Trx exercise, also known as total Resistance exercises or total body resistance exercises is a special form of suspension training that utilizes equipment that is Trx straps, and a person’s body weight against gravity.
Trx suspension system is developed by former U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick in quest of performing different exercises rather than usual push-ups. In this suspension training, your body weight and gravity are used to develop strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously.
How to Do Trx Exercises?
In Trx exercise, anchor the Trx strap to a secure spot or place like a doorframe, trees, or rods. Now you have to use your hands or feet to hold onto the straps, depending on the type of exercise you want to perform. So usually a part of your body is suspended above the floor.
You have to lean in or move away from the anchor point to create resistance and destabilization, thus engaging your core muscles for stabilization. You can learn and master Trx exercises under the guidance of the Trx master instructor or your personal trainer.
Points to be Considered While Doing Trx Exercises
- Breathing- Focus on breathing techniques during exercise. Breathe in through the nose during relaxation and breathe out through the mouth on exertion.
- Tension in the strap- It should be maintained at all times throughout the exercise to avoid injury.
- Positioning of the body- The core should be properly engaged and stable for balance. Avoid rounding of lower back and hunching of shoulders.
Types and Techniques of Trx Exercises
There are numerous types of Trx exercises and different ways to modify your regular exercise depending on the body portion you want to focus on and depending on the type of training you want to do like resistance training, muscle strengthening, and others. Here are some of the best Trx exercises listed for you:
Trx Exercises for Core Muscle Groups
- Plank Trx exercise
- Side plank position Trx exercise
- Crunch and curl Trx exercise
- Pendulum swing Trx exercise
- Torso rotation Trx exercise
- Single-leg plank position Trx exercise
- Atomic pike (suspended pike) Trx exercise
1. Plank Trx Exercise
Lie down on your stomach in a plank position facing away from the anchor point. Place your toes into foot cradles and straps at midcalf length. Push heel back into handles and press into plank position. Support your upper body by your forearm and keep your body straight. Take a rest by placing your knee on the ground.
Core muscles group, abs, obliques, and shoulders.
With this Trx plank, you will be able to get a perfectly flat plank and it also keeps the body aligned and contracted which will help you to develop a strong core and lead to a safe performance in other exercises.
2. Side Plank Position Trx Exercise
Lie down on the floor and put both feet in the foot cradles. Stack up your elbows under your shoulder. Now lift your body straight into a side plank position and hold it there for some time. Then return to starting position. Repeat it on another side. You can make it more challenging by placing your free hand under your torso to the floor behind your body.
It is a form of exercise and Yoga too, you can develop core strength, stability and achieve the great posture.
3. Crunch and Curl Trx Exercise
Sit on the floor, facing the anchor point and hold the Trx handles with an underhand grip. Now lean backwards and downward on the floor with your knees bent and flat feet on the floor extending your arms straight in front. Engage your core and lift your shoulders and back off the floor, meanwhile curl your hands towards your shoulder blades, and low downwards to return to starting position.
It targets biceps and abs.
This Trx exercise is denser on core, abdominal muscles, and biceps muscles simultaneously.
Trx Exercises for Upper Body
- Push-ups Trx exercise
- Chest press Trx exercise
- Low row Trx exercise
- Single-arm row Trx exercise
- Biceps curl Trx exercise
- Y-fly Trx exercise
- Inverted row Trx exercise
- Three-way row Trx exercise
- Triceps extension Trx exercise
- Kneeling triceps press Trx exercise
- ALLIGATOR Trx exercise
- Chest fly Trx exercise
- Atomic push-ups
- Cock press Trx exercise
1. Push-ups Trx Exercise
Lie down on the floor opposite the anchor point. Put your feet in the foot cradles, the top of your feet should face the floor. Lift your body and rest your body weight on the palms of your hands. Keep your core tight, legs straight bend, your elbows lower down your chest, and then press back to the starting position.
It targets shoulder muscles, chest, and arms.
