ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training

ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training

Reading Time: 8 minutes 30 seconds

By: ISSA

Date: 2022-11-14


TRX stands for total body resistance exercise, and it’s designed for everyone! Born out of necessity by a United States Military veteran, TRX has made a huge splash in the fitness industry. Putting a new spin on traditional exercises has never been so fun and impactful.

Suspension training offers a unique training experience for users. It's an ideal option for any person, the straps are easy to use and adjust, and they are fun to use. Not to mention they are portable! Could it get any better?

Benefits of Suspension Training 

Take your traditional resistance training one step further and the physical impact is noticeable! Training with the TRX offers the following benefits:

1. Train your entire body quickly and effectively

Literally, every muscle in the body can be trained with the TRX suspension trainer, and at every intensity. Whether you're indoors or in the great outdoors, hang the straps and power through a fun, effective, and challenging full body workout that all but guarantees results. 

2. Train your body to better handle real-life situations

Life is unpredictable and, often, unstable. The TRX suspension trainer makes it easy to (safely) place the body in unstable and odd positions to build strength, coordination, and stability. You can create a workout plan that supports your everyday life and beyond. 

3. Offers a great core challenge for all ages and abilities

Every human can benefit from better balance and stability with improved core strength. The TRX suspension trainers were designed to encourage bracing and strength in the abdominals, obliques, and other muscles of the lumbopelvic hip complex. All with only the user’s bodyweight! And TRX exercise can easily be regressed or progressed to match anyone’s ability and fitness goals.

4. Execute low-impact exercise while adding variety

It’s nearly impossible to get bored with the TRX suspension trainer (and the additional accessories)! Nearly every traditional exercise has an equal in the straps with all the additional balance and core strengthening benefits. But, even for people with joint pain or injuries, the TRX can adapt to offer low-impact, supported, and controlled (but highly effective) exercise options.

Incorporating TRX Training 

The TRX suspension trainers can easily be incorporated into workouts for any client. As the name suggests, the suspension aspect of the straps means they offer unique stability, balance, and mobility challenges that can be progressed or regressed appropriately. 

Before diving into TRX exercises, it’s strongly suggested that you master the plank since it’s at the heart of many TRX exercises. Yes, a traditional, sturdy plank! The plank position strengthens the core, which includes the abdominals and basically all the muscles of the hips and those that are attached to your spine. That includes the latissimus dorsi, the spinal erectors, the glutes, the rhomboids, and the traps.

Best TRX Exercises by Body Part 

Try out some of these foundational TRX exercises! You can train literally every body part with this unique tool.

A note before you dive in: 

To progress or regress these TRX exercises, move the feet (or stationary body part) toward or away from the anchor point and play with the foot positioning. The closer the feet are together, the more challenging the balance and stabilization become. You can also do many TRX exercises unilaterally (one foot or arm) to level up the exercise. Get creative!

Arms and Shoulders

Biceps Curl

Starting from a standing position, arms fully extended, with an underhand grip, lean back into the TRX straps. Keep the shoulders down and the upper arms away from the trunk. Bend the elbows (flexion) while keeping them around chest height and pull the hands closer to the face as the body moves toward the anchor point. Lengthen the elbows (elbow extension) to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Biceps Curl

Ts

Starting from a standing position, arms fully extended, and a neutral grip (palms toward the midline), lean back into the TRX straps. For balance, you can stagger the feet as a kickstand (pictured). Open the arms (horizontal abduction) while keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears. The body will move forward as the arms move out wide. Control the arms (horizontal adduction) back to the start position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training

Alligators

Starting from a standing position, arms fully extended, and a neutral grip (palms toward the midline), lean back into the TRX straps. For balance, you can stagger the feet as a kickstand (pictured). Alternating arms, raise one hand toward the ceiling (shoulder flexion), keeping the elbow extended, and move the other hand toward the hip (shoulder extension), also with an extended elbow. The body will move forward as the arms move. Control the arms to return to the starting position.

ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Alligators, ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline,

Triceps Extension

Start from a standing position with the arms extended (ideally perpendicular to the floor) in front of the body holding the straps. Adjust the feet toward the anchor point and lean forward (push up position). Stagger the feet (pictured) for additional balance. Keeping the shoulders down away from the ears, flex at the elbows. Allow the body to move toward the floor, and the forehead will move toward the knuckles. Straighten (extend) the arms to return to the starting position. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Tricep Extension

Chest and Back

Chest Press

Start the TRX chest press from a standing position with the arms extended in front of the body holding the straps. Adjust the feet toward the anchor point and lean forward (push up position). Stagger the feet for balance or shift the weight to one leg (pictured) for a core challenge. Keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears, flex the elbows to approximately 90 degrees. Allow the body to move away from the anchor point (as in a push up). Lengthen (extend) the arms to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Chest Press

Chest Fly

Start from a standing position with the arms extended in front of the body holding the straps, and palms toward the midline. Adjust the feet toward the anchor point and lean forward (push up position). Stagger the feet for balance (pictured) or shift the weight to one leg for a core challenge. Keeping the shoulders down away from the ears, open (horizontally abduct) the arms and allow the body to move away from the anchor point. Close (horizontally adduct) the arms to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Chest Fly

Row

Start your TRX row from a standing position, arms fully extended, with a neutral grip (palms toward the midline), lean back into the TRX straps. For balance, you can stagger the feet as a kickstand (pictured). Keeping the shoulders down away from the ears, flex the elbows and pull the body toward the anchor point. For a low row, keep the hands around the height of the navel. For a high row, keep the hands at or above the chest. Lengthen (extend) the arms to return to the starting position.

