- A TRX Bodyweight Workout for Beginners
- 44 Amazingly Effective TRX Exercises
- 1. TRX push-up
- 2. TRX chest press
- 3. TRX inverted row
- 4. Kneeling triceps press
- 5. Low row
- 6. Single-arm row
- 7. Three-way row
- 8. Alligator
- 9. Triceps extension
- 10. Atomic push-up
- 11. Chest fly
- 12. Biceps curl
- 13. Push-up with pike
- 14. Y fly
- 15. Clock press
- 16. Power pull
- 17. Standing fallout
- 18. T deltoid fly
- 19. Side-straddle golf swings
- How to Progress with TRX (Plus Beginner & Intermediate Full-Body Workout!)
- What is TRX Suspension Training?
- How is Suspension Training Different?
- Benefits of the TRX
- Easily Progress with the TRX
- Basic Full-Body TRX Workout
- Intermediate TRX Workout
- A Full-Body TRX Workout to Hit Every Major Muscle Group
- WARM UP
- FULL-BODY WORKOUT
- The Ultimate TRX Workouts
- Complete TRX 3-Day Full-Body Workout
- The 4 Week Suspension Trainer Workout Routine For Serious Muscle
- TRX Suspension Trainer – A New Way to Add Muscle
- Who is the TRX Suspension Trainer For?
- The TRX Suspension Trainer Workout Program
- 10 Suspension Trainer Exercises for a Full Body Workout
- The TRX workout for toned arms
A TRX Bodyweight Workout for Beginners
Use these versatile straps to get a full-body workout wherever you are—no matter your fitness level.
I am so excited to share my favorite piece of fitness equipment with you! The TRX® Suspension TrainerTM was created by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy SEAL. Hetrick created an early version of the TRX (Total-Body Resistance Exercise) using a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing while deployed so he and his fellow SEALs could train and condition.
I was fortunate to meet Hetrick back in 2005 at a fitness conference and have been using the TRX ever since. As a trainer, I love the versatility of the suspension trainer. Using just your bodyweight, you are able to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability all at the same time. No matter your fitness level, using the TRX Suspension Trainer will help you move better, train better and perform better in your everyday life.
Why do I love using the TRX? Here are my top three reasons.
- It’s scalable for all fitness levels. It’s so easy to change the intensity of an exercise right there on the spot, and anyone can use it.
- It’s a full-body workout. The TRX system offers a full-body workout, improves overall flexibility and works your core big time. It can get a lot done in a short 30-minute workout.
- I never miss a workout. I can train anywhere and it’s easy to travel with. I take it to the park, use it in my hotel room—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken it to Hawaii with me!
I also want to bust two big myths about the TRX system that I hear over and over again as a trainer.
Myth 1: You need to get in shape before you use the TRX system because it’s too hard.
This is not true. There are three simple and quick ways to adjust exercise intensity to accommodate any fitness level.
- Vector: Change your body angle.
- Stability: Adjust your base of support.
- Pendulum: Change where you start relative to the anchor point.
Myth 2: It’s only for athletes.
Also not true. My senior clients love it. They see an improvement in balance, strength, flexibility and overall movement confidence. In addition to my senior clients, physical therapists use it for injury rehab and everyday injury prehab.
Are you new to TRX Suspension Training?
No worries, here are a few quick and simple tips I use with my new clients.
- Go at your own pace. A few good reps in each exercise are better than fast and sloppy movement loaded with momentum.
- As you find the appropriate level of difficulty, take your time—focus on form and body alignment. You will slowly start to see an increase your strength, balance, core stability and overall flexibility.
- As you get stronger, gradually add intensity without compromising form and technique.
- Have fun!
Beginner Bodyweight Exercises
Ready to try working out with TRX system?
Fast, fun and effective, TRX bodyweight training builds muscle, burns fat, increases flexibility and improves endurance. To get you going, we developed seven simple TRX moves that anyone at any level can use to get started: plank, push, pull, hinge, lunge, squat and rotate. Understanding these seven movements, you can perform more hundreds of exercises that work every body part, and start achieving your personal fitness goals. Using your body as your machine, TRX Suspension Training will help you unleash your full fitness potential.
So let’s get started!
Plank (TRX plank)
With the tops of your feet resting in the TRX system handles, and the straps adjusted to mid-calf height, plank up into a push-up position, keeping your hands directly under your shoulders. Brace your core and make sure your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are aligned. Lower your knees back down to the ground to release.
Push (TRX chest press)
Adjust the straps to fully lengthened. Bring your body into a push-up position, with your hands suspended above the ground holding the TRX Suspension Trainer handles below your chest and your arms extended. Brace your core and lean your weight into the handles as you release your elbows out like a push-up, making sure your hips, shoulders, knees and ankles are aligned. Push back up to start, maintain your plank.
Pull (TRX low row)
With the straps at fully shortened, lean back holding the TRX Suspension Trainer handles out in front of you so your body is at an angle (you should feel a small pull between your shoulder blades) but aligned in one long line from your head to your feet. Bend your arms to 90 degrees as you bring the handles by your ribs and maintain your plank. Brace your core, forming a strong plank with your shoulders pulled down and back, and slowly lower your body by extending arms.
Hinge (TRX hinge)
With the TRX Suspension Trainer straps at mid-length, holding onto the handles in front of you with a 45-degree bend at the waist. Press into the handles and hinge forward extending the body to a standing position. Bend at the hip to return to your starting position.
Lunge (TRX lunge)
Straps adjusted to mid-calf length, one foot through both foot cradles on the TRX Suspension Trainer and standing facing away from the anchor point, ground yourself through your working leg. Push your hips down and back, and lunge down until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees. Keep your core braced and your chest up the entire time. Drive through your front foot using your glute and hamstring to bring you back up. Repeat on opposite leg.
Squat (TRX squat)
Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. Holding the straps, stack your elbows under your shoulders. Lower your hips down and back, putting your weight in your heels, until your legs reach 90 degrees. Drive through your heels as you stand, squeezing your glutes and keeping your chest lifted.
Rotate (TRX power pull)
Adjust the straps to mid-length. Holding onto both handles of the TRX Suspension Trainer with one hand, position that hand beside your chest, while your free hand reaches up the main strap toward the anchor point (drop your shoulders down away from your ears). In a circular motion, rotate your free arm toward the ground while extending your arm holding the straps, and keep your hips square. Drive your elbow (on the arm holding the strap) straight back to bring your hand beside your chest while rotating your free arm up toward the anchor point.
For first-time TRXers: Set your timer and do as many reps of each move as possible in 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest in between each of the seven moves. When you are confident in the moves, increase the time per move to challenge yourself. When you’ve mastered the moves, go to trxtraining.com to download a workout and our free TRX workout app. Or, stick with our seven foundational TRX moves and mix it up to build your own custom workout!
TRX suspension straps can be used at home, in the gym and outdoors at beach, park or field. Every TRX purchase comes with 15- and 30-minute workouts.
What are you waiting for? Join the TRX movement today!
This post originally appeared on trxtraining.com.
