The 8 Best Suspension Trainers for Calisthenics in 2024

Jelle Smeding from CalisthenicsWorldwide.com is doing supined rows on a suspension trainer

The best Suspension Trainer is versatile, durable, strong and won’t let you down even when things get explosive. There’s so much you can do with a Suspension Trainer that we’d have an easier time telling you what you can’t do with one of these ropey contraptions. As the younger cousins to Gymnastic Rings, they are the perfect companion to any Calisthenics practitioner seeking to take advantage of a suspended bodyweight during their exercise. About time then for us to explain the ins and outs of the Suspension Trainer, why you need one as part of your Calisthenics Home Equipment and which are the best Suspension Trainers for Calisthenics and more. As usual, we’ll be on the lookout for quality options befitting any budget. We won’t leave you in further suspense about Suspension Trainers.

What is a Suspension Trainer? 

In its most basic form, a Suspension Trainer consists of a pair of handles fixed to a static object by straps or sometimes also bands. These straps or bands are usually rigid. You hold one or both handles with one or both hands and perform various bodyweight exercises. A great variety of pushing and pulling exercises can be performed using the Suspension Trainer. They are lightweight, easy to store, economical in both price and the volume they take up and are versatile in the number of exercises you can do with them. The only concern is that you have or find a suitable fixture point for the straps.

Although the Suspension Trainer has rigid bands, Resistance Bands can sometimes be used instead as well for various swing and banded exercises, increasing the already substantial variety of exercise-choice even further.

What the best Suspension Trainer Can Do for You

The best Suspension Trainer combines many elements together from bodyweight exercise and resistance training when coupled with a Weighted Vest or transformed into a swing trainer with Resistance Bands. The benefit of having this versatility is coupled with the affordable price that most Suspension Trainers go for. You get to do many exercises typically associated with Pull-Up Bars, Gymnastic Rings, Dip Bars and even Parallettes. However, most of these tools could cost as much or more than a single Suspension Trainer would cost. 

This cost-effective versatility is translated into an effective tool for compound exercises, targeting entire muscle groups all at once. Many exercises you can do strengthen the core. That you’re training from an unstable platform is already beneficial for building core strength in and by itself and for that same reason it also promotes joint strength and stability. To sum up the benefits of a Suspension Trainer:

  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile compound exercise potential
  • Promotes core strength
  • Promotes mobility and stability

How to Get the Best Suspension Trainer?

Like with so many sports-related things, these trainers aren’t invulnerable to business malpractice. They are increasingly popular among Calisthenics practitioners, and this has prompted plenty of offshore businesses to saturate the market with cheap, low-quality Suspension Trainers. These products will not last and offer subpar comfort and security. Although they can be cheaper than good brands, they are often not that much cheaper, and the slightly lower price cannot justify sacrificing security and a satisfactory exercise experience. In our list of best Suspension Trainers, we’ve added options for all budgets. Here’s what we look for in the best Suspension Trainers:

  • Quality handles which are comfortable: the handles need to be comfortable to hold, even when you put all your weight on them. This requires strong materials to be combined with either an ergonomically designed shape which is comfortable to hold, or different materials to be combined for added comfort like foam, or both.
  • Rugged straps of a strong fabric: most of our safety concerns will lie with the straps. The straps need to be light but still very strong, which necessitates materials like nylon. Nylon would allow the straps to be manipulated freely for all exercises, while remaining strong enough to allow a very high weight capacity.
  • Durable, steel buckles: the buckles connect the straps to the anchor or mount and in some designs also connect the straps to the handles. Only steel buckles, powder-coated and which won’t damage the straps from friction will suffice for the best Suspension Trainers.
  • Durable, steel anchor(s): the anchor point(s), usually one, should be at least as durable as the buckles. To avoid one wearing out the other, they ought to be of the same material and coating. Cheaper Suspension Trainers often come with buckles of a softer metal than the anchor(s), leading to quicker wear.
  • Quality accessories: the versatility of even the best Suspension Trainer can be augmented with the inclusion of accessories like ankle straps, door anchors and a storage bag. Of course, here is where the inclusion of Resistance Bands could also come in. Cheap knockoffs will often include many of these options, but of inferior quality. In this case, look at the price and what you’re getting. If it’s too good to be true, you’re most likely wasting your money.
  • The price: or rather, what you get for your money. Quality will always trump niceties like extra stuff and there will be huge differences in price among the best Suspensions Trainers too.

