TRX suspension training is great for people who want to build strength and endurance without weight training. Dr. Sara Mikulsky, PT, DPT, says, “TRX uses body weight and gravity for resistance while using suspension straps to support the individual exercising.” It helps improve body flexibility and build core strength, help with balance and stability. If you are looking for a workout routine (minus the weights) that targets each body muscle, check out the 7 best TRX exercises below and learn more about their benefits. Scroll down.
What Is TRX Suspension Training?
“Total Body Resistance Exercise or TRX is a popular fitness tool that has recently gained momentum in the fitness industry. It is a really effective way to workout either as a part of a workout which utilizes other equipment and/or a workout by itself,” explains Brett Durney, Co-Founder, Personal Trainer, and Running Coach at Fitness Lab.
This training technique does not involve weights or fitness tools. Instead, it uses your body weight to build strength, stability, flexibility, and endurance. “The original TRX was founded by Randy Hetrick, an ex-Navy Seal who utilized the materials of various products he came across when on tour in the forces to create a resistance-based training device,” informs Durney.
People use TRX training techniques for different purposes, including weight loss, body and muscle toning, building muscle strength, and improving flexibility. If you are intrigued by it, scroll down to check out 7 best beginner-friendly TRX exercises.
7 Best TRX Exercises For Beginners
1. TRX Bicep Curls
Target Areas: Biceps, shoulders, forearms, and core
- Adjust the straps and grab the handles with both hands.
- Stand with your body facing the anchor point.
- Tighten the core and place your feet towards the anchor point so that your body leans back.
- Raise the elbows over your shoulder level, keep your palms straight, and the handles near your temples. This is the starting position.
- Hold the plank position and lower your body until the arms are straight.
- Bend your arms and curl towards the handles, back to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
2. TRX Reverse Lunges
Target Areas: Legs
- Adjust the TRX band straps to their shortest length.
- Face the anchor point and grab the handles.
- Bend your elbows to a 90° angle, draw your fists closer to the chest, and hold the plank position. This is the starting position.
- Take a step back with your right leg to create a 90° angle with the left and the right knees.
- Straighten and elevate the arms, and extend the elbows.
- Return to the starting position and switch legs.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
3. TRX Hamstring Curls To Hip Press
Target Areas: Hamstrings and core
- Adjust the TRX straps a foot above the ground.
- Lie on your back and secure your heels to the TRX foot cradles. Extend the legs. This is the starting position.
- Engage your heels, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back to lift the hips and lower back off the ground.
- Maintain the plank for a few seconds and return to the starting position in a controlled motion.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
4. TRX Chest Press
Target Areas: Chest muscles, shoulders, arms, and core
- Attach the cable to the anchor point with handles dangling till your waist.
- Hold the handles and look away from the anchor point.
- Lean forward at the angle of 40°, extend the arms, tighten your core, and keep the body in a plank position. This is the starting position.
- Inhale and bend the elbows and lower your body until the chest is at the handles’ level.
- Exhale and push yourself to the start position.
- Maintain the plank position (body straight from head to toe) throughout the steps.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
5. TRX Y Deltoid Fly
Target Areas: Upper back, core, and shoulders
- Adjust the straps mid-length and stand facing the anchor point.
- Keep the feet shoulder-width apart and hold the handles with each hand.
- Take a step forward with your right foot and lean back at a 30°- 40° angle. Extend the arms. This is the starting position.
- Engage the shoulders and move your arms sideways, forming a ‘Y’ with your body.
- Return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets or 8-10 reps.
6. TRX Squats
Target Areas: Lower back, abdomen, calves, and hamstrings
- Adjust the straps so that the handles align at knee level.
- Face the anchor point, grab the handles, keep the feet shoulder-width apart, and stand straight. This is the starting position.
- Lower your body to a squat position with knees at 90° angle and arms extended.
- Push through your heels and return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
7. TRX Planks
Target Areas: Spine, shoulders, triceps, glutes, and quads
- Face away from the anchor point and get into the push-up position.
- Secure the toes to the foot cradle.
- Bend your elbows, flex your core muscles, and lift your body off the ground.