One will do more intense than regular push-ups in less time.
2. Chest Press Trx Exercise
Stand with a fully lengthened strap and face away from the anchor point with feet shoulder-width apart. Stand on the balls of your feet, hold the handles with an overhand grip and extend your arms at shoulder height.
Lean forward at an angle and push away the handles of straps. Now bend your elbows to a 90 degree-angle and lower your chest. Straighten up your arms, engage your chest and core and pull yourself back to the original position.
Arms and chest are the target areas of this Trx exercise.
It helps to get proper alignment, a strong core, and a stable spine.
3. Low Row Trx Exercise
Stand straight facing the anchor point and adjust the Trx strap length as per your height. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree- angle, hold the handles at your rib cage position by keeping the body in a straight line.
Now straighten up your arms slowly to lower your body, lean back, and then return to starting position by bending the elbows. Repeat it.
The exercise targets the back, abs, shoulders, and biceps.
Trx row helps in getting proper posture. Intensity can be increased or decreased accordingly by moving your feet near or far from the anchor point.
4. Single-arm Row Trx Exercise
Take the Trx strap from underneath. keep your feet close to the anchor point and shoulder blades together and pull yourself up keeping your body straight. Be careful and do not let your body twist.
The exercise targets back, abs, shoulder, and biceps.
It targets each arm separately and increases calorie burn.
5. Biceps Curl Trx Exercise
Face the anchor point, stand with straps at your mid-length and grab handles with palms facing up in each hand. Lean back to extend your arms straight and tighten the strap. Now bend your elbows till it reaches temples, slowly pulling up your body. Return to starting position. Do not lower the elbows or elevate the shoulders. Repeat it.
Target areas of this exercise are abs, and arms.
It engages the entire body while traditional dumbbell biceps curl involves arms only. Its intensity can be changed by moving your feet position.
6. Y-fly Trx Exercise
Stand and face the anchor point, adjust the straps to mid-length with feet hip-width apart. Hold the handles and extend arms above your head into Y form with palms facing forward. Now slowly lean yourself back on the heels to form a diagonal line.
Keep your arms straight while returning to the standing Y position. Pull down your arms in front touching palms together. Now starting with hips, pull up your body back to a standing position spreading your arms into Y position again.
The exercise targets abs, biceps, back muscles, and pectoral muscles.
It maintains balance and stability.
Trx Exercises for The Lower Body
- Squal Trx exercise
- Lunges Trx exercise
- Step back lunges Trx exercise
Single-leg squat Trx exercise
Hamstring pull-in or hamstring curl Trx exercise
Single leg hamstring pull trx exercise
Curtsy lunges trx exercise
Lateral lunges trx exercise
Curtsy lunge to lateral lunge
1. Squat Trx Exercise
Stand facing the anchor point and adjust the Trx straps to mid-length. Keep your elbows soft and hold the handles in front and move backwards to create a little tension on the straps.
Now lower your hips in the downward position and back in squat position and then return to your previous standing position. Repeat this Trx squat.
The target areas of this exercise are abs, quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
It improves hip mobility and stability.
2. Lunges Trx Exercise
Stand facing away from the anchor point. Put left foot in foot cradle and place right foot firmly on the floor. Lower yourself into a lunge, bend your knees, and left leg behind you. Return to starting position. Repeat with another leg.
It targets legs, and abs.
It focuses more on lower body and abs, helps in developing balance and stability.
3. Step Back Lunges Trx Exercise
Stand facing the anchor point with Trx straps at mid-length. Hold the Trx handles softly, step back with one leg and bend your both knees to 90 degrees angles. Now squeeze your glutes tight and return to a standing position. Repeat it on the other side.
The exercise targets glutes, and legs.
It helps in developing proper posture and wide range of motion, tight hips, and maintains balance.