Best 8 Suspension Trainers for Calisthenics

Taking the above into account, we liked the following 8 Suspension Trainers best for Calisthenics. The list isn’t a perfect best to least good, as we’ve tried to include options for any budget, but it is close. With the right Calisthenics equipment brands, a lot is possible whether you’re willing to spend an extra buck or are on a tighter budget. 

RankNameBest Suspension Trainer For / Because
#1 Kensui Nanobars V2Overall Best Suspension Trainer for comfort, price and versatility.
#2 FREESIXD by Pullup & DipMost Complete and Best Suspension Trainer Kit for versatility and sheer number of options.
#3 TRX GOBest Travel Suspension Trainer due to being very light and compact.
#4 TRX PRO3Great value for money and range of accessories compared to more expensive options
#5 Lifeline Jungle Gym XTPeople with very large hands and / or very broad shoulders.
#6 POSTURELY Trainer KitBest low budget option but still very good
#7 Moulyan Training KitThe highest rated maximum weight capacity with 800lbs / 362kg.
#8 Bodytorc Suspension TrainerLower budget alternative for the TRX PRO3

#1 Kensui Nanobars V2 ─ Overall Best Suspension Trainer

Affordable, strong and versatile, the Kensui Nanobars V2 tops our list for these exact reasons. The Nanobars V2, a complete Suspension Trainer setup with innovative design features, has impressed us as much as the Kensui EZ Vest. A common thread among the Kensui products is the use of novel, lightweight materials and designs which keep weight down to a minimum while not sacrificing durability or strength. It is so light and small that you can carry the whole package in your pocket. However, everything you need for a successful exercise is contained within, except for a mounting point.

The nylon straps are very durable and strong. The whole system is rated for up to 600lbs (272kg), giving you ample room to add weight, like the aforementioned Kensui EZ Vest or some other Weighted Vest of your choosing. The straps come with markings, allowing for easy equalizing between the two. Setting up the straps is made easy with the use of cam buckles. Simply feed the end of the strap without the buckle through the handle and then through the cam buckle to the desired length. The added markings and the use of cam buckles is a good quality-of-life addition, but the true innovation lies in the handles themselves.

Although unassuming, there is a design-feature to the handles which makes the Kensui Nanobars V2 even more versatile. The inside opening through the handles has two sides; one round as expected and one flattened side. You use the rounded side for any exercise where some twisting or adjusting of your grip is likely, like curls and extensions. This also makes the later addition of Resistance Bands a good upgrade to make, for instance with sling exercises. The flat side keeps the handles stable and is meant for exercises like Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Ring Muscle-Ups, Dips and anything else where a more stable and rigid grip is required. 

The grips are made of a type of rubber and are knurled for added comfort and grip. They are easy to wash and are resistant to sweat by themselves. We found no durability problems with the handles even after extensive use and doing Weighted Calisthenics

As affordable as they are, you do need a separate mounting point. This can either be something like a ceiling anchor, a Pull-Up Bar or by getting the Kensui door anchors which are sold separately. The Kensui Nanobars V1 is sometimes still available, these are however “foldable” Push-Up Bars, not a Suspension Trainer. You can make the Kensui Nanobars even more affordable by using the code CWW10 at checkout for a 10% discount!

#2 FREESIXD by Pullup & Dip ─ Best Most Complete Suspension Trainer

Pullup & Dip FREESIXD Suspension Trainer

10% off with our code: CWW10

Get it here:

pullup-dip.com

The FREESIXD Suspension Trainer package is very complete yet still lightweight and compact. The high quality that we’re used to of Pullup & Dip again shines through with their Suspension Trainer, just like their excellent Mobile Pull-Up and Dip Bar did with which their Kickstarter campaign launched this German company into the stratospheres of Calisthenics.

With thick nylon bands which are numbered and steel buckles, this setup easily allows for Weighted Calisthenics and a variety of different Calisthenics exercises. Not only is the FREESIXD an excellent Suspension Trainer, but it is also a great sling trainer when using Resistance Bands. The completeness of this package is exemplified by the over 100 different exercises you can do with the FREESIXD. 

At the core of the system is the Super Belt Buckle, the straps and buckle system from which you can attach the other implements. Both the straps and the buckles are heavy duty and act in conjunction with the heavy-duty adapter plates to create a secure and easy to work with platform. You can also use the door anchors instead of the adapter plates. The belts have length measures marked on them for easy equalizing. 

