What Is A TRX?
TRX (affiliate link) was created by navy seal Randy Hetrick who wanted to keep his body fit while away on missions. Using a belt and surplus parachute webbing, he hung his contraption over a door and started creating several different exercises. This was the genesis of the TRX suspension training system, which allows for a variety of dynamic exercises using one’s own bodyweight. You can exercise just about anywhere using the TRX.
The TRX (affiliate link) is another tool in your toolbox to help you improve your fitness level.
[The following exercises are listed from easiest to hardest]
TRX Exercise #1: Squat & Pull
Benefit: This is a great warm up exercise, especially for beginners
Instructions: Squat down while holding onto the TRX. Using your legs and back, pull up to the starting position.
Tips: To make this exercise harder, consider a weighted vest.
TRX Exercise #2: Body Row
Benefits: This is a classic exercise that requires stabilization and back strength
Instructions: Keeping your feet out in front of your body while keeping your back straight, pull your body up towards your hands so your hands are just underneath your armpits. Slowly release back down.
Tips: To make the exercise harder, you can put your feet closer to the anchor point, so that the angle of your body to the ground decreases. This makes you pull a higher percentage of your bodyweight. You can also do the exercise using one foot instead of both planted on the ground. Finally, you can try doing the exercise on your heels, which also make the exercise harder.
TRX Exercise #3: Reverse Fly
Benefits: This exercise is great for strengthening the upper back and helping open up shoulders, which is particularly important for busy professionals who work on a computer all day.
Instructions: With a slight angle towards the ground, start out holding the TRX handles with your arms extended. Slowly pull the handles away from your body on both sides while keeping your arms straight, so that the top of the repetition, your arms form a “Y”.
Tips: The steeper the angle of your body to the ground, the harder this exercise becomes. This is a tough exercise, so you don’t need to create much of an angle. Your body can be nearly upright when you start the exercise.
TRX Exercise #4: Jump Squat
Benefits: Increases leg and hip strength and power while adding a high intensity cardio component
Instructions: Squat down while holding he TRX with your arms slightly bent. Once your hips are below your knees, forcefully jump up in the air while still holding onto the TRX and keeping tension. Try to land as softly and smoothly as possible, then repeat in a continuous action.
Tips: You can add a weight vest to make this exercise harder. Shoot for 15 to 20 reps to get a nice leg and cardio burn. Don’t pull too hard on the TRX, it’s providing just a little assistance.
TRX Exercise #5: One Leg Squat
Benefits: This is a good exercise to help correct any strength imbalances you may have between your left and right leg/hip.
Instructions: With your left leg extended off the ground squat down while pulling the TRX with as little pressure as possible. Stop when your hips are just below your knee joint, then push back up to the starting position.
Tips: Be very careful that you don’t feel any pain in your knee as you do this exercise. It’s also important not to squat too deep. Don’t pull too hard on the TRX, pull as lightly as possible so you are squatting with one leg with minimal assistance.
TRX Exercise #6: Atomic Push Up
Benefits: This exercise helps engage your chest, shoulders, and triceps while challenging your entire core musculature.
Instructions: Putting your feet in the straps while close to the anchor point, walk out with your arms about 2-3 feet. Complete a push up while keeping your head, neck, and back straight, then pull your knees into your chest. Repeat.
Tips: It’s important to be the right distance from the anchor point so that you can really pull your knees effectively into your chest. This is a tough, but good exercise!
TRX Exercise #7: Single Leg Burpee With Jump
Benefits: You are increasing strength, power, cardio capacity, and balance with this one exercise. This is an advanced exercise so be careful.
Instructions: Starting with your right foot in both handles while in the push up position, you push yourself up and then jump off the ground while remaining in balance. Repeat.
Tips: To make this exercise easier, you don’t need to add a jump. Start out slowly with this exercise as balancing is pretty difficult.
TRX Home Suspension Training Kit
You can learn more about TRX by clicking the affiliate image below:
You GOTTA have the Atomic Push-up. It’s the best exercise ever for the core. I like doing it in the pike position with the knees straight. Good Stuff Mr. Perry
I love TRX because you can regress when tired, and progress for a challenge. Thanks for these fave moves. And love the East River Park setting — just got back for a run/walk there!
Marc Perry, you are a star! I’ve been searching for a TRX routine for really long now and I am very grateful for you posting this. On my way to the gym, need to try it out ASAP.
Hope you had a great workout!
Hi Mark can you sugguest a workout geared towards seniors? I have trx .
@Anthony – I think most workouts on this site can be modified for seniors, the exercises need to be changed and the time between exercises also should be changed. My dad is 67 and uses variations of the BuiltLean workouts. If you haven’t already, download the Get Lean Guide and there is a workout there that can be modified.
Thanks for the intro to TRX Marc! A colleague at work was actually just telling me about this type of workout yesterday. I’m going to look at incorporating this tool into my routine.
Sounds good, Chris. Hope you enjoy it!
Thank you Marc for this great article! I LOVE training with my TRX and love introducing it to my clients. These are the basic moves (except the 1-legged Burpee) I take my clients through during an introductory session. It is rewarding to me to see them becoming “hooked” on suspension training. Keep up the great work you are doing in and with BuiltLean.
Thanks for sharing, Teri.
Very nice introduction. Suspension exercise definitely works all the auxillary muscles and adds a whole other dimension to workouts. It’s high intensity, versitile and fun. What’s not to like? If your folks hesitate to buy the commercial straps becuase they don’t want to make the investment until they know they like the workouts, there are YouTube videos showing how you can make a reasonable substitue for less money. Eventually though, you’ll want the commercial system.