4. Hamstring Pull-in or Hamstring Curl Trx Exercise
Lie down on your back facing the anchor point with trx straps at mid-calf length with arms extended at sides. Put your feet in the foot cradles, apply even pressure on your heels.
keep your core engaged and glutes too, lift your hips and drag your heels towards your body so that knees are stacked over your hips. Now straighten your legs while keeping your core tight.
It targets thighs, glutes, and hips.
It helps in improving knee joint integrity.
Trx Exercises for a Full-body Workout
- Gludge bridge Trx exercise
Squat and fly Trx exercise
Mountain climber Trx exercise
Reverse mountain climber Trx exercise
Single leg burpee Trx exercise
Burpee to scorpion Trx exercise
Squat and row Trx exercise
Spider man pushups Trx exercise
Suspended plank with abduction Trx exercise
1. Glute Bridge Trx Exercise
Lie down on your back on the floor facing the anchor point. Put your heels on the foot cradles, bring your feet close to your hips to form a 90-degree angle of your legs. Extend your arms and lift your hips so that your upper body is in a diagonal position. Lower down and come back to starting position.
It targets glutes, hamstrings, and back.
It works more on back muscles than the regular one.
2. Squat and Fly Trx Exercise
Stand facing the anchor point with legs shoulder-width apart and hold the handles in front of you. Lower your body into a squat position and extend your arms up in front. Now come back to standing position, spreading your arms to form an overhead v.
It targets quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, abs, shoulders, and deltoid.
This total body workout helps in getting correct form and improves range of motion.
Trx Exercises and Yoga
Trx exercises can also be used as Yoga practice. With the help of a Trx suspension trainer, you can get support and balance to perform different poses and enhance them too. This suspension training builds muscle strength, increases endurance and stability, and helps in getting proper form and confidence.
Keys to Incorporate Trx System in Yoga Practice
- Practice- do practice and work on perfecting your yoga poses with the help of a Trx suspension trainer.
- Progress- use Trx suspension training to advance your practice and challenging complex moves.
- Stretch- Trx suspension trainer can be used for total body stretch.
- Flow- you can combine some best Trx exercises and create a whole yoga session.
Examples of Combination of Trx Exercises and Yoga
- Tree pose
- Side plank
- Low lunge
- Half pigeon
- Happy baby pose
- Boat pose
- Forearm pike
- Crow pose
- Headstand pose
1. Tree Pose
Stand under the anchor point with Trx straps hanging in front and adjust it to your mid-length or as per your height. Hold the Trx strap for balance and support. Place your right foot in both foot cradles and press the right sole into the left inner thigh. Keep your spine neutral by keeping your knee straight, grounded leg, and pelvis slightly tucked.
Join hands touching your palms in front of yourself in prayer position or extend your arms overhead. Repeat it on the other side.
It can be made easier by lengthening the Trx straps and placing the foot below the knee or more difficult by shortening the straps and placing the foot above the knee.
2. Side Plank
Set Trx straps to mid-calf length, lie down on the floor facing away from the anchor. Place one foot in each foot cradle.
Lower yourself on the right forearm, elbow under the shoulder. Place it firmly and elevate your body by engaging core muscles and legs to prevent hips from dropping. Press your forearm down to prevent sinking into the shoulder and the left arm extends towards the ceiling.
Stand under anchor point with Trx straps on the right side and handles at waist position. Put right hand on both the handles with the light grip and step out your right leg, and toes facing strap.
Turn your left foot at a perpendicular angle to your right heel. Now press your right hand down into straps and extend it forward while keeping the hinge at the waist. Keep your core engaged, pelvis tucked and shift left hip back. Raise your left arm and then gaze upwards. Repeat on the other side.
4. Low Lunge
Face away from the anchor point, stand with straps at mid-length. Hold handles with extended out arms at shoulder height.
Step forward one foot into a lunge position, setting down back knee on the floor, and lift your arms straight. Sink your hips forward, press in the handles and draw your shoulder blades away from your ears. Repeat on the other side.
5. Half Pigeon
Sit on the floor and face the anchor point, adjusting the Trx straps to mid-calf length. Bring right knee to chest and set it down behind your right wrist with the foot at left hip.