Photo credit: Courtesy of TRX Training
44 Amazingly Effective TRX Exercises
1. TRX push-up
Targets: Shoulders, chest, arms
How-to: Here’s how you pump up the plain ol’ push-up. Hook your toes through the TRX stirrups so the tops of your feet face the floor. Lift your body up so your weight rests on the palms of your hands.
Keeping core tight, bend elbows to lower chest between hands. You’ll feel your chest and shoulders working as you press back up to the starting position.
2. TRX chest press
Targets: Arms, chest
How-to: Forget lying down to perform the typical chest press. Stand facing away from the anchor, with feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles with an overhand grip and extend arms in front of you at shoulder height. Lean forward so your body is at a slight angle.
Bend elbows and lower chest between hands. You’ll engage your chest and arms as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
3. TRX inverted row
Targets: Biceps, lats
How-to: Row, row, row your way to a fitter physique. Lie directly underneath the TRX. Bend knees and plant feet on the floor. Reach up to grasp the handles, palms facing each other, arms fully extended, as you lift your body a few inches off the floor.
Keeping elbows close to your sides, bend elbows to pull torso up toward the handles until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower to return to the starting position.
You’ll put your biceps and back to work as you raise and lower your torso, slowly and with control. You can also perform this exercise with straight legs, heels grounded to the floor, and your body at a diagonal.
4. Kneeling triceps press
How-to: Target those tris with this no-frills move. Kneel facing the anchor and grab the handles with an underhand grip. Stretch arms straight out in front of you and hold them shoulder-width apart.
Bend elbows to lower your upper body toward the floor until your hands are in line with your ears — this is when you’ll start to feel those triceps burn. Return to the starting position.
5. Low row
Targets: Back, abs, shoulders, biceps
How-to: This move is the key to a strong back. Grab the handles with palms facing each other. Lean all the way back until weight is on your heels, arms are extended in front of you, and body forms a diagonal.
Squeeze shoulder blades together and keep core tight as you bend elbows and pull torso up to meet hands. Lower to return to the starting position.
6. Single-arm row
Targets: Back, abs, shoulders, biceps
How-to: If you’re a pro at the regular low row (see No. 5), challenge yourself by row with one arm at a time without losing your form — and get ready to feel the burn.
7. Three-way row
Targets: Back, abs, shoulders, biceps
How-to: If anyone knows a thing or two about sculpting rock-solid shoulders, it’s superstar swimmer Natalie Coughlin. And as it turns out, she’s a fan of TRX — she even shared some of her go-to moves, including this three-in-one exercise.
This move includes three different grips to keep your mind and body guessing. Your plan of action: Row with your palms up for a few reps (Natalie suggests 3 reps per grip), switch to rowing with palms facing each other for a few reps, and then turn palms down for a few reps.
Targets: Shoulders, back, obliques
How-to: Another of Coughlin’s favorite TRX moves, this shoulder strengthener is also known as a reverse fly (though “alligator” is way more catchy, if you ask us).
Stand facing the anchor and grab the handles with an overhand grip. Lean back until your body forms a diagonal line and the TRX straps are taut. Pull your body up as you pull back and up with right arm and back and down with left arm.
Rotate torso to the right as you do so — you’ll put your shoulders and back to work as your obliques help stabilize your movements. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
9. Triceps extension
How-to: Work those tris with this simple but challenging move! Set yourself up like you did for the push-up — facing away from the anchor point, feet shoulder-width apart.
Grab the handles with an overhand grip. Shift weight to the balls of your feet as you extend arms out in front of you at eye level. Bend elbows until hands are behind your head, elbows framing either side of your face.
Return to the starting position. The movement is small but super effective, and you’ll fire up your triceps with every rep.
10. Atomic push-up
Targets: Chest, shoulders, arms, abs
How-to: You might look a bit like a frog in motion, but you’ll definitely feel the burn in your upper body and core as you bring your knees to meet your elbows.
Slip your feet into the stirrups so that tops of feet face the floor. Lower your body into a push-up. As you press back up into plank position, bring knees in toward elbows, allowing legs to draw apart. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
11. Chest fly
Targets: Chest, arms
How-to: If there’s any exercise that will make you feel like you have wings, this is it.
Stand facing away from the anchor with feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles with an overhand grip and extend arms in front of you at shoulder height. Lean forward so your body is at a diagonal.
With control, spread arms out to a T (but keep elbows bent) as you lower your chest closer to the floor. This is where you’ll seriously activate those chest muscles. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
12. Biceps curl
Targets: Abs, arms
How-to: Stand facing the TRX anchor point and grab one handle in each hand, palms facing up. Lean all the way back until your arms are extended and the strap is taut.
To activate your biceps, bend elbows (without letting them drop) until hands frame your temples, slowly pulling body up as you do so. Return to the starting position — and then ask for two tickets to the gun show, please.
13. Push-up with pike
Targets: Chest, shoulders, arms, abs
How-to: The push-up and the pike. Each is stellar on its own, these two movements are always better when they’re together (we paraphrase Jack Johnson, of course).
Get into your suspended plank position, perform a push-up, and then lift hips into a pike. Your body should look a bit like an upside-down V.
Your abs will work overtime to bring you up and out of this motion. Be sure to keep legs straight and feet together throughout the movement.
14. Y fly
Targets: Abs, biceps, back
How-to: The real question is: Why not fly? Stand facing the anchor with feet hip-width apart. Grasp the TRX handles and extend arms overhead into a Y, palms facing forward.
Lean back on heels until your body forms a diagonal line. Pull your arms down in front of you until your palms nearly touch. Leading with hips, pull your body back up to standing, spreading arms back into a Y as you do.
You’ll feel your back muscles working as you move from the “down” position to the Y position, and your abs will help you maintain stability throughout the movement.
15. Clock press
Targets: Abs, shoulders, back, biceps
How-to: Tick, tock, tick, tock: The countdown is on for a super fit upper body, and this move gets you one step closer.
Grab the handles with an overhand grip and lean forward until your body forms a diagonal line, weight on toes. Brace core and bend elbows, keeping them close to your body — you’ll remain in this “down” position throughout the exercise.
Keeping left arm bent, extend right arm to the side until right elbow and wrist are almost in line with shoulder. This is when your shoulders, back, and biceps will start to burn. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat with left arm. Continue alternating.
16. Power pull
Targets: Upper back, abs, shoulders, obliques
How-to: Power pulls make for powerful bodies, especially since this move includes a rotation to fire up your abs and obliques in addition to your upper body.
Stand facing the anchor with a wide stance. Hold one TRX handle in your left hand at chest height, left elbow high and pointing behind body. Extend right arm so it’s in line with the TRX.
As you lean back, extend left arm and rotate torso to the right to reach right arm out and slightly behind you. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
17. Standing fallout
Targets: Chest, abs, shoulders
How-to: Ready to set those abs on fire?Get in the starting position for a TRX chest press (see No. 2). As you fall forward, reach arms up until they’re in line with the rest of your body. This is where your abs and shoulders really come in handy. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
18. T deltoid fly
Targets: Back, shoulders
How-to: This move suits our fitness needs to a T, with a flying motion that strengthens the upper back and sculpts the shoulders to perfection.
