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Buying a Jungle Gym XT Online

Updated on March 27, 2012

Suspension training is taking the fitness world by storm, and it has even made it into military and professional fitness training organizations as well. So what is all the hype about and how do you get started? Simply put, suspension training is highly effective. First off, suspension trainers are tre’ portable. This means they go anywhere you need them to go and you can get a decent workout just by attaching them to a door. Second, the exercises are made more difficult because, like gymnastics rings, the body needs to stabilize itself with every muscle it can to perform the movements correctly.

Today, there are tons of suspension training products on the market, all claiming to have an advantage over the other. But let’s face it, all you really need are some well made straps, comfortable (and tough) handles and foot stirrups and a place to anchor it. Without a doubt, the leaders in this industry are the TRX Suspension Trainer and the Jungle Gym XT by Lifeline USA. This is not a comparison between the two, but a look at the economical and innovative Jungle Gym XT .

The Jungle Gym has a unique design and color scheme. In black and red it is a stark contrast to the bright yellow of the TRX or blue and grey of another competitor. The price is right as well. Starting at around $99, you get every bit of take-it-anywhere gym quality as any other product on the market. Let’s go into some of the specifics.

The Jungle Gym XT has been praised by users for their comfortable, yet rugged handles and foot cradles. These are trademarked the “Easy-In Foot Cradles” and are supposed to be hands free. Anyone who has struggled to get their feet in the right position for suspension exercises can appreciate the advantage of this. Exercises with one or both feet suspended are hard enough without laboring to get your feet in position!

Using them with or without shoes, Lifeline has made the foot cradles easy on the top of the foot and the Achilles tendon, depending on which way a person is facing; and of course they are easy to get in and out of. The handles have similar attributes. They are ergonomical, have a solid feel and are made of a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE,) so should last a long, long time. There is no foam in the handles, so they are easy to clean and dry quickly.

It should go without saying that the black nylon straps are industrial strength, but to be specific, Lifeline has tested them to 1000 lbs. That should hold you! A few other construction details:

-Cam buckles are made of carbon fiber (Zytel composite) and smooth edged, which one reviewer mentioned was easier on their forearms.

-The attachment is called the “Duro-Link” and is intended to make the strap easy to pull back when it is hanging from playground equipment or something similar (A fence post? An overhead beam?)

-Standard straps are eight feet long. This is plenty for average ceiling and playground equipment, but for high ceilings, beams, etc., buy the extender straps. Not having enough reach seriously limits the amount of resistance and somewhat limits versatility. Extender straps get you up to 16 feet, and run an extra 20-30 dollars depending on the retailer.

-Door anchors are non-scuff and “integrated synch loops.” Translation: It will not scratch the door frame and the attachment can adjust to one of several loops depending on the size of the object it has to wrap around.

Ok, so great stuff, well made, hang your grand piano from it and it won’t rip, you get the idea. Perhaps the best thing Lifeline did with the Jungle Gym is make it a split design. A wha..? Split design , like gymnastics rings. This means that each strap is a separate unit.

This is fantastic for performing gymnastics exercises like swings, muscle-ups and what-have-you. Even better, there is little chance the straps will get in the way during exercises. Contrast this with the TRX, which has two straps extending from a single attachment strap in a long “V.”

Lifeline has a way of letting their products, or rather their users, speak for themselves. The product details are given in, ahem, detail, and the rest of the page is filled with user testimonials. Granted, these could be a long list of affiliates and paid endorsements, but there is plenty of non-sponsored fitness community talk in discussion boards to back it as well. The Daily Apple is one example, and there are tons of others to browse as well, and the feedback is impressive.

The bottom line is this: At a price lower than the average product on the market, including the leader (TRX) and with unique features (the split design, the color, etc.,) it makes sense to give the Jungle Gym XT a try. It allows the user to do everything one would do on gymnastics rings and everything one would do on the TRX, all at a lower or equivalent price. Here is what you get when you buy:

-The Jungle Gym XT, which is:

-Two independent nylon suspension straps, each eight feet long.

-Two handles and “Easy-In Foot Cradles,” as described above.

-Two door anchors, strap adjustors and cam buckles.

-The Duro-Link attachment (for attaching somewhere other than a door.)

-DVD with instructions and large wall poster with all the Jungle Gym XT exercises illustrated by John Hinds.

So give it a try, it might just be the best value for the money. One thing is for sure, you are bound to have fun!.

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