If you haven’t heard of the TRX by now, or the very least, suspension training, you may have been living under a rock for the past 4 years. I was introduced to it about 5 years ago when they were first starting to have their educational courses and I was blown away with the amount of information, the amount of progressions/regressions there were, & how useful a tool it could be for my clients.
Since that time, it’s taken off as a “gym in a bag,” where you can literally work any movement pattern, any muscle group just by hooking the TRX up to a sturdy anchor.
The most important aspect of the TRX is its versatility in that it can be taken anywhere, and it can be used with anyone, no matter what their experience is when it comes to exercise. It all comes down to how you progress or more importantly when it comes to TRX for beginners, regress exercises. The TRX has a few basic principles when it comes progressing and regressing exercises.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
– Vector or Changing the Angle in which you approach the TRX. The steeper the angle, the harder the exercise will get.
– Stability or Points of Contact. Going single arm or single leg or even a wider stance on certain exercises will make it harder or easier.
– Pendulum or how close to the anchor (where TRX is hooked up) you are.
Image by Living Fitness
Now that we have those principles out of the way, you can start seeing ways to use the TRX for beginners and use it as a valuable teaching tool or using at as a great workout for more advanced people.
TRX Exercises for Beginners
Four great exercises that you can put into a circuit that will challenge you are the Assisted Squat, the Assisted Lunge, a neutral grip row, and a chest press.
TRX Assisted Squat– The squat is usually an exercise people avoid because it “hurts the knees.” However, the problem is that you’re not doing it properly. When you squat with a correct movement pattern, there is actually little stress on the knees. Use the Assisted Squat as a part of your warm-up or a staple of your workout in the beginning till you get comfortable with the movement.
TRX Assisted Lunge- Same as the squat, using the TRX as an assistant, add in these lunges as part of a general warm-up and eventually as part of your general workout.
TRX Row– the TRX Row is a great upper body exercise that will strengthen your upper back, arms, shoulders and core. Since you are in a semi-vertical plank the entire exercise, your whole body is going to be engaged. You can utilize this as part of an upper body training workout or in a circuit.
One little tip-make sure you are initiating the row from your shoulder blades and upper back, not your arms. Imagine squeezing a golf ball between your shoulder blades.
TRX Chest Press– Another great upper body and core exercise as far as TRX for beginners is concerned is the chest press. With the TRX, beginners can perform push-ups as they would on the floor, only with the TRX you can modify and do them on an angle, making them a little easier. Put this exercise in a circuit or as part of an upper body workout.
Image by Alex Groundwater
More Advanced TRX Exercises
Now that you’ve gotten accustomed to training and to the TRX, you can take your workouts to the next level. Remember the principles that were mentioned earlier. By playing with those principles, you can take the TRX exercises for beginners and make them advanced.
TRX Assisted Squat can now become a more full body exercise by incorporating a Shoulder Y-fly or I-fly. Now you are training multiple muscle groups at once for a more intense exercise.
TRX Assisted Lunge can be switched to a TRX Suspended Lunge by placing one foot in the straps. This will provide a great deal of instability as you have to balance on one leg. The Suspended Lunge will require a great deal more core and hip stability. Add these in for a greater challenge on regular lunges.
Switching the TRX Row to a Single Arm Row with the TRX will add in an anti-rotational challenge that was missing from the beginner exercise. It will also require a great deal more strength being that you are only using a single arm to perform the row. Just as with the TRX Row, add it into an upper body session or as part of a circuit.
TRX Chest Press can be advanced using the pendulum principle and moving further under the anchor point, creating more instability in the shoulder, or you can take the push-up to the floor, put your feet in the straps and create a suspended push-up. This will create a more intense push-up with a lot more stress on the core muscles. To take it up in intensity, add in a TRX crunch after each push-up, creating what TRX calls an “Atomic Push-up.”