Updated: Nov 14
What’s making and not making the cut in your luggage this summer? The TRX always has a guaranteed ticket to the party for me!! If you're traveling this summer, you wanna make sure the TRX Suspension trainer is going with you!
No matter if you’re an avid exercises or getting started with strength training, the TRX Suspension trainer is a must have in your gym bag!
Here are some of my favorite features of the TRX and why I use it on a weekly basis in my own workouts:
👌🏽full body workout capabilities
👌🏽building strength endurance
👌🏽has a wall hook for workouts on the go
👌🏽easy compact for traveling
👌🏽core strength demanding due to suspension style
👌🏽great to improve form and technique
👌🏽limit does not exist for workout variety
This article just scratches the surface with getting started with TRX training, though the limit truly doesn’t exist with this thing! Be sure to check out the short video below for all of the TRX exercises we go through in this video!
Let's start with the features
With the wall hook, the TRX suspension trainer is a tool for a full body workout anywhere you go. You can toss this strap with the square metal piece on one side of the door and the rest of the suspension trainer on the other. Close the door so the strap is secured & you're good to go. If you do have a squat rack or high level hook you can anchor your trainer to, even better, but I love the wall hook for it's convenience.
The traps on the TRX are fully adjustable. This makes it suitable for everyone in the family to use no matter how short or tall. Traditionally, shorter straps are great for upper body exercises and longer straps for lower body exercises or when you have your feet in the straps (yes you can put your feet in the straps and open up a whole new array of exercises)! Feet in the straps exercises are a bit more intermediate level to advanced, so we won't cover them in this article. but head over to my YouTube channel and on Instagram where I share more tutorials on these!
Then you have the handles, you have both the bar and the loos horseshoe shaped strap that is part of the trainer. You will hold on to the bars for most all exercises, though the strap at the bottom will be used for nearly all feet in strap exercises and if you want to try putting less weight into the TRX and more into your body. This will make more sense as we get to the exercises.
Twelve Beginner Level TRX Exercises
Now, let's go through 12 TRX exercises from head to toe!
First up is the TRX squat. Facing your anchor point, hold on to the bars and extend the arms out in front of you, then come down into your squat and press back up through the feet with more of your weight in the heels. Aim to hold lightly on the bars for greater glute and core engagement in this exercise.
These are great if you are practicing your squat form and depth or if you're a more avid trainer, to use in your warm ups.
2. Overhead Squat
Next, we're going go into the overhead squat. You will lightly hold onto the straps, not the handles, as you come down and press up from your squat. As you go into that squat, keep those arms up overhead holding lightly on the straps. You're going to feel some heat in the shoulders as they are staying elevated while in your squat.
3. Reverse Lunges
If standard bodyweight floor lunges are challenging for you, starting out with the TRX reverse lunge is a great way to practice your balance and depth of your lunge. Holding onto the bars for balance with the fingers facing each other, step back into your lunge, alternating each leg. You can then progress to performing all your reps on one side before switching.
4. Side Lunges
Next, you have your side lunges. Same set up as your reverse lunges, except now you are step out from side to side. Ensure you are pressing through the outside foot to bring you back to your starting position. You can progress as you would for the reverse lunges once comfortable, to all reps on one side before switching.
5 &6. Low & High Rows
Moving into upper body, you've got your low row and your high row. For these, you're going to be at a slightly angled position with the feet under the TRX and closer to the anchor point. This always take a bit of getting used to and frankly, some built up trust with the trainer-you'll get there!
Starting with your Low Row, keep the elbows in next to the torso and pull the body up towards the anchor point as the elbows drive back and the wrists come in line with the torso.
For your High Rows, you'll bring your arms out in front of you, grasping the bars and facing the fingers down. You will pull the body up towards the anchor point so the arms are driving back and ending in a downward facing goal post position. You want to feel the shoulder blades come together on the back.
Once you feel comfortable in this slightly angled position, you can walk a little bit underneath the TRX for a little bit more challenge. You can do that same Low Row and High Row as you are further under the TRX, now pulling more of your body weight, making this exercise more challenging.
7 & 8. T & Y Deltoid Flys
Next, you've got your T Deltoid Flys followed by your Y Deltoid Flys. These are some of the greatest shoulder exercises no matter how long you've been training (with or without weights)! These are going to be a bit more challenging when starting out as they are targeting very specific muscle groups that for most individuals may go untrained.
Starting at the same, under the TRX, 45 degree angled body position, firmly hold on to the bars with the fingers facing one another and the arms fully extended (this should feel like the middle way between a "trust fall" when you're the one falling!).
For your Y's, you'll elevated the body by lifting the arms up and out in a "Y" shaped position. You'll do the same for the T's by lifting the arms up and out in a "T" shaped position. As you come up to the top, you may feel like you are going to fall or need to take a step forward. Contract the core and aim to press through the toes to keep you level before slowly coming up and bringing the arms back down and the body to starting position.
9. Bicep Curls
For an avid trainer who is new to TRX, add high reps of these TRX bicep curls in your warm ups on your bicep training days. For strength training beginners, try out these bicep curls in your workout before going to weights!
These are going to be performed from a similar angled position as your Flys and Rows, but this time being a little bit less under the TRX. For the bicep curl you're going to keep your elbows in line with your shoulders and curl the wrists towards the shoulders while holding on to the bars.
10. Tricep Extensions
We're flipping it around for the next couple upper body exercises. First up, TRX tricep extensions. You'll start by facing away from the anchor point and holding the bars with your arms extended overhead at a slight angle in front of you. Walk the feet back just a bit, then bending at the elbows, allow the body to fall forward and press against the bars to power back up to starting position.
11. Chest Press
In the same body positioning as above, this time holding the bars out in front of you with the arms extended. Start by taking a few more steps backwards toward the anchor point so you are at even more of an angled position facing away from the TRX. From this position, perform the opposite position of the TRX High Row, bringing the body towards the floor and the arms back to a downward facing goal post position with the elbows in line with the shoulders. Press back up from this position to your starting position.
You can perform these from your knees to start too. This will require less balance and core strength when initially starting out.
12. Chest Fly
In the same body positioning the TRX Chest Press, this time holding the bars with your fingers facing inward towards each other. Begin by bringing the arms out to the side to form a "T" shaped position with the body, much as possible. You may find yourself starting to shake or feel the muscles working when in a "V" shape, which is great! Go to the point that you can and then press the arms back in to starting position. Keep a small bend in the elbows during this exercise.
You can also perform these from your knees to start too. This will require less balance and core strength when initially starting out.
Check out this short video for tutorials on each of the exercises in this article!
And there you have it, 12 exercises to get you started with TRX training! All of these TRX suspension training exercises are fantastic for your warm ups ahead of a strength training, if you're a beginner getting started with strength training or for a for a full body, low time investment, workout while you're traveling.
There's a lot more where this came from! For more in-depth tutorials on each of these exercises, head over to my YouTube channel!
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Comment below which exercise you like best and if you'd like another article on more intermediate and advanced level TRX suspension training exercises!
Check out more on the TRX in this article and comment below with any questions!