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Hang Tough: Total-Body TRX Workout

Turn up the toning power with TRX suspension straps and this total-body routine.

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Girl hanging on TRX straps
James Farrell
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About This Workout

There is a simple tool in your gym that can turn up the toning of just about any body-weight move you do. And if you haven't gotten the grip of a TRX suspension trainer yet, here's your hookup. "You'll recruit more muscle fibers with each rep because you're working on an unstable surface," says Marianna Biribin, a trainer for Exceed Physical Culture studio in New York City, who designed -- and demos -- the total-body routine on the next page using the tricked-out straps. (No gym? Try the at-home version of TRX, $200, trxtraining.com.) Do two sets, and bump it up an extra 10 reps or a set once you've learned the ropes.

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Y-Flye Back Row

Targets shoulders, back, arms, and abs

  • Stand facing TRX and hold handles, palms down.
  • Step back from anchor and lean back on heels until body is angled 45 degrees from floor with arms extended diagonally upward so straps are completely taut.
  • Engaging core, slowly pull body upright as you open arms wider than shoulder width (arms form a V).
  • Return to start, then pull body upright again, driving elbows behind you to bring hands by ribs, palms in. Return to start to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 reps.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Stand farther away from anchor.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Stand closer to anchor.

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Atomic Pike

Targets shoulders and abs

  • Adjust straps so handles hang about 1 foot from floor.
  • Stand facing away from TRX and get into full plank position on floor with feet suspended in loops below foam handles (aka cradles).
  • Lift hips up into an inverted V position, keeping legs and arms straight.
  • Lower hips to plank position and repeat.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Tuck knees to chest.

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Pendulum

Targets abs and obliques

  • Adjust straps so handles hang about 1 foot from floor.
  • Stand facing away from TRX and get into full plank position on floor with feet suspended in loops.
  • Pressing legs together throughout, bring bent knees to touch left elbow.
  • Creating a pendulum motion, swing legs through plank position and bring knees to touch right elbow to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 reps.

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Single-Leg Burpee

Targets shoulders, chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Use one strap, adjusting it so handle hangs about 1 foot from floor; make sure there are a couple of feet of clearance behind TRX.
  • Stand a few inches from TRX, facing away; bend right knee and place right foot through loop behind you, arms by sides.
  • Balancing on left leg, crouch down and place palms on floor in front of you. Jump left foot behind you to get into full plank position, right foot suspended in loop, left foot elevated next to right.
  • Do a push-up, returning to plank.
  • Step left foot on floor under chest and drive through left heel to stand up.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Skip the push-ups.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Jump up after you stand.

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Limbo

Targets back, arms, and abs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, facing TRX, holding one handle in right hand (stand close enough to anchor to keep a loose tension in strap.)
  • With feet flat, lean torso back, bending knees so body forms a tabletop position and strap is completely taut with right arm extended; reach left hand toward floor directly behind you as low as you can, looking behind you as you lean back.
  • Using right arm, pull body up to start position, keeping right arm close to ribs; reach left hand toward anchor to briefly grip strap.
  • Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Targets arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Stand facing TRX and hold handles in both hands in front of waist, elbows bent by sides, palms facing down; stand close enough to anchor to keep a loose tension in straps.
  • Balancing on right leg, raise left foot in front of you a few inches off floor.
  • Maintaining arm position, bend right knee about 90 degrees to lower into a squat, left leg extended in front of you, foot flexed; use straps only as much as you need to for balance.
  • Engage core and drive through right heel to return to standing; use as little assistance from straps and/or arms as possible.
  • Switch legs and repeat to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2014.

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drchlhunt01 wrote:

I'm a fan of workouts where you can target more than one muscle group at time. www.quobreakerfitness.org

1/15/2014 12:08:58 PM Report Abuse
grimsage15 wrote:

"You'll recruit more muscle fibers with each rep because you're working on an unstable surface" = false information

1/10/2014 10:20:03 PM Report Abuse
cori.maley wrote:

That is not called a "limbo" its a TRX Power Pull.

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