No doubt you have heard about the TRX exercise system. You have probably seen them hanging up at your local gym, but you’ve never used them yourself.
What are they and what benefits do they offer? Can they replace traditional weight training?
The following article will answer some of your frequently asked questions, as well as revealing the best TRX exercises for muscle growth. Please read on to learn more.[toc]
What Is The TRX Exercise System?
The TRX exercise system is a type of suspension training. Using this system you are able to perform a variety of bodyweight exercises that can develop:
- Core stability
Who Started TRX?
The TRX was developed by former U.S. Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. In 1997, while deployed in Southeast Asia, he designed the first version using a jiu-jitsu belt and some parachute webbing.
After leaving the Navy in 2001, after serving 14 years as a SEAL, Randy attended Stanford University where he earned his MBA.
During this time he attended the gym regularly in the hope of bringing the TRX to the attention of athletes, coaches and trainers.
What Are The Benefits Of TRX Training?
TRX offers a fast, effective full-body workout using your bodyweight.
It is claimed that the designers of the system have used research gathered from numerous sources, including the military, pro sports and academic institutions. Along with the experience gathered through working with thousands of athletes, coaches, trainers etc to design the system.
Randy Hetrick has this to say about the benefits of TRX training:
“People who like yoga and Pilates tend to like TRX because there are some crossovers. But it’s also great for runners, cyclists, or anyone who is an endurance athlete and wants to have more strength training.”
How To Use TRX Exercise Bands?
This all depends on the exercise that is being performed. I would suggest reading on as we have a few exercise examples below that you should view.
Are TRX Classes A Good Workout?
Using the TRX system will give you a good workout.
Bodyweight exercises are a good way to build strength and improve fitness, so I would certainly recommend adding some of the exercises available to your regime.
Is TRX Cardio Or Strength Training?
The simple answer would be both.
Using the system can help build strength and can also be used to improve your cardio too.
Best TRX Exercises For Muscle Growth
Here are some of the best TRX exercises available, remember there are many, many more:
#1: TRX Split Squat With Y Fly
This move will help to develop mobility in your shoulders while helping to strengthen your core.
To perform this exercise you should stand facing away from the anchor point with a TRX handle in each hand.
Next, you should extend your arms overhead with your feet together.
Bracing your core while keeping your elbows, hips and knees in line, step forward into a split-squat pose. Return to the starting position for a single rep.
You should alternate your legs.
#2: TRX Chest Press
Basically, this is a press up with the TRX.
This exercise will build strength in your chest, shoulders and triceps.
To perform this exercise you will again face away from the anchor point, holding the handles out in front of yourself.
Next, brace your core and then lower your chest towards your hands, keeping your entire body in line.
Press yourself back up in one slow controlled movement for a single rep.
#3: TRX Squat To Y Fly
Another exercise that is good for shoulder mobility and overall strength gains.
With this exercise, you should face towards the anchor point with your hands overhead holding a handle in each hand.
Move your hips down and back into a squat position. At the same time, you should lower your shoulders down to shoulder level.
To return to the starting position, you should drive through your heels and push your hips forward. You should raise your hands overhead at the same time.
#4: TRX Triceps Press
Unsurprisingly this exercise will give your triceps a good workout. It will also develop your core strength too.
To perform it you will need to face away from the anchor point holding the suspension trainer in each hand.
You should keep your elbows high and in line with your shoulders. Your hands should be facing away from you and to start the movement they should be next to your temples.
While maintaining a tight core you should lean forward at a 45-degree angle.
Extend your arms by pushing down on the handles. To complete a single rep you should lower your body in one slow controlled movement until your hands are at the starting position.
#5: TRX Inverted Row
This exercise will build your upper body strength, in particular, your back.
For this exercise, you should face the anchor point with your chest directly below. You should hold the handles with your hands facing each other.
Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, brace your core and engage your gluten.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together, then use your lats to pull your body up until your hands are the sides of your rib cage.
To complete the rep slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
#6: TRX Atomic Pike Push Up
This is a challenging exercise that will work your entire upper body.
To perform this exercise you will start in a push-up position with your feet directly under the anchor point. Your feet should be in the foot cradles of the TRX suspension trainer.
After bracing your core you should perform a standard push-up. Once you reach the top of the push-up, you should pause for a moment before you pike your hips up while keeping your legs as straight as possible.
