TRX Full Body Workout

It is generally accepted that performing resistance training on a regular basis can help maintain and improve health, fitness, and quality of life. However, people often encounter obstacles to resistance training, such as time, space, equipment, and cost. Suspension Training® offers a unique approach to resistance training that only requires one portable piece of equipment, and it can be performed almost anywhere. In addition, Suspension Training exercises can be used to address a wide range of fitness needs such as enhancing and maintaining general fitness, improving sport performance, and as a rehabilitation or injury prevention tool. Using exercises from The Complete Guide to Suspension Training 2E, we’ve put together a full-body Suspension Training® workout. Try out the entire workout or add some of your favorite exercises to your current workout routine.

Push Exercises

TRX Chest Fly

PURPOSE
To develop the pectoralis major, which is responsible for horizontal adduction of the arms.

ADJUSTMENT
Fully lengthen the straps of the Suspension Trainer.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing away from the anchor point and grab a handle with each hand. Place the feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Set the body in a straight line, or plank position.

DESCRIPTION
– Brace the trunk and keep the arms straight.
– Internally rotate the shoulders so the elbows point out to the sides (see figure a).
– Keeping the arms locked in this position, slowly push the hands away from each other while pulling the shoulder blades down and together.
– Attempt to move the hands outward until they are almost directly aligned with the torso, or until a deep stretch is felt in the chest (see figure b).
– In this position, bring the hands back to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– When returning to the starting position, act as if wrapping the hands around a tree trunk.
– Maintain a rigid torso throughout the exercise.

VARIATION
Raising one foot off the ground increases the need for greater balance and trunk stability.

TRX Chest Press

PURPOSE
To develop upper-body muscular strength and endurance in the chest, shoulders, and triceps, as well as trunk stability.

ADJUSTMENT
Fully lengthen the straps of the Suspension Trainer.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing away from the anchor point and grab a handle with each hand. Extend the arms and position the hands shoulder-width apart. Place the feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Set the body in a straight line, or in plank position.

DESCRIPTION
– the trunk and slowly step backward until there is tension on the straps and the body is at an incline (see figure a).
– Flex the arms and lower the chest between the handles, similar to performing a push-up (see figure b).
– Extend the arms to return to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– Stay stiff as a board from the head to heels.
– Move the handles toward the body in a slow, controlled manner.

VARIATIONS
– In order to place a greater emphasis on strength development, additional resistance can be added to this exercise through the use of a weighted vest.
– To emphasize trunk stability and balance, this exercise can be performed using a single leg for support (see figure c).

TRX Triceps Press

PURPOSE
To isolate and develop the triceps and develop isometric trunk strength and stability. Using the Suspension Trainer results in greater total-body development than using traditional barbell and dumbbell versions of this exercise.

ADJUSTMENT
Fully lengthen the straps of the Suspension Trainer.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing away from the anchor point. Grab a handle with each hand and lean forward so the torso is at an angle of at least 45 degrees to the ground.

DESCRIPTION
– Extend the arms overhead with the upper arms beside the ears (see figure a).
– Flex the elbows to 90 degrees. At this point, the hands should be behind the head with a neutral grip (see figure b).
– While keeping the balls of the feet in contact with the ground and the trunk rigid, extend the elbows to return to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– Maintain a rigid torso throughout the exercise.
– Move only at the elbows.

VARIATIONS
– External resistance in the form of a weighted vest can be added to this exercise to increase the intensity.
– This exercise can also be modified by grabbing the handle straps with one hand, assuming a staggered stance, and applying manual resistance throughout the exercise movement.

Pull Exercises

TRX Low Row

PURPOSE
To develop the muscles of the back.

ADJUSTMENT
Fully shorten the straps of the Suspension Trainer.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing the anchor point and grab a handle with each hand using a neutral, overhand, or supinated grip. Lean back until the torso is at a 45-degree angle to the ground.

DESCRIPTION
– Pull the shoulder blades together and downward (see figure a).
– Pull the body toward the anchor point by flexing the arms and extending the shoulders (see figure b).
– Slowly extend the arms and allow the shoulders to flex to return to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– Maintain a braced core throughout the exercise and squeeze the glutes.
– Pull the straps to the chest.

VARIATION
The intensity of this exercise can be increased by elevating the feet on a step or box while planking, by adding a weighted vest, or by performing the single-arm variation.

TRX Assisted Chin-up

PURPOSE
To strengthen the muscles of the back and biceps.

ADJUSTMENT
Overshorten the straps of the Suspension Trainer.

STARTING POSITION
Grasp the handles and simultaneously perform a full squat while extending the arms overhead (see figure a).

DESCRIPTION
Squeeze the back muscles and pull yourself up toward the handles so that the upper chest is level with the handles (see figure b). The legs can be used to provide support and assistance if a sticking point is reached during this movement.

TEACHING CUE
Pull the handles to your shoulders.

VARIATION
A greater emphasis can be placed on the muscles of the biceps by using a neutral or underhand grip when performing this exercise.

TRX Bicep Curl

PURPOSE
To develop the biceps.

ADJUSTMENT
Fully shorten or adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid length.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing the anchor point and grab a handle with each hand using an underhand or supinated grip. Position the feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Keeping the arms completely straight, lean back until the torso is at a 45-degree angle to the ground (see figure a).

