Summer is fleeting, but fitness is forever.
There are two times each year when we collectively decide to prioritize fitness: First, in January, when we set our New Year’s resolutions, and second, each spring, when we become obsessed with getting “beach ready” for summer. So what happens during the rest of the year?
As warm summer days fade to crisp autumn and cold winter nights, most of us squeeze in a few final runs, squats or crunches before the weather makes it seem impossible to work out outdoors. But wellness doesn’t have to go into hiding just because sweater season is here. Fitness should be a year-round pursuit to help you live and feel better, regardless of the number of barbecues and clambakes you’re attending. To help you stay fit this winter, we’re highlighting some of our favorite TRX® Suspension Trainer™ exercises to help you keep up your indoor fitness pursuits while improving strength and mobility for your outdoor hobbies.
If you like kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, try TRX rows.
Want to work your shoulders, triceps and oblique muscles even in the winter? It’s tough to beat gliding along a still lake atop a kayak or an SUP on a sunny day. But when the temperatures start dropping, it’s time to retreat to your TRX Suspension Trainer. Fortunately, you can replicate those same functional movements from your favorite summer water sports inside and outside with TRX low rows.
TRX low rows
- Begin with the TRX Suspension Trainer straps fully shortened and stand facing the anchor point.
- Holding on to the handles, your shoulders should be down and back, with the handles positioned at your rib cage.
- Walk your feet toward the anchor point to the appropriate angle for your fitness level (until you feel tension in the upper back). To increase the level of difficulty, you can bring your feet closer together (decrease your base of support), or take a step forward toward the anchor point. To decrease the level of difficulty, take a step away from the anchor point, or set your feet farther apart.
- 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 your arms.
If you like trail running, try the TRX lunge.
One of the perks of hiking and trail running is that the uneven surface helps improve your ankle stabilization. It’s easy to continue training those muscles by practicing the TRX lunge with your TRX Suspension Trainer. In addition to strengthening your ankles, this move also targets the quads, hamstrings and glutes—all muscle groups that you’ll need when you’re ready to hit the trails again next year—or the slopes during ski season!
- For this move, stand facing away from your anchor point with the TRX straps at the mid-calf position.
- Place one foot through both foot cradles and stand with your shoulders positioned over your hips.
- Drive the suspended knee down and back, and lower your hips until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your rear knee touches the ground.
- To return to the start position, lift the rear knee off the ground, push your suspended foot slightly back. Then, drive through the midfoot and heel of your front leg to return to full standing position with your knees together.
If you like swimming, try the TRX plank, squat and power pull.
If you have access to an indoor pool, swimming can be a year-round activity, and supplementing your laps with TRX Suspension Trainer exercises can help you become a stronger swimmer. Kari Woodall, a TRX Master Trainer and former professional swimmer, recommends practicing the TRX plank, TRX squat and TRX power pull. TRX planks can help you develop a neutral spine while floating, TRX squats increase your power on wall turns, and TRX power pulls train you to “preload” your chest and build your rotational power.
- Set the straps to mid-calf length and position yourself on the ground, facing away from the anchor point.
- Place the tops of your feet in the TRX handles.
- Start on your knees with your hands positioned below the shoulders and engage the core.
- Lift your body into a plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your forearms. (Note: This can also be done on your forearms.) To return to the ground, simply lower your knees to the floor.
- Adjust the TRX straps to mid-length and stand facing the anchor point.
- Stand up straight, and stack your elbows under your shoulders with your feet set hip-width apart.
- Lower your hips down and back, putting your weight in your heels, until your knees are at 90 degrees.
- Driving through your heels, squeeze the glutes and lift the chest to return to a standing position.
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.
Bears may hibernate through the winter months, but your healthy habits shouldn’t. Whether you use it at home or in your gym, the TRX Suspension Trainer can help you maintain those active summer lifestyle results all year long.
This post originally appeared on trxtraining.com.
Photo credit: Liderina, Thinkstock