You should pause at the top of the movement before lowering your hips to the starting position.
#7: TRX Pull-Up
This exercise will work your arms, shoulders, back and core.
You should shorten the handles of the suspension trainer. Then, sitting directly under the anchor point, while sitting in an L position, you should pull your chest to your hands while keeping your legs straight and feet planted on the ground.
One repetition is completed after you lower yourself back to the ground in a slow and controlled manner.
#8: TRX Step Back Lunge
This exercise is good for your legs, core strength and stability.
Putting one foot into the provided strap you will be performing a lunge. The further away from the anchor point you are the more stable and gradual the lunging motion will be.
#9: TRX Jump Lunges
This works your legs and is good for your overall fitness levels.
Holding the handles in each hand you should perform a traditional lunge, but you will need to jump into the next lunge on the alternate leg.
You should aim to keep your torso upright and to keep your shoulders back. Your front leg should also be forward with your front knee behind your toes.
#10: TRX Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
You can use this exercise to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.
For this exercise you will be using the TRX handles for support while lowering yourself into the correct position.
#11: TRX Squat Jumps
This exercise is good for improving your cardio but is also good for increasing glute and quad power.
You will be holding onto the TRX handles to reduce the impact on your knees while performing this exercise.
#12: TRX Single Leg Squat
The TRX will be used for balance while performing single-leg squats, or pistol squats.
TRX Suspension Training FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about the TRX suspension trainer:
How Long Should A TRX Workout Be?
This all depends on your fitness levels, and what goals you are trying to achieve.
Typically if you are just starting out with exercise, I would suggest that you train around 3-4 days a week.
Each session should last between 30 minutes to an hour. And make sure to have a couple of rest days to recover. Preferably between workouts.
As your fitness improves you could increase the number of times you workout.
How Many Calories Do You Burn In TRX?
Again, this will depend on the types of TRX exercises performed, the length of the workout and the intensity of the workouts.
It has been said that a typical one-hour TRX class could burn as many as 530 calories.
Is TRX Good For Back Pain?
Yes, as the TRX system challenges your core muscles your abs and back will become stronger over time.
This helps prevent back pain. It can also improve posture too.
Can TRX Replace Weight Lifting?
Personally, I would not replace traditional weight lifting with TRX.
The TRX uses bodyweight, which may not cause as much hypertrophy as traditional weight lifting.
However, I would recommend using the TRX to supplement your weight training. The TRX can help strengthen your core and the minor muscles that traditional weight lifting miss.
Can You Do TRX While Pregnant?
Yes, you can. Exercise can still be performed when you are pregnant.
What Is TRX Made Of?
The TRX is made from high-quality nylon, with handles at the bottom.
How High Should My TRX Be?
The anchor point for the TRX should be between 7-9 feet above the ground. This anchor point should be strong enough to support more than your body weight.
What Is The Weight Limit For TRX?
The weight limit for TRX is 1400 pounds (100 stone/635 kg).
How Do You Clean TRX Straps?
If you have dirty straps then you can clean them using the following method:
- Fill a bucket with warm water and laundry detergent. Agitate the water to mix.
- Place the straps in the water to soak for a few hours.
- After a couple of hours, you should scrub the straps with a soft brush.
- Next, use a stain remover of your choice. Powders should be worked into the fibres using a brush, while liquid stain removers should be allowed to soak.
- Scrub the straps occasionally to remove the dirt and to allow the stain remover to penetrate them even further.
- To keep the straps clean you may want to put them in your washing machine occasionally.
- Lay the straps flat and allow to air dry completely.
What Do You Wear To A TRX Class?
Wear whatever you are comfortable in. I would recommend taking a towel and a drink of water as you are going to sweat.
Do You Have To Be Certified To Teach TRX?
You don’t need specific certification to teach TRX, although you should be educated on how it is used.
How Much Is A TRX?
The official TRX system starts at £79.95 ($99.95) for the GO Suspension Trainer Kit, while the ALL-IN-ONE Suspension Training System will set you back £129.95 ($149.95).
There are also cheaper brands available for much less, but these may not be as well made, and may not have had as many rigorous tests undertaken on them.
Where To Buy A TRX Suspension System?
You can buy the TRX Suspension System from the official store, or you can buy from a variety of other vendors including Amazon.