With the popularity of bodyweight-only training routines, the TRX (and other suspension training systems) has become a great way to up the intensity of bodyweight exercises.
Invented by a former Navy SEAL, the TRX suspension training system uses gravity and the user’s own bodyweight to create a fun, but challenging way to train the entire body.
Not only are TRX workouts super convenient (the straps are portable and you can use them almost anywhere), they’re also ideal for all fitness levels since the exercises can be easily manipulated to fit the level of each individual.
Ready to make the TRX part of your routine?
Give these 6 moves a try for a great total body workout. Perform 8-12 reps of each exercise below in a circuit format with minimal (approx. 30 seconds) rest between exercises. Rest 1-2 minute between circuits and shoot for 3-4 total circuits.
How to do them: Lower the straps so that they are 6-12” off of the floor. Hook toes through the bottom straps so that the tops of your feet face the floor. Lift your body up so that weight rests on the palms of your hands and you are in a push-up position. Keeping core tight, bend elbows to lower your chest between hands. You’ll feel your chest and shoulders working as you press back up to the start position.
How to change them up: You can also make it more of a chest-press type of movement by using the handles to perform your push-ups. Face away from the anchor point (where the TRX is attached), place your feet about shoulder-width apart, and grab handles with an overhand grip while extending your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Lean forward so that your body is at a slight diagonal. Bend elbows and lower chest between your hands. You’ll engage your chest and arms as you push yourself back up to the start position.
How to do them: Lie directly underneath the TRX. Bend your knees and plant your 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 them close to your sides, bend your elbows to pull torso up towards the handles until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower down 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.
How to change them up: If you’re looking for a more advanced form of the row, challenge yourself to the exact same movement but just use one arm at a time without losing your form. Be ready to feel this one!
How to do them: Kneel down facing the anchor and grab the straps with an overhand 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 hands are in line with your ears—this is when you’ll start to feel those triceps burn as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
How to change them up: Instead of doing them from a kneeling position, do them with your feet on the floor. You’ll be using much more of your bodyweight which will make this move an awesome challenge for your arms!
How to do them: Face toward the TRX anchor point and grab one handle in each hand with your palms facing up. Lean all the way back until your arms are extended and the strap is pulled tight. To activate your biceps, bend elbows (without letting them drop) and pull yourself up until the hands (pinkies in) end up outside of your ears. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting positon.
How to change them up: By simply changing the angle of your body, you can make these easier or more difficult.
How to do them: Facing away from the anchor point, place your left foot in both TRX straps, and plant your right foot firmly on the ground. Lower yourself down into a lunge position as you exten the left leg behind you, without losing the bend in your knee. Return to starting position concentrating on using the heel on the front foot to push yourself back up. You’ll feel your lower body and abs working hard throughout this movement. Be sure to repeat the exercise on the other side for the same number of repetitions.
How to change them up: If you want to take this move to the next level, add a soft jump off the ground with the front leg as you come up from the lunge. This dynamic move will really build some strength in the legs!
How to do them: Face away from the anchor point place your feet about shoulder-width apart, and grab handles with an overhand grip while extending your arms in front of you at shoulder height (same position as the “how to change them up” move for the push-up above). Lean forward so that your body is at a slight diagonal. Instead of bending your elbows and dropping into a push-up, reach your hands out and away from your body as you extend out. After a brief pause, slowly pull back into the starting position.
How to change them up: A simple tweak to your body angle will once again make this exercise easier or more difficult. You can also hold the pause of the extended position for a 2-3 count before pulling yourself back in.