Facing the anchor, stagger your stance (right foot should be a few inches in front of left) and grasp one handle with each hand. Lean back so that weight is on your left foot and the TRX straps are taut, arms extended in front of chest.
Pull against the TRX, shifting weight to your right foot as you open your arms into a T position. Return to the starting position.
19. Side-straddle golf swings
Targets: Back, chest, shoulders
How-to: While you won’t exactly feel like you’re golfing when performing this move, it involves a swinging movement that challenges your upper body in a new way.
Facing the anchor point, assume a wide stance and grab one TRX handle in each hand with an overhand grip. Keeping weight on your heels, bend forward at hips and reach arms forward at chest height.
Look forward throughout the move. Rotate your torso, extending right arm behind you while you extend left arm in front of you. Reverse the movement to repeat on the other side.
How to Progress with TRX (Plus Beginner & Intermediate Full-Body Workout!)
Challenge your muscles with these suspension workouts! Start with a basic workout and finish on a challenging sequence to progress with TRX.
What is TRX Suspension Training?
Suspension training uses the TRX Suspension Trainer, a fitness tool that was developed by a Navy SEAL. Randy Hetrick, the founder of the TRX, had a mission of staying in peak condition for duty, but with traveling so often for missions, he found it challenging to get effective workouts in without traditional fitness equipment.
He developed the first suspension trainer with a few pieces of an old parachute and some other scrap tools. Eventually, he and his SEAL team developed hundreds of different exercises using this new piece of equipment. The TRX leverages gravity and your own body weight to create a workout that challenges your strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and core strength all at once.
Looking for an easy way to get started working out?
Grab our FREE Beginners Workout Guide – 3 Weeks To Tighter Abs, Sculpted Arms, And Toned Legs, by clicking here!
How is Suspension Training Different?
The TRX is truly a functional piece of equipment. Unlike many traditional pieces of equipment found in the gym, the TRX requires the use of your entire body during a workout. It uses a huge range of dynamic movements, moving through multiple planes at once.
Many machines at the gym have seats or some sort of support. Unfortunately, sitting down while doing exercises lessens the opportunity to develop stabilizing muscles needed for posture and to prevent injury. The TRX forces you to engage multiple muscle groups at once to maintain stability with each exercise.
During everyday movements our bodies are required to move in various planes of motion, such as forwards and backwards, side to side, and twisting and rotating. The TRX allows your body to work through multiple planes in each exercise. This is functionality at its best. Traditional weight machines will only work one plane of motion at a time, which can create muscle imbalances that can lead to injury.
Using different muscle groups and moving through multiple planes for each exercise requires coordination. TRX exercise improves the nervous system’s ability to effectively coordinate movement to build stronger motor patterns so that you can perform better.
Benefits of the TRX
1. FAST, Effective Full-Body Workout
There’s no need to pace back and forth at the gym anymore. You have the only piece of equipment you need in the TRX.
2. Increases Muscular Endurance
Since you can easily move from one exercise to the next without changing equipment, your muscles will be constantly working, increasing their endurance.
3. Great for ALL Fitness Levels
You can easily adapt each exercise to your workout level by changing your relationship to the anchor point. The TRX can be used by everyone from beginners to advanced individuals.
4. Can be Set Up Anywhere (Gym, Home, Outdoors)
The TRX is great for traveling because it only weighs 2 pounds. All you need is a door, a tree, or a pole to mount your TRX to and you can get a great workout in anywhere. The TRX is the perfect piece of equipment for anyone who travels frequently.
Compared to buying multiple expensive machines and equipment to get full-body workouts, $200 for a TRX will seem like a steal. It literally does everything you need in ONE piece of equipment.
Easily Progress with the TRX
One of the greatest benefits of the TRX is its incredible ability to modify exercises for beginners or to challenge advanced exercisers. With almost every exercise on the TRX you can find a way to suit it to your personal needs. Here are a few ways to turn your Beginner’s TRX Workout into a more challenging workout as you get stronger and develop more stability.
Simple Ways to Progress with the TRX:
Adjust your feet position to wide, narrow, or even single leg
The wider your feet position, the stronger and more stable base you will have. Making your feet more narrow or lifting one leg off the ground will challenge your balance and make your core work harder to keep you stable. When you get to the point that you can raise one leg off the ground, you can also try different positions with your free leg to create more instability. Some positions are: knee lifted, straight leg lifted in front, or leg lifted to the side.
Adjust your body angle to change the resistance
The more horizontal your body is to the ground, the more challenging the exercise will become. It will force you to work against your body weight and gravity, increasing the resistance. To regress the exercise, decrease the angle to make your body more upright. This will allow you to have less resistance and focus on making sure your form is correct.
Adjust your tempo
Move faster to increase your heart rate. This will allow you to get a bit more of a cardio workout in as well as challenge your muscle endurance. Try setting a number of reps for each exercise and move faster throughout your workout.
Shorter breaks between exercises
Try moving from one exercise to the next without a break. This will also challenge your muscle endurance.
With simple exercises like squats or lunges, you can easily add in plyometrics to increase intensity. Adding in plyometrics is another great way to fit additional cardio in your workout.
Basic Full-Body TRX Workout
Here’s a basic full-body TRX workout to get you started. Complete this workout 3-4 times in a row. Remember, the more of an angle your body is at, the harder the exercise will be. To modify any exercise, decrease the angle, or even bend one leg and plant it firmly on the floor to give you more support.
- With the straps at mid-length, face the anchor with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep knees and toes slightly turned out.
- Hold the handles by your waistline and keep your elbows slightly bent. Lower into a squat keeping your weight in your heels and make sure not to lean back too much or round your back.
- Press through your heels and stand back up. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
TRX Back Step Lunge
- Stand facing the anchor with mid-length straps and feet together. Hold the handles by your waist with bent elbows.
- Step your RIGHT foot backwards, keeping the weight in your LEFT leg.
- Press through your LEFT heel to return to standing. Complete 15-20 repetitions stepping back with the RIGHT leg, then switch sides.
TRX Step Side Lunge
- Keeping your feet together and the straps mid-length, step your RIGHT foot out to the side into a side lunge. Keeping your LEFT leg straight, you should feel a stretch in your inner thigh.
- Press back to center through your RIGHT heel and repeat 15-20 times, then switch legs.
TRX High Row
- Walk your feet towards the anchor a few inches and slightly lean back, keeping your abs engaged and making sure not to let your hips drop back.
- Lift your toes off the ground so that your heels are pressing into the floor. This is your starting position with your palms facing down and arms straight.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together to perform a high row, bringing your chest towards the anchor. With control, straighten your arms back to your starting position. Repeat 15-20 times.
TRX Chest Press
- Turn around to face away from the anchor, this time with your toes digging into the floor and your heels lifted. Have your arms straight and palms facing the floor.
- Bend your elbows, as if you were lowering into a push-up position, keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders.
