Sponsored by TRX

The Best TRX Exercises for Beginners

Anthony J. Yeung
by Anthony J. Yeung
Share it:
The Best TRX Exercises for Beginners

No matter how experienced you are (or aren’t) in the fitness scene, the vast majority of gym-goers want to build muscle and burn fat. Luckily, that goal is completely attainable for any experience level using the TRX® Suspension Trainer™. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment — you can take it pretty much anywhere — and it unlocks countless bodyweight exercises to help you achieve amazing results.

We asked Shana Verstegen, a personal trainer and TRX Master Instructor, for the top-10 exercises she recommends for beginners just getting started using the long, yellow and black straps. With these moves, you’ll jumpstart your fitness journey as you build muscle and melt away fat.

1. TRX PLANK

Why you should do it: “Establishing a strong core is essential for all beginners,” says Verstegen. “The ability to keep the body aligned and contracted will lead to safe and successful performances in all other exercises.”

How to do it: With the straps at mid-calf, begin by lying on your stomach facing away from the anchor point and place the toes into the foot cradles. Drive the heels back into the handles, squeeze the calves, quads, glutes, hamstrings and core, and press into a perfectly flat plank.

Hold for as long as you can, or up to 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 total sets.

Trouble getting your toes in the straps? Follow these three helpful steps:

  1. Sit facing the anchor point with the bottom of the foot cradles hanging 8–12 inches above the ground. Your knees should be about a foot from the straps.
  2. Shift your weight to your right hip. With your right foot in the left foot cradle, cross your left foot over your right and place it into the right foot cradle. Point your toes.
  3. Roll your body over to the right into a plank position, allowing your feet to rotate inside the foot cradles. Your upper body should be supported by your forearms or your hands in a push-up position. Rest by placing your knees on the ground and assuming a position on your hands and knees.

2. TRX LOW ROW

Why you should do it: “The row is essential for proper posture,” says Verstegen. Not only is the TRX row great at targeting your back muscles, you can easily change the intensity by moving your feet closer or further from the anchor point, she adds.

How to do it: With the suspension trainer shortened, stand facing the anchor point. Begin with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, the handles at your rib cage, body straight and planked. Slowly straighten your arms to lower your body, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe and return to the start by bending the elbows.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

3. TRX OVERHEAD BACK EXTENSION

Why you should do it: This exercise combines a hip hinge, a great stretch and a standing plank. “It’s great for hip mobility and improving core strength and posture,” says Verstegen.

How to do it: Adjust the straps to mid-length and stand facing the anchor point. While holding onto the handles, walk back so your arms are fully extended above your body and your hips are in full alignment with your body. Keep your feet planted as you begin to hinge at the hips, pushing your hips backward until you are folded in half with your arms extended overhead. Keeping your ears in line with your biceps, pull hands directly above your head as your body straightens out, ending on your toes in a tight plank.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

4. TRX SQUAT

Why you should do it: Regardless of your fitness level, squats offer incredible benefits. “The TRX squat will improve hip mobility and squatting mechanics, which can be carried over into the squat rack, movements of daily living and virtually any sport,” Verstegen explains.

How to do it: Adjust the TRX straps to mid-length, and stand facing the anchor point. Hold the handles in front of you with your elbows soft, and step backward until there is slight tension on the straps. Without leaning backward, lower your hips down and back as low as you are comfortable going. Squeeze your glutes as you return to a standing position.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

5. TRX CHEST PRESS

Why you should do it: “The chest press is a great tool to not only teach pushing with proper alignment, but also to engage the core for a strong, stable spine,” says Verstegen. No wonder it’s a staple for TRX coaches.