The suite of options doesn’t end with just the comfortable handles. The FREESIXD also comes equipped with “Tri-Rings”, an innovative take on Gymnastic Rings with three different grip options for different exercises and levels of stability. For your banded exercise you get the excellent Pullup & Dip Resistance Bands, a set (2x) of 15kg (33lbs) and a set of 30kg (66lbs) bands included. Combined this means anywhere between 33lbs and 132lbs resistance straight out of the bag. Comfortable and durable ankle straps are also provided for leg swings and kicks and decline bodyweight exercises like decline Push-Ups.

Overall, an excellent Suspension Trainer and Sling Trainer, with the addition of some of the best Resistance Bands on the market. If you’re looking for completeness, then the FREESIXD by Pullup & Dip is truly amazing and probably the best Suspension Trainer as well. You do pay a premium price for all this quality and versatility, but which can be alleviated somewhat by using our discount code CWW10 at checkout.

#3 TRX GO Suspension Trainer System ─ Great for Travel

  • Weight Capacity: 700lbs / 317kg
  • Included: Handles with foot cradles, Straps, Buckles, Door Anchor, Bag

The highly rated TRX GO Suspension Trainer is another great value for money option to consider. The TRX GO is a simple package consisting of heavy-duty nylon straps, comfortable handles and everything you need to get started with your exercise. This package includes a suspension anchor and door anchors. This extremely light-weight setup is nonetheless very durable and rated for up to 700lbs (317kg), so all types of exercise are possible by anyone and including Weighted Calisthenics. 

The foam-covered handles are very comfortable and stand up to wear and tear very well. The U.S.  military has been using the TRX Suspension trainer for well over a decade now which is a testament to its durability and longevity. We can’t stress how lightweight this package is, coming in at only 1½ pounds or 700 grams. Like the Kensui Nanobars V2, these TRX GOs are ideal for taking with you on vacation or when you are otherwise weight and room restricted.

We liked the Kensui more because of its more innovative features and design. The TRX GO is more barebones and straight to the point.

#4 TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer System ─ Good Value for Money

  • Weight Capacity: 700lbs / 317kg
  • Included: Handles with padded foot cradles, Straps, Buckles, Door Anchor, Bag

The TRX PRO3 is a more dressed up version of the TRX GO. The system is the same with two sturdy nylon straps suspended from a hook anchor or a door anchor. This gives you that formidable 700lbs or 317kg maximum weight capacity suitable for any practitioner, any exercise and including explosive, Weighted Calisthenics. The most noticeable difference is in the handles. These are no longer simply foam covered but are of checkered rubber. These handles are very durable and somewhat resemble the FREESIXD handles in feel and durability. We cannot say whether the TRX PRO3 will “outlive you” as is claimed by the manufacturer. They do hold up very well under pressure without any sign of wear.

The extra-padded ankle bands do a satisfactory job at keeping your ankles comfortable and chafe-free during exercises like planks, lunches and decline Push-Ups. Included also in this package are 3 suspension anchors so you can prepare 3 different mounting points ahead of time and switch between them as your exercise demands.

This TRX PRO3 Suspension Trainer is a great fit for anyone wanting a bit more diversity than just the barebones but who is looking for a more cost-saving alternative to the FREESIXD package.

#5 Lifeline Jungle Gym XT ─ Best Suspension Trainer for Large Hands

  • Weight Capacity: Unspecified, at least 250lbs / 113kg
  • Included: Handles, Straps, Buckles

What we liked most about the Lifeline Jungle Gym XT were the large, beefy handles. If you have big hands, narrower grips can really dig into your muscles. These girthy grips though are great if you have shovels for hands and will help you capitalize on that genetic edge. The grips are also non-slip and do a great job of keeping a grip on things even when you’re very sweaty. 

The split anchor allows you to quickly change between a narrower and a wider grip, which again is great if you need to adjust the width to accommodate a broader frame. The durable straps and anchor also allow for a high maximum weight capacity. Although no rated maximum weight is given, the durability of the straps is at least on par with the TRX GO and TRX PRO3.

We recommend this Suspension Trainer specifically to large individuals to whom a regular-sized Suspension Trainer feels uncomfortable either to the hands or where the straps chafe the shoulders while in use.