- Using your chest muscles, press your arms back straight. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
- Lengthen the straps so that they are mid-calf length, or about 6 inches off the ground. Lay on your stomach and place your feet in the stirrups so that your toes are facing the floor.
- Place your hands under your shoulders and press yourself up into a full plank position on your hands.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds, keeping your abs engaged and making sure your hips don’t sag down.
Intermediate TRX Workout
This workout uses a few more advanced moves, but is still easy enough for a semi-beginner to do. Complete this workout as a circuit and repeat the circuit for a total of 3-4 sets. You can always add in a few beginner exercises just to change things up a bit!
TRX Single Leg Squat
- Facing the anchor, hold the straps so that your arms are bent and your elbows are in by your waistline.
- Lift your LEFT leg straight in front of you so that all of your weight is in your RIGHT foot. Bend your RIGHT knee and sit back, as if you were sitting back into a chair. Keep your weight in your heel and try not to “hang” backwards.
- Press straight up through your heel, engaging the back of your leg. Repeat 15-20 times on the RIGHT, and then switch to the LEFT.
TRX Push Up
- Place your feet in the foot cradles and face the floor on your stomach. Press up into a full TRX Plank with your shoulders over your hands.
- Lower into a push up, making sure not to let the hips dip too low and push back up. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
- Bring yourself back into a TRX Plank with shoulders over your hands. Without moving your shoulders, engage your abdominals and pull your knees in towards your chest using your lower abs.
- Extend back into a plank position and repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
- Hook both straps together (see how here) and place your LEFT foot in the cradle, facing away from the anchor.
- Step your RIGHT foot slightly forward and bend your front knee into a lunge position.
- Make sure to keep the weight in your front heel and push back up using the back of the leg and engaging the glutes. Complete 15-20 repetitions on the RIGHT, then switch sides.
TRX Roll Out
- Lower to your knees and face away from the anchor. Hold the handles straight in front of you with your palms facing the floor.
- Engage your abs as if you were in a plank position, bring your arms overhead, but make sure to stay strong through your shoulders.
- Using the back of your shoulders and your abs, pull your arms back in front of you. Repeat 15-20 times.
TRX Hamstring Curls
- Lay on your back and place your heels in the foot cradles. Keeping your legs straight, lift your hips off the ground, with your weight across your shoulder blades.
- Using your hamstrings, curl your heels towards your glutes lifting your hips even higher.
- Extend your legs back straight and go right into another hamstring curl without lowering your hips to the ground. Complete 15-20 repetitions.
(Read This Next: The Pull-Up Workout You Can Do At Home – No Bar Needed!)
Finding the time to squeeze all four types of exercise—endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance—into your week can feel like a Herculean task. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, with a suggested goal of 30 minutes a day, five times a week. But that’s just endurance. You still need to budget time for the other three types, along with work, family, friends, and, occasionally, sleep. What you need is a workout plan that delivers maximum benefits in minimum time.
While there are only so many ways to cut down on endurance training while reaping the benefits, you can knock out an effective strength session in as little as 15 minutes. To help you through the process, celebrity fitness experts Jay Cardiello and Basheerah Ahmad have created 15-minute TRX workout plans for strength that you can do at home with your TRX Suspension Trainer. Each of the workouts targets a specific muscle group through two rounds of five moves performed for 60 seconds each with a 30 second break in between. (The total time, with breaks, comes to 15 minutes.)
For an upper body workout, Jay recommends a sequence of TRX chest presses, low rows, squat rows, bicep curls, and tricep presses. His 15-minute TRX workout plan for core includes a series of TRX side planks, body saws, pikes, mountain climbers, and hip abductions.
For lower body work, Basheerah has you covered with five straightforward moves. Start with TRX hamstring curls, followed by hip presses, squats, mountain climbers, and lunges. (Yes, mountain climbers work both your core and your lower body!)
The next piece of your workout regimen is stability, but this one is easy to combine into your lower body workout. In stability work, you should focus on exercises that require you to stand on one foot. For example, you could try a TRX single leg squat to single leg balance reach progression, or a TRX crossing balance lunge to step side lunge combo. If you have time to stretch your 15-minute workout into a 20-minute workout, you can tack both of these onto the end of your leg workout.
Now that you’ve got strength and balance out of the way, it’s time to think about flexibility. This one’s important because it improves your overall physical performance and helps you avoid injuries. While stretching after a workout will improve flexibility, it’s a reactive approach to training. You should also add a proactive approach, like yoga or the TRX Essentials: Flexibility video. In the video, TRX Director of Training and Development Fraser Quelch takes you through a 50-minute, real-time stretching routine designed to counteract the effects of daily life, and helps you understand what and why you’re stretching.
Even if you add all of TRX workout plans listed above to your fitness routine, that’s still less than two additional hours per week to target the four types of exercise your body needs. And if two hours a week can lead to a longer, healthier life, isn’t it worth the investment?
A Full-Body TRX Workout to Hit Every Major Muscle Group
Unlike many single-use exercise machines you see at the gym, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ allows you to perform more than 300 exercises, making it one of the best pieces of equipment you can use in the gym — or in your own home. Not only can you use it to improve your posture, learn to squat or work on stabilizing your core, but you can also use it everyday without fear of injury.
“The risk of hurting yourself using the TRX is very low — it’s possible, but it’s rare to see an overuse injury from using it,” says Dan McDonogh, senior manager of performance training for Under Armour, who previously worked for TRX, focusing on education and programming for the brand. “Because you’re using your body as the weight, and you’re not externally loading the body, most exercises aren’t hard on the joints. Plus, you can change the load instantaneously if need be.”
Want to give it a go? We took the guesswork out of the equation and asked McDonogh to give us his favorite full-body workout using the TRX.
Perform these exercises as your warmup, completing one set of each move.
TRX SQUAT ROW COMBO
Stand facing the anchor point, hold the handles with soft elbows and take a couple steps backward. While pushing your knees out and keeping them in line with your ankles, sit back and down to perform a squat. Stand back up. Immediately lean back on a very shallow angle to perform a row by lowering your body until your arms are fully extended and then pull your torso toward your hands, keeping your elbows close to your body. That’s one rep.
Perform 8–12 reps.
TRX LUNGE WITH ROTATION
Stand facing away from the anchor point, with your hands in handles and soft elbows. Step your right foot forward and bend your knees 90 degrees to perform a lunge. As you step into the lunge, raise your left arm toward the ceiling and drop your right arm toward the ground, keeping both arms straight. Hold for a few seconds. Stand back up and repeat on other leg. That’s one rep.
Continue alternating for 10–12 reps.
Perform these moves as a circuit, completing 2–3 sets.
TRX LOW ROW
Stand facing the anchor point, hold the handles with soft elbows and take a couple steps backward. Lean back until your arms are fully extended; your toes can lift up, but keep your heels planted on the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your elbows close to your sides as you pull your chest toward the handles. Slowly lower back down.
Repeat for 8–12 reps.
Variation: To make this exercise harder, move your feet closer to the anchor point.
