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With the highly versatile TRX suspension trainer, using your own body weight, you can engage in a diverse range of TRX exercises, designed to build strength and increase muscle mass throughout your entire body.
TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, and it involves using a suspension trainer to perform a range of exercises.
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The straps have handles or stirrups that you can grip or place your feet into, allowing you to perform a full body TRX workout.
In this article, we’ll suggest some of the best TRX exercises that can done either in the gym or your home.
When setting up, you’ll need to attach your TRX trainer to an anchor point and adjust the straps to the appropriate length depending on the exercise you’re looking to perform.
TRX Exercises For Upper Body
Below are five of our favorite TRX exercises to target your upper body muscles.
TRX Low Row
The TRX Low Row is a great exercise for strengthening your back muscles, particularly your lats and middle back.
When performing this movement, be sure to maintain good form by keeping your elbows tucked into your sides and pulling with your back muscles, not your arms.
To perform the TRX Low Row:
- Adjust the TRX handles to mid-length. The handles should be around chest height.
- Stand facing the anchor point and hold the handles with an overhand grip (palms facing down).
- Lean back with your arms extended, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Initiate a rowing movement by pulling your shoulder blades back and down, and then pulling your body up towards the handles.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat.
TRX Single Arm Row
The TRX Single Arm Row is a unilateral exercise that targets your back muscles, primarily the lats and rhomboids, and helps to improve balance and stability by activating your core muscles.
It’s a variation on the low row exercise and a little more challenging to perform.
To perform the TRX Single Arm Row:
- Adjust the TRX handles to mid-length and chest height.
- Stand facing the anchor point and take hold of one handle with your left hand.
- Walk back to create tension on the strap and position yourself at an angle leaning back with your arm fully extended, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Engage your core, keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, and avoid arching your lower back.
- Perform a rowing movement by squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your elbow back and towards your rib cage.
- Continue pulling until your hand is at or just below chest height and your elbow is bent at approximately 90 degrees.
- Hold the contracted position briefly, feeling the contraction in your back muscles.
- Slowly extend your arm back to the starting position while maintaining control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other arm.
TRX Reverse Fly
The TRX Reverse Fly is a great exercise for targeting your upper back and shoulder muscles.
It’s especially effective for activating the often-neglected muscles of the upper back, helping to balance out the strength in your shoulders and chest.
It can also help to promote good posture, making it a good choice for those who spend a lot of time sitting or working at a desk.
To perform the TRX Reverse Fly:
- Stand facing the anchor point and hold the TRX handles in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
- Take a step back to create tension on the straps. Position your feet hip-width apart.
- Lean your body back, so your arms are extended straight in front of you, and your body forms an angle with the ground. The more vertical your body, the easier the exercise is to perform.
- Keeping a slight bend to your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your arms out to the sides in a wide arc motion. Your body will be pulled forwards as you do this.
- Continue the movement until your arms are in line with your shoulders and out to your sides.
- Hold the contracted position for a moment, feeling the squeeze in your upper back and rear delts.
- Slowly return to the starting position with control, bringing your arms back to the extended position in front of you and then repeat.
TRX Chest Press
The TRX chest press is a great way of strengthening your chest muscles), anterior deltoids (front shoulder muscles), and triceps.
By adjusting your body angle and the tension on the straps, you can vary the intensity of the exercise to suit your fitness level.
How to perform the TRX chest press:
- Set up the TRX suspension trainer at the appropriate height. The handles should be at about chest height or slightly higher when you stand facing the anchor point.
- Stand facing away from the anchor point and hold the TRX handles in each hand so the straps pass over your shoulders.
- Start with your arms extended out in front of you at chest level and palms facing downward.
- Step back until you are forming a plank position, so feet behind you and leaning forwards.
- Engage your core and keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Lower your chest toward the anchor point by bending your elbows and allowing your hands to move out to your sides. Your elbows should be at approximately a 90-degree angle when your chest is close to the handles.
- Pause briefly before pushing your body away from the anchor point by straightening your arms and returning to the starting position and then repeat.
TRX Atomic Push Up
The TRX atomic push-up is an advanced and dynamic variation of the traditional push-up exercise.
It’s a two-step exercise that not only targets your upper body muscles such as your chest, shoulders, and triceps but also engages the core and hip flexors to enhance overall stability and strength.
You’ll need to anchor the trx system to a high point so that you can hook your feet into the handles.
Here’s how to do the TRX atomic push up:
- Begin by placing your feet into the TRX handles, hooking the straps securely around your ankles.
- Get into a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest toward the ground.
- Pause at the bottom and then push back up to the starting position.
- Next, quickly drive your knees towards your chest, tucking them in as close as possible.
- Extend your legs back to the plank position and then you lower your chest for the next repetition.
