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 plank is a staple in almost every fitness routine. It is one of the best exercises for a flat, toned stomach, working all the muscles in your core including the transverse abdominals, internal and external obliques, hips and back.
Plank up downs are our regular plank on steroids, they crank up the intensity of your plank and work your core whilst challenging your balance and burning calories.
How to Do a Plank Up Down
In the plank up down, we are alternating between a plank on our hands, and a plank on our elbows, challenging your core and shoulders.
- Assume the TRX plank position, with your feet in the stirrups and in an extended plank with your hands underneath your shoulders.
- Keep your core tight and your feet still, take one hand down into the forearm plank position.
- Now match your other arm, so that both hands are in a forearm plank.
- Push up to return the first hand to an extended plank.
- Follow the second hand into a fully extended plank.
The closer your feet are to the anchor, the easier the exercise is.
Crank it up
Add a push up into the extended plank part of the movement.
Take it down a notch
Try and hold stable in the extended plank, once you are strong and confident here it will be easier to progress to the climbing plank.
The TRX Oblique crunch is one of the best ways to build a strong core and whittle down your waist.
When we think about the abdominals, we think of the trophy muscles, the rectus abdominals that run down the centre of your stomach that with the right training and diet create the hallmark of fitness, the six pack. We tend to neglect the obliques, which is unfair, as they work equally as hard and are stabilisers engaged in almost every compound lift.
The V Taper vs Training Obliques
Huge lats and a small waist are what every bodybuilder dreams of. The “V” shape is incredibly sought after when training for aesthetics and this poses a problem for your obliques. It is thought that training the obliques with weighted exercises creates a hypertrophic effect which thickens the waist, however there are exercises which promote strength through the obliques without triggering hypertrophy to a point where your obliques ruin your V - taper.
Using the TRX to train obliques enables you to strengthen the muscles without adding mass to a trim waistline.
Benefits of the Oblique Crunch
- Works your abs in a different plane of motion to trigger further development.
- Engages all your core muscles to stabilise and complete the crunch.
- Works your shoulders as you support your suspended bodyweight.
How To TRX Oblique Crunch
- Start in an extended plank position with your feet hooked in the TRX stirrups.
- Bring your knees in, twisting at the waist so that the side of your thigh runs parallel to the floor as your opposite knee moves towards the opposite elbow.
- Return to the suspended plank.
- Bend the knees and twist to repeat the move on the opposite side.
This exercise builds strength and increases mobility in both your shoulders and hips. Using the TRX provides assistance to help pull yourself up from your squat, so you have no excuse not to sink it down ass to grass!
Benefits of The TRX Squat to Star (Y Stand):
The Deep Squat
- Full, deep squats build bigger, stronger legs by targeting the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Taking your squat all the way down exposes more muscle fibres to mechanical and neural stimuli which forces growth.
- Full squats increase your vertical jump by targeting the hips and glutes and increasing the force to traveling throughout the kinetic chain for a greater height jump.
- Deep squats increase your back stability and prevent unnecessary compressive force on the spine.
- Deep squats build stronger knees. Strengthening the connective tissues which work as a ‘wrapper’ to protect the knees and enhance the distribution of load over the joint.
- Full squats develop your flexibility and encourage dynamic mobility.
The Star (Y Stand)
- The star works your upper back, shoulders, core and calves as you raise onto your tiptoes.
- The Y stand builds stability in the shoulders through the isometric hold.
- The Y stand works your core as your body is under constant tension to stabilize whilst suspended.
How to Squat to Star
- Grab both handles and stand facing the anchor point.
- Sink down into a squat, aiming for the full range of motion with your bum below your hips (ass to grass).
- Drive up and extend your hand over your head into a Y position whilst coming up onto your tiptoes.
- Keeping the TRX tension tight, sit back into your deep squat.
If you like this, why not check out our other TRX exercises.