From runners to cyclists, triathletes to yogis. Whatever your sport, a strong set of abdominal muscles is crucial in every exercise. To increase power, strength, speed, balance, agility and coordination, a strong core is the centre of all training.
The TRX trainer 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.
Our TRX workout comprises of 10 exercises, each getting progressively harder as you dig deeper into the challenge.
01. TRX Plyometric Lunges
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)
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!
03. TRX Wall Row
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 rib cage. This is a tough exercise as you are now fully suspended and 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. Do 12 rows before you move on.
04. TRX Single-Leg Burpees
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. This is an intense full-body plyometric exercise. A total of 10 is required, that’s 10 per leg.
05. TRX Triple Threat Abdominals
Our next move is 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, 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
Grab both handles and lean back for a body weight row. Palms face each other as you pull your body up, elbows shaving the rib cage. This is the turning point where, maintaining a neutral spine, you now bring your hands up past your head and into a fallout position, shifting your body weight 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 counts as one.
07. TRX Single-Handed Push Up
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!
08. TRX Chin Up
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
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
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 push-up. 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.
Why just TRX when you can TRXtreme?
At Sundried, we encourage you to get out there and do things differently, so we couldn’t just come up with a same old TRX routine could we? So we’ve made this one a challenge we know you’ll love, because what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you, so let’s do this.
This workout is designed to build overall strength, power and increase your level of fitness - measured as your VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen you're capable of using.
Why are we onto a winner here? TRX + HIIT = core, strength and fat burning. What more could you want?
TRX training was invented by Former Navy Seal a Randy Hetrick to keep his troops training with intensity in difficult conditions. The TRX keeps your body under constant tension using suspension, particularly focusing on core strength to support your bodyweight. Using the TRX is a great way to get fit because the training is functional, meaning we use multiple planes of motion, in similar patterns to how our body naturally moves. This type of training is designed to improve daily function, hence the name.
The workout is designed to be intense and last around 30 minutes, although your body will be burning calories for up to 24 hours after! We shift from upper body to lower body to keep your heart rate up, blood pumping and calorie burning intense.
A base level of fitness and previous TRX experience is recommended.
Here we go:
Workout Commences in T minus 5 minutes:
You have 5 minutes, get your heart rate up over 130 BPM and your muscles warm and limber, get focused and get ready. Exercises may include a CV machine, squats, squats with oblique reaches, arm circles and jogging on the spot.
Warmer? Limber? Showtime.
Three Rounds. 6 Exercises. 1 minute on. 30 seconds rest. Repeat 3 times (Hell yeah, 3!)
Exercise 1: TRX Burpees
Hook one ankle into the stirrup, bring your hands to hit the deck for a burpee, jump your free leg back into plank, and then swiftly up towards your hands as you spring up to complete the burpee bounce. Keeping the TRX leg off the floor the entire minute!
Exercise 2: Row to Fallout
Grab both handles and lean back with your feet in front of the anchor, row your hands in towards your chest as you pull your body up and then let your weight shift forwards as your hands pass your sides and straighten up by your ears for a fallout. Sounds harder than it is (lies, it’s hard).
Exercise 3: Pistol Squat Jumps
Grab both handles and bring one leg straight out in front of you, sink down (ass to grass) on the supporting leg into your pistol squat and then jump to repeat on the other leg.
Exercise 4: Trx Push Up to Shoulder Tap
Hook each foot into a stirrup and start with a suspended push up, as you push back away from the floor, tap each hand to the opposite shoulder.
Exercise 5: Trx Squat to Star
Grab both handles and sink into a deep squat. As you shoot up carry on past the start position into a star. You should have your hands extended over your head and be on the tips of your toes.
Exercise 6: Sprint Starts
Grab both handles and hold them by your ribcage (you should look like a chicken impression) face away from the anchor, sink one leg back into a lunge and then explode off bringing your knee towards your chest.
The Final Countdown: 3 Exercises. 3 minutes. 45 seconds work and just 15 rest.
Finisher 1: Trx Oblique Crunch
Start in an extended plank with both feet suspended in the stirrups, bring your knees in and twist to either side, crunching your knees towards the opposite elbow.
Finisher 2: Trx Plank up Downs
Starting in a plank on your hands, drop each hand down to an elbow plank and then push back to your hands.
Finisher 3: Trx Handstand
Facing the anchor, hook one foot into the TRX, walk your hands back with one leg in the air as far as you can, and then kick the other leg up to make your handstand. If you can’t make it all the way to a full handstand, a diagonal hold is still a really tough exercise to master. Just don’t forget to BREATHE.
Congratulations, you are now TRXtreme… and probably Trxtremly worn out!
About the trainer: Vicky Gardner is a writer at Sundried and REPS Level 3 Personal Trainer, “Bodybuilding was my first love, but now I like to take my training a little more outside the box, so I never get bored. Plyometric’s are my favourite form of training at the moment, great for burning calories and increasing your explosive power... plus you feel like a human firework (and yes, I make the sound effects!)”.
The humble pushup is often underrated. One of the oldest and simplest exercises to date, it has survived the ages because it works. The TRX push up adds an extra dimension to this classic move, challenging your balance even further as you add the shoulder tap.
10 Reasons to do Push Ups
- It’s a compound exercise, meaning we hit multiple muscles in one move. The push up targets your chest, shoulders, arms and core.
- It stretches your muscles which increases their flexibility.
- It can enhance your cardiovascular system. Compound exercises require an elevated heart rate as your heart works to pump blood to the working muscles.
- You will stimulate Human Growth Hormone production by working multiple muscle groups, which promotes muscle growth.
- Push ups protect your shoulders. A rotator cuff injury is very frustrating and can limit movement.The push up has been found to be among the most effective ways to safeguard your shoulder joints from injury; especially in older adults as they call upon stabilising muscles, which surround the rotator cuff joint.