- Maintain the plank position (body straight from head to toe) for 5 minutes.
- Take a break and repeat.
Anyone can perform TRX exercises and enjoy its benefits. Brett Durney suggests, “It provides a great all-in-one training solution. It can be used as a part of a circuit to make a great HIIT/cardio workout. Attach it to trees, doors, and pretty much anything that provides a good anchor to make it a totally versatile piece of workout kit.” TRX exercises provide a full-body workout with multiple benefits.
The Benefits Of TRX Exercises
1. Stronger Core
TRX suspension trainers help in building a rock-solid core and improve your balance and stability. The functional movements in the TRX exercises engage your obliques, lower back, and abs to improve core fitness.
2. Strengthens The Muscles
The suspension exercises condition the body muscles as they use your body weight for resistance. The exercises work on large groups of muscles all over the body to repair imbalances. Moreover, compared to weight training, the suspension bands used in TRX exercises give a greater growth stimulus to the muscles.
3. May Help In Weight Management
TRX exercises provide you with a full-body workout. The suspension straps can be utilized to do various exercises to help burn fat and build muscles without lifting a single dumbbell and weight plate.
Fitness coach Mel Austria agrees that TRX exercises are beginner-friendly. She says, “The TRX has beginner-friendly movements and very advanced movements for beginners. Make sure you start moderately easy and build to the more advanced movements, be patient and stay consistent.”
5. Low Risk Of Injuries
TRX exercises are low-impact and suitable for anyone, including the elderly and people with mobility issues. It is because you can control the movements and do them at your own pace. This ensures minimal pressure on the joints and minimal strain on your body and muscles.
6. Offers Different Forms Of Resistance
TRX exercises involve all different principles of resistance – vector, stability, and pendulum, which is quite rare in other forms of exercise. Vector resistance depends on the body position, stability resistance depends on your feet position, and pendulum resistance depends on the changing angles of the TRX system. This means, no exercises are the same and all focus on different muscle groups.
7. Great For Calisthenics
The TRX system helps you perform calisthenics other than the regular TRX exercises. Calisthenics is also a form of resistance training that involves your body weight and gravity for exercising. It helps build aerobic fitness and improve overall strength.
Apart from all these benefits, TRX exercises help improve your overall health, boost cardiovascular activity, and help you stay physically fit. The TRX system is portable – all you need is a tree, a door, or high guard rails to secure the straps, and you are all set. However, ensure that the straps are secured well, strong, and support your body weight to avoid injuries. Here are a few more things to keep in mind while doing TRX exercises.
Pointers To Keep In Mind: Tips For Beginners
Certified personal trainer and founder of Train Like A Gymnast, Danielle Gray advises, “Set up properly – if you’re having issues getting your feet in the handles or on a time crunch for an AMRAP circuit, it is still important to move slowly. Focus on setting up properly and you will increase your chances for success versus setting up incorrectly and having to restart multiple times.”
“Focus on your form – similar to setting up properly, you’ll want to focus on doing each exercise to the best of your ability to build a foundational strength to improve on in the future,” Danielle adds.
Brett Durney suggests the beginners focus on their position. He says, “Place markers on the floor so you can track your resistance positioning and ensure your workouts are measured.”
Also, follow these tips to ensure you reap all benefits of TRX training:
- Take your time to familiarize yourself and learn about the TRX training system.
- Start slow with the basic movements and then gradually do the advanced exercises.
- Before starting your exercise, always check your position.
- Check and adjust the length of the TRX straps for a better workout experience.
- Ensure the straps are secured to a strong anchor and can support your weight.
- Stop working out immediately if you experience slight back pain or a bent midsection.
- Do the exercises under the supervision of a trainer.
TRX exercises are an effective form of resistance training, and they help you build muscles, strengthen your core, and burn calories. They do not involve any weight tools, are easy to do, and safe for older adults. The movements do not strain your joints and tendons, allowing improved flexibility and muscle tone without expensive gym equipment. However, if you are a beginner or an older adult with mobility issues, consult a doctor and do the exercises under the supervision of a trainer to avoid injuries.
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