside.
  2. Make a loop in the strap near the hook and feed this loop through one of the pvc pipes.
  3. Pull it through until you have a loop of about 6" (150mm)sticking out the end of the pipe, and about 24" (600mm) of strap between the other end of the pipe and the hook.

Step 3: Tying the Foot Loop

  1. Working with the 6" loop, open it up and fold it back on the pipe to make a double bite.
  2. Pull the hook through the bite until about 12" (300mm) of strap has been pulled through.

Step 4: Finishing the Footloop

  1. Tighten the bite hard around the strap you pulled through; reef it to make sure it will not slip.
  2. Push the knot into the end of the pipe.
  3. You now have the foot loop complete with the long running end of the strap emerging from one end of the pipe and a 12" strap with the hook emerging from the other side and a solid loop of strap for the feet.

Step 5: Tying the Handle

  1. Make a loop in the long end of the strap.
  2. Feed it into the closed circle of the strap hook.
  3. Open the loop and pull the hook into the loop.
  4. Tighten the loop down on the hook.

Step 6: Securing the Strap So the Loop Won't Slip

  1. Now make a loop in the long strap near the hook.
  2. Push the loop into the closed circle.
  3. Pull the entire length of the long trap through the loop and tighten.
  4. The handle and foot loop is now complete.

Step 7: Now, One More Time and Video of the Process

Grab the other piece of pipe and another strap and do it all again. Here is a 4 minute video of the entire process.

Step 8: Assembling the Ratchets and Quick-link

  1. Open up the quick-link and place two of the ratchets into it back to back.
  2. Back to back is to allow for operation of the ratchets once suspended from the anchor.
  3. Place the third ratchet at the other end of the quick-link and close the link.
  4. For ease of identifying them while hanging, mark the two placed back to back with an x.

Step 9: Securing the D-Loop

  1. Expose or identify structural wood.
  2. Secure the d-loop using the wood screws.
  3. You can use the screw driver, but I prefer the speed of a cordless drill.

Step 10: Hang the Long Strap

  1. Hang the last unused long strap you have by passing the running end (without the hook) through the d-loop.
  2. Then pass the running end through the closed circle of the hook.
  3. Pull it through until the hook butts up to the d-loop and the strap pulls tight.

Step 11: Secure the Assembly of Ratchets

  1. Ensure the two ratchets marked with an x hang downward.
  2. Pull the running end of the nylon strap through the spindle of the upper ratchet assembly as it would normally be assembled.
  3. Pull the strap through and adjust it until it is near the d-loop.
  4. Secure the strap by operating the ratchet.

Step 12: Hanging the Handles and Footloops

  1. Feed the running end of one of the handle straps into the spindle of a ratchet and operate the ratchet to secure.
  2. Repeat with other ratchet and handle strap.
The length of the handles can be adjusted by opening the ratchets and sliding the straps or lowering the entire assembly using the ratchet attached to the d-loop.

Step 13: Test Before You Trust!

Suspend weight from the straps in a manner you will not get hurt to test the strength of the system to support your weight.

Step 14: Just Some Encouragement and Some Exercises You Can Perform

Consult a doctor before you start exercising to ensure the plan is safe for you. There are many videos you can find on the internet to learn how to use suspension straps to build strength, endurance and fitness. Start anywhere. If you are having trouble starting maybe once a day just do three exercises, one set of 5 each, it will take less than five minutes and commit to that for a week, then maybe do it twice a day after that. It may seem like a little, but a skyscraper is made of thousands of little bricks, a marathon is thousands of little steps, your fitness is thousands of tiny choices-one more step, one more push, one more pull!

  • Inclined Push-ups, to reduce the total weight of the body in the beginning.
  • Lying pull-up to work the back muscles.
  • Bicep curl by leaning back and pulling handles toward ears.
  • Wide fly, to work the shoulders.
  • Abdominal knee tucks.
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    17 Comments

    0
    brogre
    brogre

    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    Couldn't they be used in a TRX workout?

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Answer 1 year ago

    Absolutely! I use this exact set up to do TRX workouts posted to youtube by a trainer with the channel Bodyfit by Amy. I pop my laptop on the desk in this room and follow along using these straps.

    0
    brogre
    brogre

    Reply 1 year ago

    Kewl! Thank you for all the great info!!

    0
    jeanniel1
    jeanniel1

    1 year ago

    Gosh, now you've made it so I have to make this as part of my physical therapy! Much better than going to use the ones at the gym which may be kind of gross from the guys pumping iron next to them!

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Reply 1 year ago

    As someone who has spent too much time in physiotherapy for serious injuries I have to say I'm sorry you are going through a recovery requiring it, but I am glad you have it available and I am extremely humbled to be able to contribute to your health. After injury the only path is further on! As for the gorillas pumping iron I always find the noises they make hefting the iron most unnerving!

    0
    jeanniel1
    jeanniel1

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ditto to you, too. I have to get back to being 20-something again.... ha ha ha! And, definitely, the grunts are really alarming at the gym. Can't sanitize that away.

    0
    AMbros Custom
    AMbros Custom

    1 year ago

    How much maximum load these band can carry. I have 130kg weight. Want to build strap like this.

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Reply 1 year ago

    I physically suspended my entire weight as seen in the photo in step 13. I am about 90 to 93 kg (200lbs) depending on time of day. The d-ring is attached to the dimensional lumber component of an engineered joist using four '1and a 1/2' inch #8 robinson wood screws and I haven't had trouble. That said the straps will not have trouble supporting you as each of the ones I used is rated for 1200lbs. Your anchor point is usually going to be the weakest point either the fasteners or the substrate to which the anchor is attached. If you are concerned a chain or another ratchet strap looped over a beam supporting the joists in the basement should hold you just fine. Or mount using heavier screws or lagbolts.

    0
    3nz01
    3nz01

    Question 1 year ago

    Hey Sapper, Thanks for the timely tutorial. I was thinking of setting up a TRX in my garage, but I don't have the ability to attach the ring to my ceiling. Can this work I I attach the ring to the wall?

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Answer 1 year ago

    Yes. Mount the d ring or eye-lagbolt into the lintel above a doorway and secure to the wood frame structure. with the door open you will be able to do all the exercises unimpeded as you can extend your legs through the open doorway.
    That said if you cannot mount above a doorway the commercial unit I based this design off of is designed to be hung over a door a and then the door closed to secure it so I think it would work to attach to a wall. It may limit some of the exercises though or require them to be modified.

    0
    jtalvy
    jtalvy

    1 year ago

    What a great idea and save a lot of money! Surely a great home workout idea!

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Reply 1 year ago

    Now more than ever health is wealth!

    0
    oldhess
    oldhess

    1 year ago

    It's a fantastic idea, but you lose me at step 4.

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Reply 1 year ago

    I always found it hard to follow knot tying illustrations when I was in Scouts and the army. To better demonstrate I added a video at step 7 of the entire process of tying the handle and foot loop.

    0
    oldhess
    oldhess

    Reply 1 year ago

    Fantastic! Thank you! Now I get it

    0
    BLASTFEMI
    BLASTFEMI

    1 year ago

    I love it! I want one! I use resistance bands. This would give such a fantastic workout! You have my vote!

    0
    Cdn Sapper
    Cdn Sapper

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks much for the feed back. I wanted to do a very simple project that didn't require any special tools and that was available to anyone!