Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TRX vs. ActivCore

First let's discuss how these two very similar systems describe themselves.

TRX is described as:
" Suspension training"
 "a revolutionary method of leveraged body weight system"
"Safely perform hundreds of exercises that build power, strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and prevent injuries, all at the intensity you choose." 

ActivCore is described as:
"Functional exercise"
"facilitates strength development, balance enhancement and improved coordination all of which improve movements of daily living, injury prevention and performance enhancement."
"Comprehensive knowledge of physical medicine and exercise science underlies the Redcord solution, which utilizes these five principles: controlled instability, functional exercise,  pain free positioning of movements, precise control of exercise intensity, and freedom of movement in all planes."

I took a group class on both the TRX and ActivCore at local studios. Here is what I found. TRX class was very upbeat, energetic, and cardio infused. It included lots of lunges and exercises similar to what gym equipment provides with the added instability of the straps using your own body weight. It allows for movements in all planes and has both handles and straps as one with the unit. Each side of the strap is adjustable with a riser in the center to check for balanced movement. Both straps are attached at one center point that is then anchored. ActivCore was much more of a mind/body class. Functional movement in sets of 4x4 or 6x4 with rests built in to help trigger neurological/muscle activation connection. These movements were more Pilates and Physical Therapy like. Each strap is attached to a separate anchor, which allows for more instability in an asymmetrical way. The straps, handles and slings can be removed and added for different exercises.  Think the difference of doing Hundreds on the Reformer, where the springs are attached to the carriage underneath versus doing Hundreds on the Cadillac with arms in the springs, where each arm is responsible for the movement/stability of each spring. Imbalances are easier to see and work on at the Cadillac, where on the Reformer a stronger side can dominate and cheat for a weaker side.

I thoroughly enjoyed both classes and feel that I was able to make some new connections of movement. Personally, I feel the ActivCore is a better fit for myself and my clients given my focus on Pilates, rehabilitation, and mind/body styles of exercise. TRX I felt is more geared towards a gym clientele mentality as was developed by Navy Seals. Regardless of whether you chose to try ActivCore, TRX, or both I am confident that you will get a great workout. I know I sure did.

If you have used either TRX, ActivCore or both would love your thoughts on the two sytems. Please post your comments below.


  1. I absolutely LOVE your blog. I think you view fitness in the same way I do, as in, it's important to try different things. This allows an instructor to educate themselves and but also prove to their students they can walk the walk and talk the talk. When people ask me why I try certain classes my answer is "I can't be talking the talk if I'm not walking the walk". I've also noticed that my clients love seeing me in their classes, they find it encouraging but also they feel more comfortable coming to me for advice. I think its amazing that you are going to different studios and trying all different types of activites. Keep it up.
    I have a blog too - check it out :)

  2. I LOVE ACTIVCORE!! I have been teaching it for a year now and my Pilates clients LOVE IT!!!! I have some clients that have tried the TRX ( I have not )
    and they say ActivCore is way better workout!!