At this point, many of you have probably heard of the TRX. It's a suspension trainer that promises total body resistance exercise with no equipment other than the straps. Unlike many fad pieces of exercises equipment, it doesn't look like the TRX is leaving us anytime soon. Here's your beginner/intermediate guide to using a suspension trainer.
What You Need To Know: The TRX is all about angle, bodyweight, and instability. To make a standing exercise harder, move your feet closer to the anchor point. To make a floor exercise harder, move the straps out from under the anchor point. These three workouts should provide a good start - one strength one endurance, and two plyometric workouts per week. As the reps get easier, increase the difficulty by deepening your angle (strength) and increasing tempo (endurance). For the plyometrics, make each rep count - quality over quantity.
TRX Strength Training
4 sets of 8 reps
Your number one concern here is keeping your lower back nice and stable - try to avoid excessive extension. A slight bend in the elbows is perfectly fine, but you can use straight arms to increase difficulty. Pay close attention to the video. One more tip - start with a split stance with slightly bent knees.
Set the straps to mid-calf and lay down in your back. Slip your feet into the foot cradles and make a 90 degree angle with your knees - you're going to maintain this exact angle all the way through. Now, squeeze your glutes and push your hips toward the ceiling.
Pay close attention to the video. Set the straps to mid-length, face the TRX, and grab one handle. Reach forward with your other hand - the hand gripping the handle will end up in a rowing position. Extend the arm holding the strap and let your other arm open up, out to the side and back. As to come back to the start, try to focus on core and back, not arms.
This is a combo pushup-crunch. Set the straps to mid-calf and lay flat on your stomach. Place your feet in the cradles and pop into a pushup position. Do a pushup, and as you come back to the starting position, pull your knees to your chest.
TRX Endurance Training
3 sets of 45 seconds
Set the straps to short, face the TRX, and grip the handles. From here, it's just like any other row. Keep your body as straight as possible and alternate between three grips - neutral, overhand, and underhand.
Set the straps to mid-calf and lay flat on your back. Slip into the foot cradles and keep your hands at your sides, flat on the floor, for balance. Raise your hips upward, like a bridge. Staying in this position, bring one knee to your chest and then push it back out, and alternate. Think mountain climbers on your back.
Crunch to Crunch Twist:
Set the straps to mid-calf, lay on your stomach, and put your feet into the cradles. You know how to do the crunch from the atomic pushup, so do one. On the next rep, keep the same motion, but twist your knees to one side. Do one more rep on the other side and repeat.
Abducted Balance Lunge:
Set the straps to mid-length and face the TRX. Hold the straps loosely with bent elbows. The video actually doesn't show the balance lunge, but it's a similar concept. Instead of setting your foot down on the floor as you lunge to the side, let it hang in the air, adding a balance component. Return to the start and repeat.
Adjust the TRX to mid-length and face away from the anchor point. Start with hands out in front of your face, palms facing out, and slowly bring your hands toward your face. Make sure your elbows point straight ahead throughout the movement.
TRX Power Training
3-4 sets of 6 reps
Set the straps to mid-length, take a step back, and face the TRX. Use a nice loose grip with slightly bent elbows. Drop into a squat and explode upward immediately. For the easy version, take a quick pause before the next rep. To make it more difficult, keep the motion continuous.
You've probably done these the old fashioned way, but the TRX introduces a balance element to make them more challenging. Set the straps to mid-calf, lay flat on your stomach, and place your feet in the cradles. Move into a pushup position, descend to the floor, and explode upward off your hands. Watch your hips - don't let them sag.
Balance Lunge Jump:
Set the straps to mid-length and face the TRX. Grab both handles and start with both feet together. Like a reverse lunge, step back with one foot. This time, however, don't let it touch the floor. As you move back to the start, hop from the leading leg.
**The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Before starting any new exercise program we recommend consulting your doctor first.**