DESCRIPTION
– Pull the shoulder blades together and downward, flex the elbows, and bring the hands toward the face (see figure b).
– Extend the elbows and return to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– Move only at the elbows.
– Brace the trunk and squeeze the glutes.

VARIATIONS
– An overhand grip can be used, which places a greater emphasis on the brachialis and brachioradialis.
– The intensity of this exercise can be increased by performing a single-arm variation.

Lower Body

TRX Lunge

PURPOSE
To develop lower-body muscular strength and endurance.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-length.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing the anchor point. Grasp the handles, bend the elbows, align the upper arms by the waist with the palms facing one another, and step back until there is no slack in the straps (see figure a).

DESCRIPTION
– Simultaneously flex the hip, knee, and ankle on the standing leg, and step back with the free foot (see figure b). Bend the back knee to 90 degrees. Once the lead-leg thigh is approximately parallel to the ground, return to the starting position.
– Perform for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs.

TEACHING CUES
– Keep the trunk braced and maintain a big chest position.
– Keep the ankles, knees, and hips aligned.
– Pretend there are flashlights on the hips and shine the lights straight ahead.

VARIATION
To increase the balance and stability demands of this exercise, drive the rear knee forward while extending the knee and hip of the lead leg. The ankle of the front leg should remain in a cast position (see figures c-d)

TRX Overhead Squat

PURPOSE
To improve ankle, knee, and hip mobility, as well as lower-body muscular strength and endurance. This exercise also strengthens the muscles of the upper back.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-calf.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing the anchor point. Grasp the handles, extend the arms overhead, and step back until there is no slack in the straps.

DESCRIPTION
– Point the toes outward slightly (see figure a).
– Squat until the knees are flexed to more than 90 degrees. The knees should remain behind, or directly over, the toes (see figure b).
– Extend the hips, knees, and ankles, and return to the starting position.

TEACHING CUES
– Imagine standing in the center of a square and drop the buttocks to the middle of the square.
– Squeeze the shoulder blades together.
– Spread the floor.
– Push the ground away.

VARIATION
Performing a single-leg version increases the balance, stability, and strength demands of this exercise.

TRX Suspended Single Leg Deadlift

PURPOSE
To improve lower-body strength and muscular endurance, and trunk stability.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-calf length.

STARTING POSITION
Stand facing away from the anchor point. Place one foot in both foot cradles and adjust the position until the straps are at a 110- to 130-degree angle to the ground. Grasp a pair of sandbags or kettlebells and hold them at either side of the lead leg (see figure a).

DESCRIPTION
– Lower the body by allowing the front knee to flex until it is at 90 degrees and the thigh is parallel to the ground (see figure b).
– Simultaneously push the suspended foot back.
– Push through the front heel and extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.
– Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch legs and repeat.

TEACHING CUES
– Drive off the lead foot.
– Push the ground away.
– Maintain an active plank throughout the exercise.

Core Exercises

TRX Walking Plank

PURPOSE
To develop shoulder and trunk stability.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-calf length.

STARTING POSITION
Lie face down with the forearms on the ground, facing away from the anchor point. Place the feet in the foot cradles (see figure a).

DESCRIPTION
Shift the body toward the left forearm and place the right palm on the ground, then extend the right arm (see figure b). Next, shift the body to the right, place the left hand on the ground and extend the left arm (i.e., the TRX push-up position) (see figure c). Return to the starting position by placing the right forearm down, followed by the left forearm.

TEACHING CUES
– Stay stiff as a board from the head to heels.
– Maintain a rhythmic cadence (e.g., 1 = left palm down, 2 = right palm down, 3 = left forearm down, 4 = right forearm down).

TRX Crunch

PURPOSE
To develop muscular endurance and stability of the trunk.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-calf length.

STARTING POSITION
Face away from the anchor point and place the feet in the foot cradles. Place the hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.

DESCRIPTION
– Set the body in a straight line, or plank position, brace the trunk, and keep the arms straight (see figure a).
– Pull the shoulder blades down and together while pulling both knees toward the chest (see figure b).
– Return to the starting position and continue this movement for the desired number of repetitions.

TEACHING CUES
– Brace the core first, then drive the knees toward the chest.
– Control the movement. Perform at an even tempo (e.g., a count of 2 for the crunch and a count of 2 to return to the fully extended position).

TRX Mountain Climbers

PURPOSE
To develop muscular endurance and stability of the trunk.

ADJUSTMENT
Adjust the straps of the Suspension Trainer to mid-calf length.

STARTING POSITION
Face away from the anchor point and place the feet in the foot cradles. Place the hands on the ground shoulder-width apart.

DESCRIPTION
– Set the body in a straight line, or plank position, brace the trunk, and keep the arms straight (see figure a).
– Simultaneously pull the shoulder blades down and together and bring the right knee up toward the chest (see figure b).
– While the right leg returns to the starting position, bring the left leg toward the chest in the same manner.
– Continue this movement, alternating between right and left sides as if pedaling a bike.

TEACHING CUES
– Brace the core first, then drive the knee toward the chest.
– Control the movement. Perform at an even tempo (e.g., a count of 2 for the crunch and a count of 2 to return to the fully extended position).

Credit: Adapted from Complete Guide to TRX Suspension Training 2E. Available for purchase at canada.humankinetics.com