Low Row

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Low Row

High Row

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training High Row

Single-Arm Row and Reach

Starting from a standing position facing the anchor point, grab one handle of the TRX strap with one arm. Keep the toes facing the anchor point and extend the arm and lean back; all the body weight is in that anchored arm. Keep the shoulders down away from the ears and allow the free arm to extend and reach toward the floor. With the arm holding the handle, flex at the elbow and pull the body toward the anchor point. Swing the free hand (extended) toward the strap to initiate torso rotation and reach as far as possible up the strap toward the anchor point. Extend the anchored arm, rotate the free arm away from the anchor, and return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Core and Abs

Core and Abs

Plank

Start on all fours in front of the TRX straps. Place one foot (at the shoelaces) in each strap. Position the body into either a forearm or hand plank position. Hold for the desired duration. You can also add movements like lateral sway in the legs or circles for an added strength and stability challenge.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Plank

Hip Dips

Start standing sideways to the straps, feet together, with one TRX handle in each hand. Raise the arms to bring the handles to forehead height or just above the top of the head. Keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears, allow the hips to fall away from the anchor point as far as possible without moving the hands (lateral flexion). Squeeze the abdominal muscles to return to the starting position. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Hip Dips

Rollouts

Start from a standing position with the arms extended in front of the body holding the straps, and palms toward the midline. Adjust the feet toward the anchor point and lean forward (push up position). Stagger the feet for balance if desired. Keeping the shoulders down away from the ears, allow both arms to move overhead (shoulder flexion) and the body to fall away from the anchor point while maintaining the plank position through the torso. The heels may or may not elevate. Press down through the arms (shoulder extension) to return to the starting position. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Rollouts

Knee Tucks

Start on all fours in front of the TRX straps. Place one foot (at the shoelaces) in each strap. Position the body into either a forearm or hand plank position. Keeping the hands or elbows directly under the shoulders, drive the knees towards the chest (hip and knee flexion). Lengthen the legs (hip and knee extension) to return to the starting position. For an additional challenge, try an oblique knee tuck (pictured) and bring the knees in toward one tricep before returning to the starting position and switching sides.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Knee Tucks

Pikes

Start on all fours in front of the TRX straps. Place one foot (at the shoelaces) in each strap. Position the body into either a forearm or hand plank position. Keeping the hands or elbows directly under the shoulders, drive the hips up toward the ceiling (hip flexion). The feet will move closer to the hands. Lower the hips (hip extension) to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Pikes

Hamstrings and Quads

Hamstring Curl

Starting seated in front of the TRX straps, place one heel in each strap. Lie back (supine) with the arms and hands flat on the floor. Keeping the legs extended, press down through the heels to elevate the hips off the floor before beginning. Pull the heels in towards the glutes (hip and knee flexion). You can keep the hips at the starting height or, for an additional challenge, lift the hips up as the heels move toward the glutes. Lengthen the legs (hip and knee extension) and return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Hamstring Curl

Reverse Lunge

Start from a standing position facing the anchor point with one TRX handle in each hand and the elbows flexed. You can start with both feet on the floor, or one foot elevated for a balance challenge (pictured). Take a large step back and plant the back toes. Bend both knees (flexion) and allow the body to drop down toward the floor. The back knee does not need to touch the floor. Press through both feet (knee extension) and return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Reverse Lunge 1

An advanced variation is to begin with one foot in the TRX straps. Start from standing facing away from the anchor point. Be sure to distribute body weight into both feet. Keeping the forward knee over the forward ankle, bend the front knee (knee flexion) and allow the hips to sink toward the floor. The back leg will move back with the TRX strap. Press through the midfoot of the forward foot and lengthen the front leg (knee extension) to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Reverse Lunge 2

Squats

Start your TRX squat from a standing position facing the anchor point with one TRX handle in each hand and the elbows flexed. You can also add a unique challenge and begin with the arms fully extended overhead (pictured). Keeping the body weight in the arms or hands, initiate with a hip hinge and bend the hips and knees (hip and knee flexion) to sit down into the squat. Press through the midfoot and extend the legs (hip and knee extension) to return to the starting position. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Squats

Hip Bridges

Starting seated in front of the TRX straps, place one heel in each strap. Lie back (supine) with the arms and hands flat on the floor. You can either keep the legs extended to begin or pull the heels in toward the glutes (pictured). Press down through the heels and lift the hips (hip extension) toward the ceiling. Move the hips back to the floor to return to the starting position.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, ISSA x TRX: Best TRX Exercises to Enhance Your Training Hip Bridges

ISSA x TRX x You!

These exercises are just the beginning. The movements and variations are virtually endless with the TRX suspension trainers. You can build a precise and effective TRX workout for almost any client. Are you ready for more?! 

Well, you’re in luck! ISSA fitness professionals get 20% off TRX products and education. Claim your discount on the TRX trainer today!

Not yet certified? Get started with ISSA’s Personal Trainer certification course. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of the body's muscle and skeletal structure to provide the right exercise at the right time. You’ll also learn how to expertly assess and build custom training programs and how to help clients get stronger with less pain or injury.


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