- Repeat the push-up, followed by the knee tuck, for the desired number of repetitions.
TRX Lower Body Exercises
Here are a few TRX lower body exercises to work on your legs and glutes.
TRX Single-Leg Squat
The TRX Single-Leg Squat, also known as a TRX pistol squat, is a challenging move that targets your glutes, quads, and hip flexors.
It’s an excellent exercise for building strength, balance, and stability to your lower body.
It’s a good idea to start with a partial range of motion and progress to a deeper squat as your strength and flexibility improve.
If you’re new to this exercise, you can also use a support, such as a chair, to assist you until you gain confidence and strength to perform a full pistol squat with the TRX.
To perform this exercise:
- Stand facing away from the anchor point and hold the TRX handles in each hand so that your palms face each other.
- Shift your weight to one leg and lift the other leg off the ground, extending it straight out in front of you.
- Point your toes towards your head to create more tension in your quads.
- Keep your supporting leg slightly bent at the knee and your foot firmly planted on the floor.
- Engage your core and keep your head and chest up throughout.
- Descend into a squat by pushing your hips back and bending your supporting knee, lowering your body towards the ground.
- Lower yourself as far as you can whilst maintaining balance and control. Aim to lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground or slightly below.
- Push through your heel and extend your supporting leg to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on one leg before switching to the other leg.
TRX Hamstring Curl
The TRX Hamstring Curl is a great exercise for targeting the back of your legs, particularly your posterior chain muscles being your hamstrings and glutes.
How to do the TRX hamstring curl:
- Set up the TRX suspension at the right height by ensuring the handles are at about ankle height.
- Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your heels placed in the TRX handles. Keep your feet around hip width apart.
- Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
- Engage your core and keep your body in a bridge position throughout the exercise.
- Start the movement by bending your knees and pulling your heels towards your glutes.
- Keep your hips lifted and your core engaged the entire time.
- Pause at the top of the movement, squeezing your hamstrings and glutes.
- Slowly extend your legs back to the start position whilst maintaining control. Repeat.
The TRX lunge is an excellent way to work on your leg strength, stability, and balance, making it a valuable addition to your lower body workout routine.
It’s a functional exercise that challenges your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
How to perform the TRX lunge:
- Begin with your TRX handles at mid-calf height.
- Stand facing away from the anchor point.
- Place one foot into the TRX handles. The top of your foot should be facing down, and your toes should be pointing towards the floor.
- Position your feet hip-width apart with your shoulders back and core engaged.
- Lower your body into a lunge by bending your front knee and dropping your back knee towards the ground.
- Keep your front knee in line with your ankle and ensure that it doesn’t extend past your toes to protect your knee joint.
- Lower yourself as far as you can comfortably go or until your back knee is just above the ground.
- Push through your front heel and return to a standing position by straightening your front leg and bringing your back leg forward.
- Repeat the lunge on the same leg for the desired number of repetitions before switching to the other leg.
TRX Single Leg Deadlift
The TRX single-leg deadlift is a challenging exercise that not only targets the muscles of the lower body but also engages your core helping to improve balance and stability.
How to do the TRX single leg deadlift:
- Start with the handles located at around waist height.
- Stand facing the anchor point and hold the TRX handles in each hand.
- Take a step back so your arms are extended out in front of you.
- Bend the knee of one leg out in front of you until it’s at 90 degrees, your top leg should be parallel to the floor.
- Maintain a slight bend in your supporting knee for stability. This is your starting position.
- Engage your core and keep your back flat throughout the exercise.
- Initiate the movement by hinging forward at your hips and lowering your upper body towards the ground.
- Simultaneously reach your hands towards the ground whilst extending your non-supporting leg straight out behind you.
- Your body should form a “T” shape with your arms and the extended leg parallel to the ground.
- Pause briefly then push back through your heel back to the start and repeat.
TRX Calf Raise
The TRX calf raise is a simple yet effective exercise to isolate your calves.
You can adjust the intensity by changing the angle of your body and the tension on the straps.
Additionally, you can perform this exercise with one leg at a time to make the exercise more challenging.
How to do the TRX calf raise:
- Stand facing away from the anchor point and hold the TRX handles in each hand.
- Take a step back to create tension on the straps.
- Position your feet hip-width apart and keep your hands tucked in close to your armpits.
- From here, lean forwards so that your form a plank position.
- Rise up onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground as high as you can.
- Squeeze your calf muscles at the top of the movement, feeling the contraction in your calves.
- Slowly lower your heels back down to the starting position with control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
TRX Core Exercises
Having a strong core is essential for overall strength and stability and TRX suspension training can be a great way of developing core strength.
Here are two effective TRX core exercises that you can add to your workout routine:
The plank position is a classic exercise for building core strength.