#6 POSTURELY Bodyweight Trainer Kit ─ Best Budget Suspension Trainer

  • Weight Capacity: Unspecified, at least 250lbs / 113kg
  • Included: Handles, Straps, Buckles, Door Anchor, Bag

Not necessarily the best at anything, the POSTERLY Bodyweight Trainer Kit is nevertheless good enough to do all your exercises with. You get strong nylon straps and a sturdy enough carabiner hook to anchor the POSTERLY from. This can also be done with the provided door anchor. The grips are all right, with a bit of firmness to them which we quite liked. If you have bigger hands, the straps do tend to press into the sides of your hands. 

Adjusting the length of the straps is somewhat slower than with most other Suspensions Trainers on our list. However, the clasp is also very durable and won’t fail you, even if you practice Weighted Calisthenics. Where it excels is in its price. For a very modest investment you get a decent Suspension Trainer which won’t fail you during your exercise. It won’t be the most long-lived of all the options you can buy, but it won’t bankrupt you either. Expect at least a couple of years of good use, which for many makes this the best Suspension Trainer for their budget.

#7 Moulyan Bodyweight Resistance Training Kit

  • Weight Capacity: 800lbs / 362kg
  • Included: Handles with foot cradles, Straps, Buckles, Extension Strap, Resistance Band, Bag

The Moulyan Suspension Trainer has the highest rated maximum weight on our list, coming in at 800lbs or 362kg. Due to its extra durable construction, this Suspension Trainer can be used outdoors quite comfortably. The non-slip grips are also resistant to the influences of the weather outside and can take a beating of their own. Adjusting is done via ordinary but heavy-duty buckles. Exercising with the Moulyan goes well enough. However, when you make use of its high weight capacity (think explosive, Weighted Calisthenics and possibly inverted), the harder grips can get uncomfortable. Our advice then is to wear Calisthenics Gloves during your exercises.

The single Resistance Band trainer is non-adjustable and is good for basic exercises. Your body will soon get used to this level of resistance, however, and it is more of a nicety than really a valuable addon from then on. We recommend this Suspension Trainer if you’re looking for a similar package to the TRX PRO3, with a very high weight capacity and for outdoor use, possibly suspended from an Outdoor Pull-Up Bar.

#8 Bodytorc Suspension Trainer

  • Weight Capacity: 700lbs / 317kg
  • Included: Handles, Straps, Buckles, Door Anchor, Ankle Straps, Bag

Basically, competing with GRX PRO3, the Bodytorc Suspension Trainer does everything a little less but also a little cheaper. You might think that this would cancel each other out and they’d be on an equal footing, but we know that the more durable product (the TRX PRO3) will eventually outlast the Bodytorc. Nevertheless, for a very agreeable price you do get quite the complete package. The nylon straps are rated for 450lbs (204kg), which is somewhat on the low end but still enough for any Calisthenics practitioner to have their way with it.

The separate handles do a good job keeping things comfortable and straight. The handles themselves are of a sturdy rubber with a semi-rough checkering which reminds us of tire profiles. They are very comfortable to hold and do a good job keeping their traction even when sweaty. You also get two functional ankle straps and a door anchor. 

How To: Hanging a Suspension Trainer

There are 4 recommended methods of hanging a Suspension Trainer. We advise using the loops, buckles and anchors supplied and not tying any knots of your own. Knots can be unreliable since the nylon straps tend to be very smooth. Tightening the nylon down too much can also damage the weave or make the sides of the straps cut into each other. Here are 4 good ways to suspend your Suspension Trainer.

#1 From a Pull-Up Bar at Home or in the Gym

The easiest method of suspending your Suspension Trainer is from a Pull-Up Bar. Your best options would be the sturdier types, like a Free-Standing Pull-Up Bar or perhaps even better, a Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bar. The length of the straps can often be adjusted sufficiently to allow for even low to the floor exercises when mounted this way. This method of mounting is also the easiest, simply undo the straps completely and redo them with the top bar of your Pull-Up Bar through the loop. 

When not in use, you can undo the Suspension Trainer completely. However, we find that simply moving it to one side of the bar and out of the way allows us to use the Pull-Up Bar itself unobstructed.

#2 From a Door Anchor (Often Supplied)

A very popular way of using a Suspension Trainer is with a door anchor. Most trainers come with a door anchor supplied. You open the door and place the cushioned anchor on the other side with the strap hanging over the top of the door on your side. Close the door and you now have a strong anchor point onto which you can hook the straps (often with a carabiner hook).

