Single-Anchor vs. Dual-Anchor Suspension Systems

The two main types of suspension systems available today are single-anchor and dual-anchor. Examples of single-anchor suspension systems are the TRX Suspension Trainer, and the WOSS Trainer. Examples of dual-anchor suspension systems are the Jungle Gym XT, and the Human Trainer.

The key difference between these two types of suspension systems is that single-anchor suspension systems are an integrated unit, whereas dual-anchor systems are split into two separate parts. In other words, single-anchor systems are a single strap connected to one anchor point, while dual-anchor systems are two individual straps attached to separate anchor points.

The majority of people will be best off choosing a single-anchor suspension system because single-anchor systems have the most benefits and the least drawbacks. Dual-anchor systems have the least benefits and the most drawbacks, but if one of the dual-anchor benefits happens to be a feature that you consider particularly important for your suspension strap training, then perhaps you should choose dual-anchor over single-anchor.

The benefits of single-anchor suspension systems are quick and easy set up, simple adjustment, maximum versatility for anchoring options, ultra portability, and increased core involvement. The drawbacks of single-anchor suspension systems are that you cannot use a single-anchor system for dips or pull-ups, and there is a decreased and slightly awkward range of motion for exercises such as chest press, chest fly, and triceps extensions.

The benefits of dual-anchor suspension systems are that you can use a dual-anchor system for dips and pull-ups, and there is an increased and more comfortable range of motion for exercises such as chest press, chest fly, and triceps extensions. The drawbacks of dual-anchor suspension systems are complicated set up, difficult adjustment, minimum versatility for anchoring options, limited portability, and decreased core involvement.

So if you’re trying to decide between a single-anchor or dual-anchor suspension system, figure out which of those features and are most important to you, and whether or not any of the drawbacks are deal-breakers for you.

If your priority is a system that’s easier to set up and adjust, that’s the most versatile and portable, and more challenging for your core — and you’re not bothered by the lack of dips and pull-ups, or the decreased range on three particular exercises — buy a single-anchor suspension system.

On the other hand, if your priority is a system that allows dips and pull-ups, and a better range on chest presses, chest flys, and triceps extensions — and you’re not bothered by more difficult set up and adjustment, less versatility and portability, and decreased core involvement — buy a dual-anchor suspension system.