TRX BALANCE LUNGE
Stand facing the anchor point and center your left leg to the anchor. Lift your right leg and bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Then send it backward and place it on the floor behind you to perform a lunge. Stand back up. That’s one rep.
Repeat for 8–12 reps, then switch sides.
With the straps at mid-calf length, lie on your stomach facing away from the anchor point and place your feet in the foot cradles behind you. With your forearms on the ground, raise your body to suspend it in a straight line from head to toe. Bend your knees and pull them into your chest and extend them back out. That’s one rep.
Repeat for 8–15 reps.
Variation: To make this harder, pike your hips up toward ceiling, then return to straight line and repeat.
With the straps at mid-calf length, lie on your stomach facing away from the anchor point and place your feet in the foot cradles behind you. With your hands on the ground, raise your body to suspend it in straight line from head to toe. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the ground and push back up to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Repeat for 8–12 reps (pushups).
TRX CROSSING BALANCE LUNGE
Stand facing the anchor point and center your left leg to the anchor. Lift your right leg and bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Send it backward on a diagonal behind your left leg, performing a curtsy lunge. Stand back up. That’s one rep.
Repeat for 8–12 reps, then switch sides.
TRX SIDE PLANK
With the straps at mid-calf, lie on the ground, facing sideways to the anchor point and place your feet in the foot cradles. With your bottom arm bent 90 degrees and your bottom forearm on the ground, raise your body to suspend it in the air in a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 15–20 seconds. Come down to the ground for 5 seconds.
Repeat 3–4 times, then switch sides.
The Ultimate TRX Workouts
Targets Chest, triceps
Assume an incline stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest towards your hands, keeping your entire body as straight as possible – similar to a press-up – then return to start position.
Beginner Start from kneeling position
Intermediate Start from a standing incline position
Advanced Add a weighted vest or raise your feet using a step
Targets Quads, hamstrings, glutes
Stand facing the TRX holding a neutral grip. Keep your arms straight and sit into a squat position with your legs parallel to the floor. Use your glutes to return to a standing position.
Beginner Arms straight, regular squat
Intermediate Do a small jump at the top of the squat
Advanced Do the same but only use one leg, alternate the leg you use between reps
From a kneeling position place your arms through the loopholes so the TRX is resting halfway down your forearms. Lift your knees off the ground so your feet are the only part of the body still in contact with the floor. Ensure your body is in a straight line and try to maintain a 90˚ angle at your elbow and shoulder joints.
Beginner Hold the position for 20-60sec
Intermediate Slowly open the angle at your elbow and shoulder by just a few centimetres to increase the tension in your core, then return to the start position – 16-20 reps
Advanced Maintaining a strong core position, reach one arm forward several centimetres while lifting your opposite foot off the floor as high as you can. Return to the original position and repeat on the other side – 16-20 reps
Targets Biceps, back, shoulders
Take the handles, lean backwards with extended arms and walk forward three small steps. Keep your chest high and pull your body up until your chest touches the handles. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower back to the start position.
Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Increase the decline by only walking forward two little steps
Advanced Add a weighted vest or alternate between each leg – or do both if you’re feeling brave
Targets Hamstrings, glutes, core
Adjust the TRX loops until they are about 30cm off the floor. Sit on the floor in front of the TRX, place both heels in the loops and lift your hips off the floor. Keep both feet flexed towards your shins and your legs hip-width apart. Press your heels into the foot cradles, elevate your hips and pull your heels towards your glutes before returning to the start position.
Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Lift your hips while bringing your heels towards your bottom
Advanced The same as intermediate but only using one leg at a time
Keep the TRX loops about 30cm off the floor. From a kneeling position put your feet in the loops and assume a full press-up position so your feet are suspended. Pull your knees in towards your chest and return to the start position, engaging your core to keep a straight back the whole time.
Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Pull both knees diagonally across your body towards the opposite elbow, return to the start position and alternate
Advanced Use just one leg (the opposite leg remains above the floor in line with your body
Adjust the TRX so it is at mid-length. From a standing position take the handles and extend your arms overhead in front of your body and walk back for a couple of small steps. Keeping your upper arms rigid and your body aligned, bend your elbows and lower your body to make a 90˚ angle of flexion. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.
Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Extend the TRX until it’s longer than mid-length
Advanced The same as intermediate but only use one arm at a time
Bulgarian split squat
Targets Quads, glutes, hamstrings
Adjust the TRX until the loop is at knee height. Assume the same stance as a regular split squat (a forward lunge position), but place your rear foot through one of the loops. Maintain upright posture and lower your back knee until you feel a stretch in the hip flexors of the rear leg, then return to the start position.
Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Add a weighted vest
Advanced Hop at the top of the movement
Adjust the TRX so the loops are around 30cm off the floor. Then, lying on your side, put your feet into the loops and lift your hips off the floor so your weight is supported by the TRX and your forearm. Hold steady and raise the opposite arm to make a T shape.
Beginner 20-60 seconds each side
Intermediate Do side plank dips: lower your hips 5cm from the floor, then lift them up as high as you can while maintaining form – 16-20 reps each side
Advanced Thread the needles: reach with your opposite arm underneath your body, rotating at the waist and slowly return to the start position – 16-20 reps each side
Complete TRX 3-Day Full-Body Workout
Read More >>
You may have seen it at the gym or read about it here at STACK.com: use of the TRX Suspension Trainer is on the rise among athletes. TRX equipment was designed to keep U.S. Navy SEALS in shape while in the field. It is now found in most top college and professional team weight rooms. (Learn more about Suspension Training from TRX guru Chris Frankel.)
It is time to take a look at TRX Suspension Training and how you can use it in your workouts.
What is suspension training?
Suspension training is essentially bodyweight training that uses a set of straps anchored from a point, which allows you to manipulate your body weight through an array of strength, stability and range of motion exercises.
How difficult is suspension training?
The TRX Suspension Trainer is surprisingly easy to use. The ability to modify your body position by moving your hands or feet away from or closer to the anchor point allows users of all strength and skill levels to complete an appropriate and progressive training program.
TRX workouts are designed to be scalable for the user. Simply adjusting your body angle, or performing an exercise with one hand or leg, allows you to change the difficulty, making it a great tool for both beginner and advanced athletes.
What can I use the TRX Suspension Trainer for?
The TRX Suspension Trainer can be used for strength, cardiovascular, mobility and flexibility training. Most exercises performed are full-body, making them highly applicable to sports. Even isolation exercises, like a Biceps Curl, require the core to engage. Many professional strength and conditioning coaches use the TRX for both prehabilitative mobility training and rehabilitative programming. (See Antonio Brown’s TRX workout.)
To get started with the TRX Suspension Trainer, try this three-day foolproof program.
Find more workouts in our TRX Exercise Library.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock
The 4 Week Suspension Trainer Workout Routine For Serious Muscle
If you’re an old-school cat who loves to smash the iron with barbells and dumbbells, you probably scoff at the idea of functional training. I get it, it’s easy to judge programs and modalities and assume it’s a lousy way to train.