Incorporating the TRX suspension trainer adds an element of instability, making the exercise more challenging and will engage additional muscle groups.
How to perform the TRX plank:
- Start by adjusting the TRX to mid-calf length.
- Place your feet in the trx stirrups and your forearms on the ground making sure to keep your elbows directly under your shoulders.
- Assume the plank position by raising your body off the ground, you should now be resting on just your forearms.
- Keep a tight core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
- It’s important to keep your body in a straight line without allowing your hips to sag.
- To make it more challenging, you can raise one hand off the ground whilst maintaining the plank position.
The TRX rollout is an excellent exercise for building core strength and improving core stability.
It challenges the entire core, especially the muscles responsible for maintaining a neutral spine during the movement.
If you find the exercise too difficult initially, you can adjust the difficulty by varying the length of the TRX straps or shortening the range of motion.
How to do the TRX rollout:
- Start in a kneeling position and ensure the handles are located at just below hip height.
- Take hold of the handles with an overhand grip just in front of your thighs. There should be a slight bend to your elbows.
- Keeping your body straight, reach your arms forward so that your body lowers towards the ground.
- Aim to get your body as low to the ground as possible without losing form, you should feel tension to your abdominals.
- Pause briefly then bring your arms back to the start so that your upper body raises back up and away from the ground.
7 Benefits of TRX Suspension Training
TRX resistance training is a great way to get a full-body workout using your own body weight and with minimal equipment. There are several benefits of TRX training when you perform workouts often.
It Offers A Full-Body Workout
TRX exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a full-body workout.
This efficiency allows you to target various muscles, including the core, upper body, lower body, and stabilizing muscles, in a single session.
It Can Improve Functional Strength and Stability
TRX training focuses on functional movements that mimic everyday activities and many sports-related motions.
This improves your strength, stability, and coordination, making you more capable of undertaking common daily activities.
Improves Core Strength & Stability
Many TRX exercises engage the core muscles throughout the movements, leading to improved core strength and stability.
A strong core is essential for supporting your spine, enhancing posture, and reducing the risk of injury.
You Can Adjust The Intensity To Suit Your Ability
TRX exercises can be easily modified to suit different fitness levels.
By adjusting your body angle and the tension on the straps, you can increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise.
This makes TRX exercises suitable for both beginners and more advanced athletes alike.
Increases Your Flexibility Which Improves Joint Health
TRX training encourages a wide range of motion in many exercises, helping to improve flexibility and joint mobility.
This can be especially beneficial if you have tight muscles or reduced flexibility which often leads stiff, and sometimes painful, joints.
TRX Trainers Are Portable and Versatile
TRX suspension trainers are very lightweight and portable, making them ideal for home workouts, outdoor training, or using at your gym.
The versatility of TRX allows for endless exercise variations, ensuring you can continuously challenge yourself and keep your workouts interesting.
It’s A Form Of Low-Impact Exercise
TRX training is generally low impact, reducing stress on the joints while still providing an effective workout.
This makes it suitable for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.
Below are some commonly asked questions when it comes to TRX exercises.
Is TRX Cardio Or Strength?
TRX suspension training can be both cardio and strength-focused, depending on the exercises and workout structure you choose.
The TRX system allows for a wide range of exercises that target various muscle groups, offering both strength and cardiovascular benefits.
Exercises such as squats, lunges and chest presses will help to build strength and muscle mass.
Whereas movements like burpees, mountain climbers and jump squats will increase your heart rate helping to improve cardiovascular fitness.
How Many Days A Week Should I Do TRX?
The number of days per week you should do TRX workouts will depend on your fitness level, overall exercise routine, and recovery ability.
Typically, a beginner could perform 2 to 3 TRX workouts per week.
Conversely someone more adept to exercise, could comfortably undertake 4 to 5 TRX sessions per week.
However, no matter what your fitness level is, it’s always important to factor in plenty of rest so that your muscles can recover and keep your workouts varied to prevent any plateaus.
Is TRX training Good For Seniors?
Yes, TRX training can be an excellent option for seniors, provided it is done safely and with appropriate modifications based on fitness levels and health conditions.
As TRX suspension training is low impact, it minimizes stress to the joints making it safer and more accessible for seniors when compared to other forms of exercise.
TRX training stands out for its adaptability, making it suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness backgrounds.
Whether you’re looking to build strength, improve balance, enhance flexibility or cardiovascular fitness, TRX exercises are a great choice.
However, as with all exercises, safety and proper form are important when it comes to TRX training.
Beginners and seniors should seek guidance from a personal trainer to ensure appropriate modifications are made depending on your ability and any pre-existing conditions you may have.
Overall, TRX exercises are a great way to get a full-body workout that is adaptable, effective, and convenient.