- The Push up can improve your posture. In order to properly hold your shoulders and back, your entire core must be strong enough to support its vertical positions. When push ups are properly executed, the muscles responsible for supporting posture are strengthened and fine-tuned.
- Strengthening your core can prevent lower back injuries, a strong lower back and a strong core come hand in hand.
- They can be done anytime, anyplace and don’t take long!
- It’s a full body workout, for free!
- Weight bearing exercises help to increase bone density which can ward of conditions such as Osteoporosis.
How to Push Up to Shoulder Tap
- Hook both feet into a stirrup each and assume the push up position.
- Sink down by bending your elbows and bring your chest towards the floor, your nose should almost touch the ground.
- Drive up and return to the start position.
- Now without rotating at the hips maintain a tight core and lift the opposite hand to tap the opposite shoulder.
- Repeat for the other side.
If you can pistol squat it’s impressive, so imagine if you could TRX pistol squat jump!
The pistol is a very challenging exercise and those that can perform the exercise with ease have incredible leg strength as well as balance and flexibility.
Benefits of the TRX pistol squat jump
The pistol squat places your entire body weight onto one leg and can therefore be quite challenging on your leg strength. In addition because the pistol squat is single leg, you will often find that you can complete a rep on one leg and not the other. Pistol squats help to develop equal leg strength by isolating the legs individually. Naturally, when you work both legs together your strongest leg will do most of the work for you, without you even thinking about it.
Plyometric training really just boils down to jumping. Adding explosive power to your workouts works your anaerobic energy system, increases your heart rate (burning more calories) and increases your explosive power, great for athletes who partake in short duration sports such as athletic sports like the high jump or even sprints.
The range of motion required for a pistol squat requires exceptional flexibility of the hamstrings, hip flexors and knee and ankle joints.
Working on your pistol squat will develop your balance, essential for preventing injuries and beneficial into later life, as well as for your current performance.
Working with a single leg can help to improve your stabilizing muscles which support your spine, reducing back pain and aiding poor posture.
How to TRX pistol squat jump
- Take both handles in your hands facing the anchor point.
- Take one leg straight in front of you.
- Bend the supporting leg and sink down into a squat, keeping your heel firmly on the floor.
- As you drive up, explode off your supporting leg and jump upwards, then land on the alternate leg.
- Repeat for each leg, alternating with every jump.
To take it down a notch:
Knock out the jump and if need be set up a bench or step behind you, so instead of completing the full range of motion, you tap your bump back to the bench or step. Yes this is a half rep, but no it’s not cheating as you will work your way up to the full range of motion. This is laying the foundations so you can perform the full exercise with skill, strength and most importantly, control.
Crank up the intensity:
This one's really challenging. Instead of just alternating your legs with your explosive jump you are now going to tuck jump before landing on the alternate leg. Sink down into your pistol then explode off the leg and bring your knee up for a tuck before landing. With all explosive exercises you want to power off on the up and land as softly as you can on the descent.
Take me with you
If you want to print off the TRX Pistol Squat Jump we have created a downloadable PDF you can download and share.
The burpee. The exercise we all love to hate. This whole body exercise has got it all, it's a combination of a (sort of) squat, plank, squat thrust and jump and in this case it's all done whilst being suspended on one leg. Ouch.
Benefits of the TRX Burpee:
Strapping a leg into the TRX adds an extra dimension of balance to your regular burpee. Good balance prevents injury and helps us perform better in everyday functional tasks.
Workouts on the TRX fire up your transverse abdominals to help stabilise your spine whilst your body is suspended. This creates a constant tension on your core, no matter what muscle group the exercise focuses on.
Good proprioception is defined as good position sense. It’s your internal awareness of your bodies positioning.This sense allows you to close your eyes and still know where your body parts are in space. Without this kinesthetic sense, you would not be able to maintain your balance with your eyes closed, or tell if your knee is bent or straight unless you look at it. Good proprioception is important for everyone at every level of fitness. The better your proprioceptive sense the better your joints can adapt to changes in position, such as running on uneven surfaces. Good proprioception is important in balance, agility, athletic performance and injury prevention
Legs are you biggest muscle group and your greatest source of power. The TRX burpee works each leg individually to develop equal strength. What we tend to find with exercises that train both legs at once, such as a leg press, is that your stronger leg does most of the work without you realising it. So to develop solid and equal strength we train the legs individually.
The shoulders work here to stabilize in the plank position and as you launch into your standing position.
Plyometrics increase your ability to perform anaerobic exercises . The explosive single leg jump here focuses on keeping your heart rate up as well as targeting your leg muscles. Plyometrics are also great for building stronger calves, a muscle we often find difficult to train.
Getting your heart rate up burns more calories and increases the amount of oxygen you uptake, increasing your V02 max.
TRX Burpee Pre Jump Position
Activate the arms with the legs
If you can, use your momentum to leave the floor
TRX Burpee - Returning to Start Position
How to TRX Burpee:
- Hook one foot into the stirrup. It should be about 30 cm off the floor.
- Bend over at the hips, pushing them back and reach your hands down to the floor.
- Once your hands meet the floor, jump your free foot back into the plank position.
- Pop back up to a single leg hold by jumping your free leg forward towards your hands.
- Once you return to the start position, explode of your free leg with a jump towards the ceiling.
- Take it from the top!
To take it down a notch:
To make this easier, knock out the jump up at the top. If you opt for this version, try to aim for the full move after some practise.
Crank up the intensity:
Add a single leg push up for the plank position. This will now involve more of your chest and shoulders, as well as firing up your abdominals to help you stabilize.
This move is a great challenge for high intensity intervals or a whole body workout, give it a go and tell us how you get on!