But before you leave this page, hear me out.
In my own pursuit of muscle, I’m always studying the lifters, writers, and coaches who are killing the game. These people not only know their stuff, but they also spend time in the trenches. And then they report back on what works and what doesn’t.
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram. I was consuming my feed with eyes wide shut until I got slapped in the face with a video from John Meadows. He was doing y-pulls on a TRX suspension trainer. It looked as though he had four rear deltoids in each of his arms.
Prior to this video, I hadn’t given the TRX much credit. I knew they existed and had seen some ads on them, but there was nothing in me that wanted to incorporate suspension training into my game.
But seeing someone who I follow and respect use them, changed my mind.
TRX Suspension Trainer – A New Way to Add Muscle
If your aim is to build muscle, it’s likely that you’ve looked past the TRX and bee-lined straight for the dumbbells. Dumbbells will always be there, I promise. It’s time to jumpstart your training routine with some bodyweight training.
If you believe that barbells and dumbbells are the way to pack on slabs of lean muscle onto your physique, you’re partially correct.
All it takes is a quick YouTube search of an Olympic gymnast. Within seconds, you’ll realize that bodyweight training can make you look like a monument of physical excellence.
If you don’t believe me google search Phillip Boy or Nabarrete Zanetti. Unless you’re a top-level strength athlete, there aren’t many men who wouldn’t want to look like that.
If you dig into what these athletes do for their training, it’s obvious that these guys have some serious strength.
Gymnasts start their training at very early ages and by the time they become competitive, they have had thousands of hours of training under their belt.
With hundreds of reps on done over these years, they build incredible strength; all with bodyweight movements. With strength, hypertrophy also comes along.
You may not be training to be a gymnast, but you may have been neglecting bodyweight movements as a means to add muscle.
The TRX suspension trainer will never replace barbells or dumbbells. However, it’s a great way to augment your training. Core work, pulling work and single limb work are a few areas where the TRX can really level up your training.
With a sound approach, you’ll be surprised at how effective the TRX can be in your own muscle building pursuit.
Who is the TRX Suspension Trainer For?
#1 – The “get back in shape” person
Maybe you were a stud in college. You were that dude who could clean 315 for reps.
And then, life happened.
Far too many happy hour meet-ups, late-night pizza binges and 11 years later you’ve turned into something you thought would never happen. That stallion you once looked at in the mirror is now a tired, overweight dog who’d rather sit on the couch then go hunt.
But somewhere deep down, you have a flickering flame that hasn’t been put out just yet. You want to get back in the game. You want to get up and go conquer something. You want to feel like that stallion again.
For this person, bodyweight training with the TRX is a great segway. Let’s be honest, if you were deadlifting 600 pounds back in college, and you haven’t touched a bar in while, charging into the gym trying to duplicate the effort is like stepping into the ring with Tyson with your hands tied. You’re headed from some serious damage.
Lack of neural efficiency and compromised joint health are all at risk when you try to load too much weight after a long time away from the gym.
Instead, priming your body with TRX training will allow you to train for strength and hypertrophy with a much lower risk of injury. As this person builds their muscular endurance and improves neural efficiency once more, gradually adding back heavier loads would be ok.
2. The “I don’t have time” person
While most will gawk at this excuse, I’m going to take a different angle.
If you look around at your immediate social circle; family, friends, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, co-workers, you’ll notice that people are actually pretty busy.
Deciphering whether their busyness is actually yielding progression is for another article. But for the most part, people are busy doing stuff.
When we’re busy, we tend to make a lot of decisions. When we make a lot of decisions, our brain gets tired. When our brain gets tired, we have a lower capacity to make good decisions. This is why skipping the gym and ordering take out is so popular.
Going to the gym after a long day requires more good decision making (a resource that you’re typically running low on at days end).
Plus, the gym is a social scene these days too. You got to look good and make sure your fit is on point. This yields another decision, what do I wear to the gym?
Then you’ve got to deal with traffic. Which route can I take to get there the fastest?
Deciding on what to do when you get there demands thinking power. Should I get on the treadmill, or do a few triceps pulldowns?
Going to the gym is more than one decision.
That’s why it can be so hard to get your tail in there. The excuse we use is labeled as “I don’t have enough time”, but in reality, the real culprit is that you don’t have enough (mental) energy.
For this person, setting up a TRX suspension trainer in their garage, basement or spare bedroom relieves a lot of the decision fatigue.
You can get to your gym without ever leaving your home. You can wear that crusty, seven-year old t-shirt you got at the Linkin Park concert if you want. And with the workout provided below, you don’t have to worry about deciding on what to do for your workout.
3. The tired lifter
This person has no problems with discipline. An F-4 tornado could be on its way into their home town and they’ll still find a way to lift.
The problem is stagnation, not action.
Although this person never misses a workout, they’ve stalled in their progress.
Tired, spiritless and lacking that hungry-as-a-dog-on-the-back-of-a-meat-truck mentality, this person needs some time off from the monotonous nature of their training.
TRX training fits the bill for this person. Changing things up to bodyweight training will expose this lifter’s body and nervous system in an entirely different fashion. This method will set them up for new gains and allow them to recover from months, maybe even years of traditional, heavy lifting.
The TRX Suspension Trainer Workout Program
This program has taken the time tested methods from bodybuilding and fused it with functional training. It’s a fresh take on the conventional approach to building muscle that can be used for different levels of trainees as mentioned above.
The program is a three-day split: a push workouts that hits the chest, shoulders and triceps, a pull workout that attacks the back, biceps and traps and a total body circuit that serves as a metabolic conditioning circuit. I’d recommend running this program for four weeks and then depending on your desired training adaptation you can make an adjustment afterward.
Each set in the workout should be performed as a superset, ti-set or giant set, depending on how many movements are listed. Once the required movements and reps are completed, rest 90-120 seconds between sets.
There are some movements that may come across as unorthodox. These movements have been listed with an asterisk next to them. I’ve included a short written description on how to perform them below each day of training.
One or two days should be dedicated to some type of aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes. Choose a medium you enjoy. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
If you hate walking on an incline on a treadmill at the gym, don’t do it. Hop on your bike and hit the trail. If you’d rather get a tooth pulled then go for a run, jump on a rower, throw in your earbuds and tune into your favorite podcast.
|TRX Wide Flye* – 90-120 sec||2||8|
|TRX Push Ups||2||12|
|TRX Incline Press||2||15|
|TRX Wide Dips – 90-120 sec||2||8|
|TRX Chest Press||2||15|
|TRX Lunge – 90-120||2||10|
|TRX Triceps Extension||2||8|
|TRX Deltoid Flye||2||8|
TRX Wide Flye
If you mastered the push up, this will bring a whole new level of challenge. Doing flyes on a suspension trainer will increase the tension on your chest and hit your core at the same time.
you’ll start in push up position with the stars lowered to the ground (about 6 inches from the ground). Assume a grip that has your palms facing each other. Then, push up to gain a position at the top of the push up.
