Why stick to the same old weight training routine when you can use a set of straps, your body, and gravity to get fit?
Suspension training — or TRX, as the most dominant brand in the space, has achieved Kleenex-level name recognition and even trademarked the term — gives you a chance to shake up your stale training regimen. Instead of using traditional implements like dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells for resistance, exercisers work against their own body weight, balanced against the handles of the suspended straps, and perform adjusted versions of traditional strength training movements. Rows, presses, pulls — you name it, you can do it using the straps.
Your creativity is the only limit to the type of workout you can get with a set of the straps. Since you’re not working against significant resistance, you might not build as much muscle as you might using more traditional methods — but the straps allow you to hone your balance and body control in a manner that other techniques can’t.
If you want to give suspension training a shot, try starting out with these exercises. You’ll be able to perform more reps than you would be doing similar movements with more weight — but make sure to focus on mastering the form before ripping through sets.
TRX Exercises to Try
- Hold the TRX handles with both hands with your palms facing out, extending your arms straight above your head.
- Lean into the straps until they’re taut. Bend at the elbows to slowly lower your body down, squeezing your core and glutes to keep your posture aligned.
- Press with both hands against the handles to rise back up into the starting position.
- Flip to the opposite position, leaning back against the straps and holding the two handles with your palms facing up. Squeeze your core and glutes to maintain an upright posture.
- Squeeze your biceps and bend your elbows to pull yourself up toward the anchor.
- Pause a beat, then lower back down under control.
Suspended Row to Press
- Lean back against the straps, holding the two handles with your palms facing up. Squeeze your core and glutes to maintain an upright posture.
- Squeeze your back to row and pull yourself up toward the anchor.
- Externally rotate your arms to raise them to your sides. Press straight up over your head, keeping tension in the straps.
Pushup to Pike
- Place your feet in the TRX handles.
- Assume a high plank position, with your palms flat on the ground. Squeeze your core and glutes to keep your posture strong.
- Perform a pushup.
- As you rise to the top position, drive your hips straight up, so that your head is between your hands.
- Lean back against the straps, holding the two handles with your palms facing up. Bend your knees to crouch down.
- Pull yourself up by the straps, then push through, holding them at your sides.
- Use your upper back and lats to lower yourself back down, under control.
- Bodysaw Plank
- Three-Way Knee Tuck
- Kneeling Rollout
- Hamstring Runner
By Brett Williams