A second method to use the Door Anchor, which is a little known lifehack, is to place the Door Anchor not on the top but on the sides or even under the door. The side or underside of the door would be handy for things like Chest Flies or if your Suspension Trainer comes with some Resistance Bands as well, swing exercises. 

#3 From a Wall Mounted Ring or Bracket

Using a permanent fixture can be safer than a door anchor or Pull-Up Bar. A high-gauge ring screw or bolt could do the job if inserted into a solid joist or into a concrete wall or ceiling. We prefer using this  Moulyan Wall Bracket which is specifically meant for hanging things like battle ropes, Gymnastic Rings and the Suspension Trainer. It allows for a greater range of motion when the hook your carabiners onto them than a normal ring screw would.

#4 From a Tree Limb or Similar Protrusion

Last, but not least, a sturdy tree limb could do the job just fine when you’re exercising outdoors. Life tree limbs and branches thicker than your legs can take a huge amount of weight. Apply the Suspension Trainer like you would with a Pull-Up Bar, by looping the whole strap over the limb, branch or similar protrusion.

Exercising Using the Suspension Trainer 

The Suspension Trainer is so versatile, we’d be done quicker telling you which exercises you can’t do with one of these contraptions at your disposal. The answer would be weightlifting, swimming and jogging. The range of Calisthenics exercise possible with the Suspension Trainer runs into the hundreds if you add all the variations of the basic exercises. These would include:

  • Ring Pull-Ups
  • Australian Pull-Ups
  • Ring Muscle-Ups
  • Push-Ups
  • Incline Push-Ups
  • Decline Push-Ups
  • Dips
  • Squats
  • One Leg Squats
  • Pistol Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Chest Flys
  • Kickbacks
  • Crunches
  • Rows
  • Bicep Curls
  • Swing exercises
  • And many, many, many more variations!

Suspension Trainer Alternatives 

In our minds, we see the Suspension Trainer as the logical further development of the Gymnastic Rings. They are very similar, and both offer than unstable platform and a huge diversity in exercises. The trainer is more convenient, with its modern fittings, adjustable straps, anchors, specially designed handles, and so on. We’ve even seen Gymnastic Rings (just the rings) attached to Suspension Trainer straps! 

Another difference would be the inclusion of Resistance Bands and specialized straps for your ankles. These open a whole new world of exercise which the Gymnastic Rings simply do not have.

Conclusions About the Best Suspension Trainers

A Suspension Trainer is a very versatile tool you can implement for all your Calisthenics exercise. The sheer breadth of training exercises is so staggering that it even begs the question if this is the only piece of Calisthenics equipment you need. True, Calisthenics needs no equipment at all, except for maybe the Pull-Up Bar. That said, we are not opposed to implements which enhance or diversify how you use your bodyweight to train. The Suspension Trainer is just that kind of tool. You still use your own bodyweight, but it gives you more leverage over (sometimes literally!) your bodyweight. If you’re looking for tools like that and don’t want to invest big time into all the separate attributes, a single Suspension Trainer can get you by for a long time to come.

The best Suspension Trainer overall is the Kensui Nanobars V2. These are of the highest quality and best comfort of all trainers on our list. They are also packed with innovative design ideas which keep the whole package light yet supremely versatile and reliable. The best complete Suspension Trainer kit is easily the FREESIXD from Pullup & Dip, if you’re willing to splurge and get the most out of your Suspension Trainer exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions About the best Suspension Trainers

Here are a couple of additional questions.

Are Suspension Trainers good?

Suspension Trainers are versatile tools which enhance your bodyweight training by offering more angles and variations on bodyweight exercises. A single Suspension Trainer can replace the need for a Pull-Up Bar, Push-Up Barand Dip Bars.

Which Suspension Trainer is the best?

The single best Suspension Trainer is the Kensui Nanobars V2 for their excellent durability, best comfort in use, versatility and innovative design features. The best complete package but also much pricier is the FREESIXD by Pullup & Dip, offering many more options like Resistance Bands and ankle straps.

Can Suspension Trainers build muscle?

Suspension Trainers allow for more versatility and a more effective use of your bodyweight during exercise. When added to bodyweight exercise, like Calisthenics, they can help you build muscle quicker and more effectively.

Are Suspension Trainers worth it?

Compared to all the equipment a Suspension Trainer can replace, like a Pull-Up Bar, Parallettes, Dip Bar, and Push-Up Bars, they give you a lot of value for money.

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