From here you’ll slowly widen the straps away from you while keeping a tight midsection. Your elbows should be slightly flexed. Once your face is almost touching the ground, recover to starting position by bringing the straps together at the top of the push up position.
|TRX Inverted Row* – 90-120 sec||2||8|
|TRX Hamstring Curl||2||12|
|TRX Biceps Curl||2||15|
|TRX Wide Strap Chin Ups – 90-120||2||8|
|TRX Y Pulls*||2||12|
|TRX Squat to Row – 90-120||2||20|
|TRX Knee Tuck||2||15|
TRX Inverted Row
With the TRX inverted row, you’ll hit the upper back and the biceps in one movement. you’ll set the straps low to the floor (about one and a half feet from the bottom).
you’ll assume a supinated grip (palms facing each other). Anchor your feet so they are planted on the ground with your knees bent.
To initiate, you’ll activate the lats to start the pull and follow through with the elbows. Pull yourself up until the straps are touching your chest.
TRX Y Pulls
You want to pack the neck and eng.ge the anterior core so your ribs don’t flare up and out. You also don’t want to go into over-extension in the back when you find this position.
you’ll assume the position with an overhand grip. Your arms will be extended out in front of you as they assist your weight as you lean back.
With a tight midline, you’ll pull yourself up while keeping the arms locked and flexed. The straps will travel out and above your head.
Lower the yourself and the straps to starting position and repeat.
|Full Body Circuit|
|TRX Three Way Row* – 90-120||3||12|
|TRX Overhead Squat||3||20|
|TRX Push Up||3||20|
|TRX Glute Bridge*||3||20|
TRX Three Way Row
If yourre looking to bring up your rear delts, the TRX three-way row must be in your approach.
you’ll set the straps to hang at about your hips. To execute: Grap the straps with a palms-up grip and lend back as far as you can while keeping your feet planted on the ground.
Then, row for four reps with the palms up grip. Switch your grip to have your palms facing each other and then row for four reps. Lastly, change your grip and overhand grip and perform for more rows.
10 Suspension Trainer Exercises for a Full Body Workout
Last Updated on August 13, 2015
I love the suspension trainer, be it a TRX or Jungle Gym XT.
It is the perfect piece of equipment for a home gym or travel workout because it is easily portable and can be used in any doorway or looped around something outside.
The suspension trainer allows everyone from the beginner to the advanced lifter to get in a challenging full-body workout no matter where they are.
Below are 10 Amazing Suspension Trainer Exercises for a Full-Body Workout:
1. Inverted Row – The inverted row is a great way to strengthen your back and work your core. It is a very important move for anyone that sits at a desk all day!
To do the Basic Inverted Row, hold a suspension trainer strap in each hand. Walk your feet out so you are leaning back. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be. Squeeze your core and glutes and press your chest out so there is tension between your shoulder blades. Then row up, keeping your body in a nice straight line. Row until your chest comes up to the handles and then lower yourself back down. Don’t let your hips sink as you lower back down. Also, keep your chest pressed out the entire time (do not let your low back arch though).
To do the Single Arm Anti-Rotational Row, place one hand across your chest and grab the strap in the other hand. Set up in a nice straight line, squeezing your quads, glutes and core. Do not let your body rotate. You want to move in a straight line as you row up and down. Pull you arm in toward your chest. Do not shrug your shoulder as you row. Drive the elbow back and pull your hand in toward the bottom of your pec. You should move as if both arms are pulling instead of letting the side not rowing rotate open toward the ground. To advance (or regress this move), change the incline of your body. The closer you get to parallel to the ground, the harder the move gets.
To do a Single Arm Rotational Row, grab one strap in one hand. Walk your feet forward to put your body at an incline. Reach the other hand up the strap as high as you can with the strap in your hand pulled in to your chest. Do not let your shoulder shrug. Then rotate the hand reaching up toward the ground almost as if you are doing a hanging side plank. Keep your body in a straight line and don’t let the hips sag toward the ground. Keeping your core tight, rotate back to the start. Do not shrug your shoulder as you row. Really feel your lat lock down to keep your shoulders from elevating. To advance (or regress this move), change the incline of your body. The closer you get to parallel to the ground, the harder the move gets.
2. Skater Lunge – A great single leg balancing exercise to strengthen your legs and really work your glutes. While advanced exercises may progress this to a move without the straps, they can also use the straps to help them slow down the tempo to make the move challenging in a different way.
To do the Skater Lunge, hold a strap in each hand. Walk back so there isn’t any slack in the straps and your arms are out in front of you. Lift one leg up off the ground. Lunge back with the lifted leg, but don’t let the foot touch down. As you lunge back, your front knee should bend as low as possible and you should sit your weight back in your front heel. Get as low as you can while reaching that back leg back. Then, driving through the front heel, come straight back up to standing without touching that back foot down. Complete all reps on one side before switching. To advance, slow down the tempo of the lower down or add in a hop as you come back up to standing (or maybe even both!). You can also add in a knee drive forward with the raised leg as you come back up to standing if you want.
3. Push Up – Push ups are a great way to work your upper body…actually your entire body! But beginners may need to do an incline push up and a suspension trainer allows you to do that. However, it can also be a very challenging incline push up for advanced exercises when done from a lower incline. Advanced exercisers can also use the suspension trainer to challenge their core even more during push ups by putting their feet in the straps.
To do a Push Up With Your Hands in the Straps, stand facing away from the suspension trainer anchor point with a hand in each strap. Walk your feet back so your body is at an incline. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be (the more of an incline the better off the beginner will be). Set up with your arms out straight in front of you in line with your shoulders and your feet together. Then, keeping your body in a nice straight line, lower your chest down between your hands. Keep your elbows from flaring up by your shoulders. You want your arms to create an arrow shape with your body. Then press back up. Keep your core tight as you lower down and press back up. Make sure your hands stay right outside your chest and don’t spread out wider than your shoulders.
To do a Push Up With Your Feet in the Straps, place your feet in the straps and your hands under your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and quads and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Keep your feet together and your body in a nice straight line as you lower your chest down toward the ground. Do not let your elbows flare out toward your shoulders. You want to create an arrow shape with your arms and body as you lower down. Then press back up, making sure your body moves together as one unit. Do not let your hips sag or rise up toward the ceiling. To make the move harder, make the suspension straps shorter. This will make it more of a decline push up. You can also walk your hands forward and pull the suspension trainers straps forward so that when you do the push up, the straps are trying to pull you backward. This is an advanced move to begin with. Do not attempt this if you can’t easily complete a perfect push up from your toes on the ground.
4. Chest Fly – A great way to really work your chest. And doing this move in the suspension trainer really works your core as well.
To do Chest Flyes, stand facing away from the suspension trainer anchor point with a hand in each strap. Walk your feet back so your body is at an incline. The closer to parallel to the ground you get, the harder the move will be. Set up with your arms out straight in front of you in line with your shoulders and your feet together. Then, keeping your body in a nice straight line, let your arms open up. Your arms should be only slightly bent so that your elbows aren’t locked out. Open your arms out to the sides without letting them bend more. Do not let your arms flare up above your shoulders as you open them. Drop your chest in between your open arms and then pull your arms back together and move back to the top of the fly.
