Forget “How much do you bench?”, today we’re challenging your functional fitness.
From runners to powerlifters, sports athletes to yoga bunnies. Whatever your sport, a strong set of abdominals are crucial in every exercise. To increase power, strength, speed, balance, agility and coordination, a strong core is the centre of all training.
The TRX is renowned for its challenging abdominal exercises and good beginner strength is needed for even the simplest of its exercises as suspension training causes your abdominals to fire, braced under constant tension.
Not everyone is a beginner. Do you want to prove your part of the fitness elite?
Our TRX workout comprises of 10 exercises, each getting progressively harder as you dig deeper into the challenge.
Test your strength and find out what your results say about your training.
Will you make the perfect 10/10 score?
01. TRX Plyometric Lunges
Move one, you’d better get this! Hold both TRX handles at a medium length and sink into a lunge. As you hit the bottom of the lunge (knee just off the floor), explode off both feet and switch legs (whilst airborne) to lunge on the alternative leg. Perform a minimum of 10 to pass this move.
02. TRX Pistol Squat (Single-leg Squat)
Exercise two.The Pistol squat is perhaps one of the toughest body weight exercises there is, requiring leg strength, balance, flexibility, supple joints and advanced coordination. Holding onto the TRX will help you with balance, but the leg strength is all down to you. Grabbing both TRX handles extend one leg in front of you and sink down into a squat, driving off the single supporting leg to return to standing. Let’s see 6 per side before you check off number two!
TRX Pistol Squat
03. TRX Wall Row
Well done, you’ve made it to third base.The TRX row’s elder (and much tougher) brother, the wall row. Once again grab your TRX handles facing the anchor as though you were about to perform a row, except now we’re taking it off the ground. Place one foot a time onto the wall so you are fully suspended and now perform your row, keeping your back flat and drawing yourself up until your hands meet the sides of your ribcage. This is tough exercise as you are now fully suspended controlling your full body weight, whilst also maintaining a tight core in order to balance against the wall. If you can’t reach a wall from your attachment, try placing your feet on a high step. 12 rows before you move on.
04. TRX Single-Leg Burpees
It's time to take things up a notch. You didn’t think you’d get to halfway easy did you? For exercise 4 loop your handles so that just one is taut and hook in your foot over the bottom stirrup. The handle should hang around knee length. Now, facing away from the anchor, you’re going to burpee or ‘squat thrust’ as they are more formally known. Take you hands down to the ground as you jump the free leg back into extended plank. Explode off this leg and jump back to standing. Viola. An intense full-body plyometric exercise. A total of 10 is required, that’s 10 per leg. No excuses!
TRX single leg burpee start position
05. TRX Triple Threat Abdominals
Halfway there! Not bad. Our next move’s a triple threat, you’re going to need abs of steel for this one. Facing away from the anchor, come onto all fours and attach your feet into the stirrups, lift your knees off the floor so you are in a floating plank position, this is your start point. From here we complete the following sequence, push, pike, crunch. For the push-up, sink your chest down to the floor engaging your abdominals to prevent your feet from swinging in the stirrups. Next, the pike, lock your knees and keep your legs and arms extended whilst bringing your feet forward towards your hands. Your bum should lift into the air and it should feel like you're trying to fold in half. The third part to this move is a suspended crunch, return to your plank and then tuck your knees in towards your elbows, bum down this time. Hint: You need to shorten your straps so that as you pike your feet remain elevated.Completing all three moves counts as one rep. Hit 10.
06. TRX Row to Extended Plank
So you beat halfway? But can you score six? The row to plank double. Grab both handles and lean back for a bodyweight row. Palms face each other as you pull your body up, elbows shaving the ribcage. This is the turning point where, maintaining a neutral spine, you now bring your hands up passed your head and into a fallout position, shifting your bodyweight forward simultaneously until your hands are straight above your head. Your body weight should shift backwards and forwards between these two moves. Another 10 will see you through to TRX exercise three. A row plus a plank count as one, don’t try any half reps!
TRX side view fallout
07. TRX Single-Handed Push Up
Seventh heaven? Not for you. This one's set to put your body through hell.To complete the seventh move loop your TRX handles through one another so that one handle is taut. Hold one handle and come to the ground to set up for a single hand push-up. One hand is going to remain suspended in the TRX, whilst you push up using the other. Sink down until your nose is scraping the floor for your push up and then explosively drive off and extend both arms, the TRX arm should now be fully extended supporting your weight, whilst your other arm hovers above the ground. Give me 8….. per side!
TRX single arm push-up
08. TRX Chin Up
Move 8, impressive. For the TRX chin up, shorten your straps and loop both handles through so that they stay together, then grab them with palms facing towards you (chin ups palms face you, pull ups palms face away). Suspend completely so that you are hanging, cross your legs or tuck them behind, just make sure they don't touch the ground. Pull up until your chin faces your hands and then relax back down. Let’s go for 5, 10 if you're showing off.
09. TRX Handstand
And then there were two. This one is advanced. You're going to start by hooking both feet into the stirrups, your hands facing the anchor. Taking both hands to the floor lift one leg off the ground and begin simultaneously walking your hands back whilst you lift the second leg off the floor, driving both feet back into the stirrups. Continue walking your hands back until you reach a vertical handstand. The ultimate balance challenge this needs advanced core and shoulder strength and is a tricky one to master.
10. TRX Handstand Push Ups
If 9 was advanced, this must be really advanced. Set up the same as move 9 and walk into a TRX handstand, but this time, once you’re in the handstand position, lower your chest towards the floor to complete a handstand pushup. Perhaps the toughest TRX move there is, master this and you have exceptional calisthenic skills, a show stopping party trick and of course, most importantly scored a 10/10 in our TRX challenge.
What does your TRX training score say about you?
1-4 / 10 - These are your legs and back exercises. These two areas comprise the largest muscle groups in your body. If your score ends here, try to develop back and leg strength with exercises like rowing or squatting.
5-6 / 10 - Whilst you passed the leg and back exercises, your downfall was balance and abdominal exercises. Build core strength with less advanced TRX moves such as the TRX basic crunch. Focus on core work within your other training, exercises like leg raises and oblique twists build strength, whilst compound lifts performed with good form will help you learn how to engage your core properly to help you hold static movements on the TRX.
7-8 / 10 - These are really advanced calisthenic exercises and a score here shows an advanced level of fitness and skill. Practise plyometric push ups off the floor, single hand push ups, assisted pull ups or negatives using the TRX to help enhance your performance.
9-10/10 - Welcome to the TRX Elite, you have awesome skills and this is both a fantastic and admirable score. Advanced strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and dedication have lead you to pass our TRX challenge. With this advanced level of ability maybe it’s time to push yourself a little further, unleash your competitive side and complete a Tough mudder or Nuclear race!
If you have not purchased a TRX or similar suspension trainer we strongly recommend you visit the official TRX site (for the UK, if you are outside the UK the American site is probably better found here). If you can afford to buy the professional version of the TRX trainers you will receive a login with several workout videos, charts, PDF downloadable workouts. All extremely high quality and very easy to use. The TRX is a premium workout suspension trainer and there are cheaper alternatives on the market. But if you can buy TRX then we recommend for the quality, care of service and support network that you do.
Ask your local gym if they have a TRX set-up. Or your personal trainer if they carry a set of TRX resistance bands. If you do not have a suitable anchor point from the ceiling, the professional kit comes with door mounts. And straps that will anchor it to a lamp post or similar.