The Amazing Exercise Called TRX
A lot of my readers may not know this but for the last 5 months I’ve been training for my first full marathon. To say that my life for the last few months has revolved around this training, would be an understatement. Fartleks, tempo runs, interval training and long runs have taken up most of my time. Unfortunately, my actual time in the gym has been minimal. I’ve been maintaining by doing some strength training at home, but it’s nothing like being in the gym or taking a class.
With the marathon 2wks away and the beginning of tapering, I can get some time in for the gym and classes again!!! This past week I took 2 TRX classes on my lunch and I have to tell you….I felt amazing! I decided to share my top 5 TRX exercises with both directions, videos that I pulled from YouTube and the benefits so you can get a better understanding of this great workout!
What is TRX?
TRX is an advanced form of bodyweight training, designed by former navy Seal Randy Hetrick. He established the TRX suspension system on his return after spending 14 years in the navy. The TRX system was designed as an additional and more advanced form of training than the average push-up system and while in Asia, Hetrick used a Jiu Jitsu belt and parachute webbing to workout.
The TRX system was established after earning his MBA from the University of Stanford in 2001 and has helped millions of people workout when they are a little strapped for time.
What it is:
The TRX method allows you to use your own body weight to train all the muscles in the gym and while it might be risky for those with severe back pain problems, it can certainly help others who are constantly suffering from smaller niggles. TRX incorporates those bands you see hanging around in the gym to effectively strengthen the back.
The great thing about TRX is that it is made for anyone and beginners and experts will feel these exercises working get great results. The bands can be used to an infinite amount of exercises and I’ve decided to explore the toughest exercises and see how it could help you strengthen your core and even improve your overall posture.
My top 5 toughest TRX exercises to help you get stronger:
While there are multiple TRX exercises, these 5 are the toughest to perform and I have specifically chosen them to ensure that you know the correct way they should be performed. Here are the toughest TRX exercises and how they could potentially help you with weaker muscle and get all of your muscles on the same strength level.
1. TRX Single-Leg Squat:
The Single-leg squat is one of the toughest workouts you can try to perform. It takes a ton of concentration and focuses all the strain on the legs and the lower back. The toughest part about this exercise is the lack of balance and instead of focusing on contracting the core, many people resort to using the lower back and this could potentially hurt your back. Here are a few of the benefits when it comes to performing the exercise:
This exercise puts a ton of strain on the lower body and the lower back and you will need to stay concentrated while doing it. The core is used for stability and this improves your core strength, which also leads to a better posture and less strain on the lower back. The spine will also be strengthened as you go down and focus on the leg to push yourself up.
How to do it:
With the bands, you should firmly grasp them
Extend one leg and stand on the other
Drop down on the leg to form a 90 or 45-degree angle
Use your leg to push yourself up and repeat for 15 to 20 reps on each leg
Also, note that you should not use the bands to pull yourself up and these are only for support.
2. TRX Y flye:
The TRX Y flye is an easy to perform flye that focused on the shoulders but also works on the hips and the upper chest area. This movement is quite tough and will require some upper body strength to master correctly.
The exercise is easy to perform and puts some of the strain on your hips as well as your shoulders. Once the hips start improving, your lower back will follow suit and this will also improve your ability to lift things during the day.
How to do it:
Firmly grasp the bands and keep your body straight while leaning back
Pull yourself closer to the bands by extending upwards
Lock your elbows and use your hips to move forward
Repeat for 12 to 15 reps and around 4 sets
As you get stronger, you can even open up the arms, as you are moving forward. This also puts the strain on the upper part of the chest.
3. TRX Atomic Pike:
The TRX Atomic Pike is a more advanced exercise and will work the entire body. The exercise is definitely not for the faint of heart and will place a ton of stress on your lower back. It will definitely strengthen this part of the body
While it is one of the harder exercises to perform, it offers a full body workout. Not only will you work the core and the back, but the chest and the legs will also be used. This exercise will strengthen the entire body gradually and you will feel much more confident and ready for the day.
How to do it:
Drop the bands to down and lock your feet into them in the push-up position
Drop down for one push up
As you push yourself up, lift your lower back and bring the legs in as close as possible
Extend and release. Repeat for 10 reps
Keep the core contracted with this exercise to ensure that you have the maximum strain, without damaging a muscle.
4. TRX Power Pull:
The Power pull is a rotational exercise used to focus on the lower back. It puts some tension on the muscle and enables you to strengthen the lower back with ease, while also using the core to improve your overall balance.
While the lower back is mostly targeted with this exercise, you will see a strength increase in the core and the oblique muscles as well. Since your core will also be strengthened, you will have a much better posture that will take some of the stress off the lower back during the day.
How to do it:
Use one of the suspension bands
Stand your feet shoulder-width apart
Grab the band with one hand and keep your body straight
Contract the core and rotate the other hand all the way with your hips, almost looking the other way
Return back and repeat for 12-15 reps per arm
Focus on contracting the core and take some strain off the lower back. This will also strengthen both muscle groups.
5. TRX Burpee:
The TRX Burpee is a little more complicated and it can be considered a one-legged burpee. This workout works the core, lower back, and the legs and will also help to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
This multifunctional workout is ideal for training the entire body. It will strengthen the core and you will find that the improved posture helps with lower back pain. The lower back muscles will also be strengthened and you could alleviate some of the pain.
How to do it:
Adjust the suspender to shin height
Put one leg in both suspenders and drop for a one-legged push-up
Instead of the push-up, bring the leg forward and extend the arms
Stand up on one leg and reach as high as you can before dropping back down
Repeat for around 10-15 reps and 4 sets
As you get stronger, you can also try to incorporate a pushup to work the upper body a little more.
TRX is designed to help you work out anywhere and these tough exercises will give you a full-body workout. I highly recommend these workouts! I would suggest taking a class or 2 so you can get down the proper form and if you can’t find time for the classes then check out the videos I’ve attached with each exercise. I can't wait to get back into another class this week!