If you think you’ve tried all the TRX exercises out there… Think again.
The TRX Suspension Trainer is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment, and one that I use with all of my athletes. If your goal is strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, core development, or simply looking good at the beach, the TRX, will help you get there.
And while there are countless TRX exercises, the ones listed below are some of my little known favorites. They’re all fairly advanced exercises that will test your strength, endurance, and desire level, so please check your pride at the door. It should also be noted that these are not movements I use in my everyday programming. These are complex moves I incorporate occasionally to challenge my athletes. I only suggest these to those in good health with no musculoskeletal issues. So, again, please be use caution when performing any of these movements….
1. TRX Plyometric Hand Hops
This is an advanced, explosive, movement to help develop pushing power through the shoulders and arms, while keeping the trunk engaged throughout. I only use this exercise with some of my MMA fighters who need to develop explosive upper body strength to help push their opponent away during a scramble. It’s not recommended if you have any wrist or shoulder issues, or if you lack adequate core control. Starting out, shoot for 1 set and see how they feel. 1 set will equal 3-4 “hand hops” depending on how far you jump out. In the video I perform 9 total and I have my advanced athletes work up to 27 total hops.
2. TRX Inverted Star
This is a great movement that works the posterior chain; from the glutes and low back all the way up to the traps and rear deltoids. It may just be a progression to the traditional, “Y shoulder raise” but it’s far from easy. By lowering the body down under the anchor point, we’ve created a much more challenging angle. I like this movement because it gets the posterior lower body and posterior upper body working together to create that explosive extension. I’ve used this movement with some “overhead athletes” (volleyball, baseball, etc.) and MMA fighters but prefer to stick with the traditional “Y shoulder raise” exercise for the general population. I like the standard 3 sets of 10 repetitions on these.
3. TRX Inverted Gator Chomp
Similar to the “Inverted Star”, this exercise requires a great deal of core and backside strength. Control this movement on the way up, and especially on the way down, to get the most out of it. Unlike the “Inverted Star,” I slow this movement down a bit both concentrically and eccentrically, to increase our TUT (time under tension) and really challenge backside shoulder strength. It’s an exercise almost anyone with healthy shoulders can do so long as you use the appropriate foot position. I typically have athletes perform 2-3 sets of these for 12 total reps (6 reps with each arm angle).
4. TRX Inverted Windshield Wiper
A spin-off of the traditional hanging windshield wiper, it’s a true test of bodyweight strength and torso control. You must have sufficient grip strength, strong abs, and obliques, to perform this correctly. Be sure to control your trunk rotation and keep your core braced the entire time. I like to occasionally test my advanced clients with this move to see if they can get 10 reps. Don’t think you need to drop your legs too far to get any benefit from the exercise; a controlled range of motion is sufficient. Being a fairly advanced movement, set realistic goals with your rep ranges on these. When hanging from a pull-up bar, I will work up to 3 sets of 20 reps, however, with this TRX version, I start the reps around 6-8 and then work up over time.
5. TRX Pommel Horse
Derived from gymnastics, the TRX pommel horse challenges the core, shoulders, arms…. Essentially everything! To be honest, this isn’t an exercise I’ve ever done with a client, so if you’re going to give it a shot, be careful. I’ve shown it to some of my advanced, well-conditioned, athletes but many of their feet and ankles were simply too big. With smaller ankles your feet will fit in the cradles, so if you’re up for the test send me the video or post it in the comments section, because I’d love to see how you do! For the reps on these, my best is 9 total revolutions. I’m sure there are some gymnasts out there that could put me to shame!
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill TRX exercises. They challenge some of the best, most well conditioned MMA fighters in the world, so you know they’re good. But if you’re feeling up to the challenge try these advanced TRX movements and be well on your way to taking your training to the next level.
To maximize your lean muscle and strength gains with these exercises 1R would recommend the following supplements: