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Hang Tough: Total-Body TRX Workout

  • James Farrell

    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.

    Watch this video

     
  • James Farrell

    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.
  • James Farrell

    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.
     
  • James Farrell

    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.
  • James Farrell

    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.
     
  • James Farrell

    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.
  • James Farrell

    Pistol Squat

    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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