PT Classroom - Introduction to TRX Rip Trainer in Physical Therapy Practice ׀ by  Bill Lyon, PT, DPT, CSCS


Bill Lyon, PT, DPT, CSCS received his doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in May of 2011. He has more than 7 years of experience in performance training and strength & conditioning. In the near future he also plans to pursue a specialty in orthopedic manual therapy. Bill is a physical therapist with United Hospital System in Kenosha where he works primarily in an outpatient physical therapy setting.


Introduction to TRX Rip Trainer in Physical Therapy Practice


The TRX Rip trainer is a very simple device. Essentially, it is a relatively light, metal rod with a resistance band connected to the end. While it may be simple, as I often tell my patients, there is a very big difference between “simple” and “easy.” With this device, the amount and level of exercises you wish to perform with patients is only limited by the therapist’s creativity.

The critical aspect that makes the Rip Trainer a quality addition to any PT clinic is the application of rotational force, causing the patient to have to stabilize or move in the transverse plane. Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, a long time expert in core stabilization, states, “During most daily activities, the primary role of the abdominal muscles is to provide isometric support and limit the degree rotation of the trunk.” Tried and true exercises, such as the forward lunge, can now become a core (and transverse hip) challenging exercise by having the patient lunge forward with the Rip Trainer pulling them into rotation in many possible directions. This proves especially useful for patients that have restrictions with lumbar rotation range of motion (ie. lumbar fusion, etc.)

At our clinic, we have organized very simplistic exercises into the basic groups of push, pull, hip focused, and dynamic stability exercises (Refer to pictures in handouts). We made the base exercises as simple as possible with the therapist having the opportunity to modify them in limitless ways to get the exercise and stimulus that they want. The simplistic handouts are also how we have handled what could be a headache when it comes to documentation. Each simplified exercise is numbered and we simply list the number on our flow sheets with any modifications made in the comments section.


Rip Trainer: Pulls
Rip Trainer: Push
Rip Trainer: Hip Exercises
Rip Trainer: Dynamic Stability

This was not meant to be a “how to” guide on the use of the Rip Trainer in your physical therapy practice. The beauty of this piece of equipment is the ability to change anything from hand position to foot position, open chain to closed chain, transverse rotation to isometric anti-rotation, etc to allow for any possible combination of exercises. I would encourage anyone interested in more information of the TRX Rip Trainer system to visit or view video below.



Last revised: April 1, 2012
by Bill Lyon, DPT, CSCS

Terms & Conditions

Please review our terms and conditions carefully before utilization of the Site. The information on this Site is for informational purposes only and should in no way replace a conventional visit to an actual live physical therapist or other healthcare professional. It is recommended that you seek professional and medical advise from your physical therapist or physician prior to any form of self treatment.