Hold handles with a light grip, press it down to release the shoulder. Square your hips and keep your left leg straight on the floor with untuck left toes. Sit upright or press the strap forward to lean your upper body towards the floor. Repeat on another side.
6. Happy Baby Pose
Lie on the floor with face-up under the anchor point, setting straps at mid-calf length. Bend your knees and bring it towards your underarms. Put your feet in each foot cradle.
Pull Trx handles closer to draw ankles down to stack over knees. Press down your lower back to the floor and do not let your hips lift while you reach for feet.
7. Boat Pose
Sit down on the floor under anchor point, straps at mid-calf with flat feet on floor and hand on handles. Extend your arms straight and press through your hands so that the shoulder blade is drawn down.
Lift your legs and keep shins parallel to the floor, slightly lean back to balance, and maintain a straight back and engaged core.
Advantages of Trx Exercises
- Total body workout- It is a revolutionary workout that helps in building strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, core, and joint stability. It also helps in fat loss and improves endurance capacity.
- Builds solid core- In this Trx suspension system, you have to stabilize yourself using your core muscles that are abs, obliques, and lower back muscles. There is the involvement of greater abdominal muscles every time, thus core muscles get strong and build up.
- Builds up muscle mass- with this exercise, a similar growth hormone is secreted as in traditional resistance exercises. So you will gain muscles without hurting your joints much and with fewer risks.
- Burn more calories/ increased metabolic results- with this Trx suspension trainer you can enhance your daily workout routine and amp up its difficulty level by doing as many reps, thus burning fast and more calories.
- Modify your workout- doing the same exercise daily can make you feel boring, you can make it more interesting and challenging with a Trx suspension trainer. There are many Trx exercises with so many progression levels, you can adjust Trx straps length, your body position and angles to make it more or less challenging according to yourself.
- Good for all- Trx exercises suits every person from beginners to advanced users and from young to seniors because its length is adjustable to increase or decrease resistance with modifications in different exercises.
- Portable and can be done anywhere- Trx straps are small and can be taken from one place to another and are easily adapted to any scenario. You don’t have to depend on heavy gym equipment and a gym place for your workout. Trx suspension system can be anchored anywhere, whether in the gym to any machine or if outside, can be anchored to trees, poles, goalposts.
- Versatile tool- for personal trainers or clients, it offers versatility. Many basic exercises like squats, push-ups, planks, and complex moves like pikes, and lunge jumps can be reprogrammed and made more challenging.
- Development of functional strength- with a Trx suspension trainer you develop the ability to move in multiple planes so your functional strength is improved.
- Improves stability- there is increased activation and involvement of stabilizer muscle groups around the core and at other joints, so your stability is improved.
- It offers different forms of resistance training with different benefits.
- Good cardio exercises can be done.
- Good for Calisthenics – Calisthenics is a form of resistance training, these are bodyweight exercises that are designed to target a big group of muscles. It involves exercises like pike pushups, and one legged-squat. So Trx suspension trainer can also be used to perform such exercises.
Disadvantages of Trx Exercises
- Quite tricky and complex for beginners because of their unsupported nature.
- Beginners may require a qualified personal trainer or Trx master instructor.
- Potentially dangerous for weaker individuals whose core strength is not much or a person with a history of joint or back injury.
- May result in injury because of improper form and techniques and instability of suspension straps.
- Disrupt the flow of the workout because while changing from one exercise to another, you need to adjust the straps unless the next one requires the same setup. So it breaks your tempo and is also time-consuming.
- Limited heavy leg workouts options are there. You have to include other exercises for it.
- Not suitable as a single bodybuilding all-in-one exercise.
- The price is a bit high- less economical.
Since everything has some pros and cons. It is upon you to take Trx exercises with proper guidance and precautions. So, next time if you want to mix up your daily workout routine, or try something new, just pick up some best Trx exercises, modify your workout and get great results.