Use these versatile straps to get a full-body workout wherever you are—no matter your fitness level.
I am so excited to share my favorite piece of fitness equipment with you! The TRX® Suspension TrainerTM was created by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy SEAL. Hetrick created an early version of the TRX (Total-Body Resistance Exercise) using a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing while deployed so he and his fellow SEALs could train and condition.
I was fortunate to meet Hetrick back in 2005 at a fitness conference and have been using the TRX ever since. As a trainer, I love the versatility of the suspension trainer. Using just your bodyweight, you are able to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability all at the same time. No matter your fitness level, using the TRX Suspension Trainer will help you move better, train better and perform better in your everyday life.
Why do I love using the TRX? Here are my top three reasons.
- It’s scalable for all fitness levels. It’s so easy to change the intensity of an exercise right there on the spot, and anyone can use it.
- It’s a full-body workout. The TRX system offers a full-body workout, improves overall flexibility and works your core big time. It can get a lot done in a short 30-minute workout.
- I never miss a workout. I can train anywhere and it’s easy to travel with. I take it to the park, use it in my hotel room—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken it to Hawaii with me!
I also want to bust two big myths about the TRX system that I hear over and over again as a trainer.
Myth 1: You need to get in shape before you use the TRX system because it’s too hard.
This is not true. There are three simple and quick ways to adjust exercise intensity to accommodate any fitness level.
- Vector: Change your body angle.
- Stability: Adjust your base of support.
- Pendulum: Change where you start relative to the anchor point.
Myth 2: It’s only for athletes.
Also not true. My senior clients love it. They see an improvement in balance, strength, flexibility and overall movement confidence. In addition to my senior clients, physical therapists use it for injury rehab and everyday injury prehab.
Are you new to TRX Suspension Training?
No worries, here are a few quick and simple tips I use with my new clients.
- Go at your own pace. A few good reps in each exercise are better than fast and sloppy movement loaded with momentum.
- As you find the appropriate level of difficulty, take your time—focus on form and body alignment. You will slowly start to see an increase your strength, balance, core stability and overall flexibility.
- As you get stronger, gradually add intensity without compromising form and technique.
- Have fun!
Beginner Bodyweight Exercises
Ready to try working out with TRX system?
Fast, fun and effective, TRX bodyweight training builds muscle, burns fat, increases flexibility and improves endurance. To get you going, we developed seven simple TRX moves that anyone at any level can use to get started: plank, push, pull, hinge, lunge, squat and rotate. Understanding these seven movements, you can perform more hundreds of exercises that work every body part, and start achieving your personal fitness goals. Using your body as your machine, TRX Suspension Training will help you unleash your full fitness potential.
So let’s get started!
Plank (TRX plank)
With the tops of your feet resting in the TRX system handles, and the straps adjusted to mid-calf height, plank up into a push-up position, keeping your hands directly under your shoulders. Brace your core and make sure your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are aligned. Lower your knees back down to the ground to release.
Push (TRX chest press)
Adjust the straps to fully lengthened. Bring your body into a push-up position, with your hands suspended above the ground holding the TRX Suspension Trainer handles below your chest and your arms extended. Brace your core and lean your weight into the handles as you release your elbows out like a push-up, making sure your hips, shoulders, knees and ankles are aligned. Push back up to start, maintain your plank.
Pull (TRX low row)
With the straps at fully shortened, lean back holding the TRX Suspension Trainer handles out in front of you so your body is at an angle (you should feel a small pull between your shoulder blades) but aligned in one long line from your head to your feet. Bend your arms to 90 degrees as you bring the handles by your ribs and maintain your plank. Brace your core, forming a strong plank with your shoulders pulled down and back, and slowly lower your body by extending arms.
Hinge (TRX hinge)
With the TRX Suspension Trainer straps at mid-length, holding onto the handles in front of you with a 45-degree bend at the waist. Press into the handles and hinge forward extending the body to a standing position. Bend at the hip to return to your starting position.
Lunge (TRX lunge)
Straps adjusted to mid-calf length, one foot through both foot cradles on the TRX Suspension Trainer and standing facing away from the anchor point, ground yourself through your working leg. Push your hips down and back, and lunge down until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees. Keep your core braced and your chest up the entire time. Drive through your front foot using your glute and hamstring to bring you back up. Repeat on opposite leg.
Squat (TRX squat)
Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. Holding the straps, stack your elbows under your shoulders. Lower your hips down and back, putting your weight in your heels, until your legs reach 90 degrees. Drive through your heels as you stand, squeezing your glutes and keeping your chest lifted.
Rotate (TRX power pull)
Adjust the straps to mid-length. Holding onto both handles of the TRX Suspension Trainer with one hand, position that hand beside your chest, while your free hand reaches up the main strap toward the anchor point (drop your shoulders down away from your ears). In a circular motion, rotate your free arm toward the ground while extending your arm holding the straps, and keep your hips square. Drive your elbow (on the arm holding the strap) straight back to bring your hand beside your chest while rotating your free arm up toward the anchor point.
For first-time TRXers: Set your timer and do as many reps of each move as possible in 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest in between each of the seven moves. When you are confident in the moves, increase the time per move to challenge yourself. When you’ve mastered the moves, go to trxtraining.com to download a workout and our free TRX workout app. Or, stick with our seven foundational TRX moves and mix it up to build your own custom workout!
TRX suspension straps can be used at home, in the gym and outdoors at beach, park or field. Every TRX purchase comes with 15- and 30-minute workouts.
What are you waiting for? Join the TRX movement today!
This post originally appeared on trxtraining.com.
Photo credit: Courtesy of TRX Training