5. Mountain Climbers – This is a great core move because it works everything from your shoulders to your knees. It is also a great cardio exercise.
To do Mt. Climbers, set up in a high plank from your hands and toes with your feet in the suspension trainer straps. Bring your right knee in toward your chest. Then drive the foot back out and bring your left knee in toward your chest. Go as fast as you can, alternating knee drives. Mountain Climbers should look like you are “running” with your hands on the ground. Beginners may need to go slowly to start or even do these from the ground.
6. Balance Lunge – A great leg move to challenge your legs when you don’t have weights. It also really works your core because you are balancing on one leg with the other leg back in an unstable strap.
To do the Balance Lunge, place one foot into the suspension trainer strap. Do not shorten the strap too much so that your foot isn’t up too high. Hop out on the other foot so you are in a nice wide stance with your back foot up in the strap. Then sink down, dropping your back knee toward the ground. Really sit back into the lunge. Make sure you aren’t going forward and that your front knee is not going past your toe. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of the leg that is back when doing this move. Beginners may want to use a super low box or do the move from the ground instead of in the suspension trainer. Beginners can even hold the straps in their hands as they perform a split squat from the ground to help them balance.
7. Ab Extensions – This is a great move to increase your core strength and even strengthen your lats. It is a combination of the ab roller exercise and a lat pull down.
To do the Ab Extension, grab a strap in each hand and face away from the suspension trainer anchor point. Lean into the straps and straighten your arms fully. Bring them above your head and lengthen as far as you can and then bring them back down to shoulder height. As you raise your arms overhead, you are going to lean forward more into the straps. The closer to parallel to the ground you are, the harder the move will become. You should not feel this move in your low back. You should feel this move in your abs, arms and quads. Keep your body in a nice straight line as you raise your arms up and then press your arms straight back down to come back up to kneeling.
8. Knee Tucks/Pikes – Another great core exercise to work everything from your shoulders to your knees. And you can even make this into more of a full body exercise by adding in push ups between each knee tuck or pike!
To do the Basic Knee Tuck, place your feet in the suspension trainer straps and your hands on the ground under your shoulders. Your body should be in a nice straight line. Then pull your feet in the straps in toward your body, tucking your knees in toward your chest. Once you tuck your knees in, you will straighten your legs back out. Do not let your hips sag as you straighten back out or your butt go up in the air. Keep your body in a nice straight line. Repeat, tucking your knees in and driving your legs back out straight. Beginners may do mountain climbers in the straps or even from the ground.
To do the Oblique Knee Tuck, place your feet in the suspension trainer straps and your hands on the ground under your shoulders. Your body should be in a nice straight line. Then pull your feet in toward your body, tucking your knees in toward your chest. As you tuck, bring them slightly to one side. After you tuck your knees in, you will straighten your legs straight back out. Do not let your hips sag as you straighten back out or your butt go up in the air. Make sure that as you straighten back out you move back center. Keep your body in a nice straight line. Repeat, tucking your knees in to the other side and then driving them back out to the center. Beginners may do mountain climbers in the straps or even from the ground.
To do the Pike, set up like you would for the knee tucks. But instead of tucking your knees in, you are going to keep your legs straight and bring your feet in toward your head. Pull your ankles in toward your head as you pike your butt up toward the sky. Keep your legs straight as you push your butt up and pull your ankles in toward your head. Pike as high as you can, then straighten back out and repeat. Do not let your hips sag down as you straighten back out.
9. Single Leg Squat – Single limb movements are a great way to work each leg without letting the dominant leg take over. Single limb movements are also a great way to progress basic movements without adding weight.
To do a Single Leg Squat, start by standing on one leg. Hold the other leg straight out in front of you. Hold a strap in each hand. Make sure you have enough tension in the straps to support you. You don’t want them completely tight but tight enough that there won’t be any slack as you lower down. Lower yourself down as low as you can without letting your heel come up. Sit back and down while keeping your chest up. Then driving off the heel on the ground, stand back up. Do not lean way forward or touch your raised foot to the ground. The lower you go in the squat, the more advanced the move will be. Also, to advance the move, hold only one strap in one hand instead of holding both straps.
10. Pull Ups – One of the best back exercises and core exercises out there. And with a suspension trainer, you can both regress and progress the basic pull up.
To do an Assisted Pull Up, place your feet on the ground underneath you and hold a strap in each hand. Set the handles so they are right at about chin height. The more firmly planted your feet are, the easier the move will be. Your goal is to use your feet as little as possible. Then hand down at the bottom with your arms out straight. Press your chest out and pull your chest up to the handles. Then lower back down. Use your feet only as needed.
To do an Unassisted Pull Up, hang from the handles with your palms facing away (you may also sub in chin ups or a neutral grip pull up). Press your chest out and draw your shoulder blades down and back. Then pull your chin up above the handles. Once your chin reaches above the handles, lower back down. Stay in control. Do not kip or swing. As you fatigue, you may swing a little on the last rep or two, but it shouldn’t be used to do reps quickly. The instability of the straps will make the basic pull up harder.
These are 10 great suspension trainer moves. Do not include all 10 in a workout. Pick and choose a few.
For some great Suspension Trainer Workouts, check these out:
- Full Body Suspension Trainer Workout
- The 15-Minute Back Destroyer
- Core Suspension Trainer Workout
- Lower Body Suspension Trainer Workout
The TRX workout for toned arms
Is toning your arms your new year’s resolution? David Kingsbury Founder of London boutique gym Opus Fitness teaches us how to use the TRX to workout the arms in our new weekly TRX workout series.
TRX is a form of suspension training that aims to improve strength, flexibility, balance and stability – with the use of your body weight and gravity.
Pretty much any traditional workout move like crunches, planks and pushups can be used and your results will be more challenging and effective with TRX.
David from OPUS gym shows us how you can include TRX into your workout for toned arms.
Watch the YouTube video down below find out.
- Pull ups – 60 seconds
- Chest press ups – 60 seconds
- Fly – 60 seconds
- Rest 20 seconds
Repeat for three rounds in total
- Tricep extension – 60 seconds
- Single arm bicep curls – left arm – 60 seconds
- single arm bicep curls – right arm – 60 seconds
- Atomic press ups – 60 seconds
- Rest 20 seconds
Repeat for three rounds in total
More from the TRX workout series:
As the founder of OPUS, David’s passion for inspiring health and wellbeing is at the forefront of his training approach.
An accomplished sportsman, David was selected to play for the Bedford Blues Youth Academy at the age of 17 and represented his University 1st XV in Cardiff. However, struck by injury, David’s rugby career was cut short and surgery on his hips ended his rugby playing days. An intensive post-surgery rehabilitation program educated David about the benefits of adhering to a structured training routine to produce the best outcome.
After completing his studies, David worked at one of London’s top Reformer Pilates studios clocking up more than 5,000 teaching hours before opening the doors to his own boutique studio in Notting Hill. David now works with a range of clients with varying goals.
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