One of my many goals for this year has been to expand my fitness palate. As a triathlete, a lot of my weekly workouts are super focused on the “basics” — swimming, biking and running and I don’t always have a ton of energy left over when it’s all said and done to do much else.
As a fitness instructor, I know the importance of strength training and mobility, as well as core support in movements. The challenge for me, and probably for many others like me, is just finding the time to do it all.
After doing a ton of research, I realized TRX exercises might be my solution. According to a number of different clinical studies, they found that the modality not only built strength, but it recruited more muscle fibers in the “core” than doing the same exercises outside of the suspended trainer.
English? You work your core when you do lots of TRX exercises. Being suspended in the air has a weird way of doing that to you.
To me, that translates into a triple threat: the mobility, strength training, and core work that I’m looking for in just a few short sessions each week.
If you’ve never tried a TRX class, I highly recommend checking one out. Knowledgeable instructors can guide you through the basics and give you a killer workout that will leave you wanting more.
If you have access to the straps, but not a class, or if you just want to crush your core (and the rest of your body) on your own time, check out this 5 movement series for today’s Fitness Friday feature!
TRX Exercises: A Full Body Workout
- Facing away from your anchor point, begin with your palms face down resting on your thighs, straps over your shoulders, feet together.
- Take a large step forward with one foot bending both legs to a 90-degree angle while at the same time raising your hands overhead into a Y shape.
- Tap your knee lightly to the ground, and then press off your heel driving through your glute and hamstring to bring your feet back together while at the same time engaging your arms and returning them to the starting position.
- Repeat on the opposite leg.
Row to Squat
- Facing the anchor point, extend your arms out fully, palms facing one another. Walk your feet forward to your desired starting point holding your core in a tight, straight line.
- Begin the movement by contracting your upper back, squeezing your shoulder blades together while bending your elbows to 90-degree angles against the side of your body rowing your body towards the anchor point. Extend the arms back to straight.
- Next, sit your glutes back and execute a squat as deep as you are comfortable. Drive through your heels and return to the starting position.
- Facing away from the anchor point with the straps over your shoulders, palms facing each other, and a slight bend in your elbow walk your feet back until you are in a plank position.
- Begin the movement by opening your palms slowly while keeping a slight bend in the elbows working to bring your hands just in front of being in line with your shoulders. Do not extend them behind your shoulders while in a weight-bearing position.
- Return to your starting position squeezing through your chest and biceps to complete the rep.
Glute and Hamstring Bicycles
- Lay on your back and place your heels in the stirrups. This movement is one that is easier the closer you are to your anchor point (so beginners should have their feet as close to directly below the anchor as possible). Pressing through your glutes and hamstrings, press your body up off the floor creating a straight line from your shoulder blades (still on the floor) to your heels.
- Holding your core tight, begin the movement by slowly bending one knee and bicycling it in, then extending back out. Repeat with the opposite leg.
- Remember during this movement to keep the straight line engaged and your glutes high.
- *Alternate movement- this can be modified to a glute bridge if needed.
TRX Mountain Climber
- Laying on your stomach, place your toes in the stirrups. Tighten your core as you push yourself up onto your hands into the top of a push-up position with your feet suspended.
- From here, drive one knee towards your chest exhaling as that knee comes forward. Press it back into your plank and repeat with the opposite knee.
Remember, with most TRX movements, the closer your feet are to the anchor point the more difficult the movement will be.
To really make the most of this full-body workout, we recommend doing the movements together as a high-intensity interval circuit.
For each movement, you’ll do 45 seconds of work and then have 15 seconds of rest where you’ll be transitioning your position to the next movement. You’ll do this for five rounds total with a 1-minute rest between rounds for a 30-minute core blaster.
I recommend taking a moment to practice a few reps of each movement during your warm up, especially paying attention to how to get your feet secured in and out of the cages so that when the time comes, you’re able to get everything situated during your 15-second break.
An awesome workout isn’t complete without a great playlist, so here’s our suggestion for 30 minutes of pumping beats to keep up with your racing heart rate!
- It Takes Two — Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
- Harder Better Faster Stronger — Daft Punk
- Bangarang (feat. Sirah) — Skillrex
- Turn Down for What — DJ Snake and Lil Jon
- Light it Up (feat Nyla & Fuse ODG) — Major Lazer
- Sweat — Snoop Dogg & David Guetta