How to do it: Fully lengthen the TRX straps and stand facing away from the anchor point. Begin on the balls of your feet and with your arms extended directly below your shoulders, pushing against the handles of the straps. Keeping your body in a straight plank, lower yourself until your elbows are at about 90 degrees. Straighten your arms and brace your core as you press back up to the starting position.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

6. TRX LATERAL LUNGES

Why you should do it: “Many beginners spend most of their time moving front-to-back, yet neglect lateral (side-to-side) movement,” Verstegen explains. By holding onto the TRX straps, you can improve your technique and mobility with the lateral lunge, especially if you’re new to the movement.

How to do it: Begin with the straps at mid-length. Stand facing the anchor point with your legs in a wide stance and toes pointed forward. Drop your left hip down and back over your left heel as low as you are comfortable going. Press through your leg to stand back up to starting position. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

7. TRX ROTATIONAL WARD

Why you should do it: This exercise helps increase core strength and rotational power, which is important for beginners. It looks simple, but don’t let that fool you. “The best part about this exercise is that you have complete control of the intensity based on how hard you pull,” says Verstegen.

How to do it: Fully lengthen the TRX straps and stand sideways to the anchor point. With both hands in the foot cradles, align your shoulders with the anchor point and extend your arms in front of your body. Keep your body tight, planked and directly upright, as you maintain tension in this extended arm position.

Hold for as long as you can, or up to 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 total sets.

8. TRX HAMSTRING CURLS

Why you should do it: “Hamstring strength is essential for knee joint integrity and the ability to run, jump, kick and more,” Verstegen explains. Beginners and pros alike will benefit from this exercise.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-calf length, lie on your back facing the anchor point and place your heels in the foot cradles. Keep even pressure in your heels, engage your glutes and core, keep your hips lifted and drag your heels as if they were on train tracks until your knees are stacked over your hips. Return your legs to straight while maintaining a tight core.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

Trouble getting your heels in the foot cradles? Follow these three helpful steps:

  1. Sit facing the TRX Suspension Trainer with the bottom of the foot cradles hanging 8–12 inches above the ground. Your knees should be about a foot from the straps. Hold each foot cradle in place with your index and middle fingers.
  2. Roll onto your back, bringing both knees into your chest and place both heels into the foot cradles simultaneously. Ensure your heels are fully supported by the foot cradles.
  3. Straighten your legs and you’re ready to go. As an alternative technique, you can also perform these exercises with your toes through the foot cradles and weight resting on the arches of your feet. Experiment to see which way you prefer.

9. TRX Y-FLY

Why you should do it: The TRX also has many uses for injury prevention and improving posture. “The Y-Fly focuses on the mobility of the shoulders and the strength of the upper back,” says Verstegen. “Perfecting this exercise will help you achieve great posture.”

How to do it: Adjust the TRX straps to mid-length, and stand facing the anchor point. Begin with your arms in a “Y” position above your head and select either a hip-width stance or have your feet slightly offset. Slowly lower your body backward, keeping a straight plank. Keep your arms straight as you return to the standing “Y” position.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

10. TRX TRICEPS PRESS

Why you should do it: Verstegen’s last exercise takes a tricep kickback to another level. “It involves the strength of your entire body to complete the movement,” she explains.

How to do it: Bring the straps to mid-length and stand facing away from the anchor point. With your arms extended directly below your shoulders in front of your chest, set your body into a straight and tight plank. Maintain a plank position while you bend your elbows and lower your body so your thumbs touch your temples. Brace your core and straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.

Written by Anthony Yeung, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a fitness expert at Esquire, GQ and Men’s Health and trainer for guys getting in shape for their wedding at GroomBuilder.

Sponsored By

Sponsored by - TRX
About TRX

Whether beginning a fitness journey or pushing toward your summit, TRX Training helps you to move better, feel better and live better. We never stop creating new ways to make fitness simpler and more effective for you. What started with a single TRX Suspension Trainer has since expanded to a full line of inimitable signature products and functional training tools. Make your body your machine.

About the Author

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung

Anthony, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is a fitness expert at Esquire, GQ and Men’s Health and gets guys in shape for their wedding at GroomBuilder.

Related