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Body Weight Exercises at Home Using a Suspension (TRX) System
- Updated: August 10, 2016
By Matthew Denos – Exercises that use the practitioner’s own body weight to provide resistance (i.e pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups) are called body weight exercises. To perform this type of exercises you don’t need any equipment (free weights, machines) other than a floor and perhaps a mat. In 2007, former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick invented a whole new way to perform body weight exercises that uses a pair of straps known as TRX (Total Resistance eXercise).
How TRX works
In contrast to the traditional body weight exercises where the practitioner finds support on a stable surface (i.e floor), TRX exercises are performed against an unstable support (suspended straps). The “suspension” element of TRX allows your body to move in all 3 planes (dimensions), allowing hundreds of different exercise movements to be performed. In addition, the lack of stability of the support system calls for the engagement of core muscles that would otherwise stay dormant.
TRX is a suspension trainer that uses gravity and your body weight to sculpt your body. The TRX enables you to control how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise, by simply adjusting your body’s leverage to increase or decrease the resistance. The TRX system not only develops your core, increases muscular endurance, and can be beneficial to people of all fitness levels, but it is also portable and can be set up anywhere.
Versatile and Portable
What makes the TRX system so great is its versatility and portability. You can do a full body workout whether you are at home, in a hotel, at work, the park or your backyard.
It is such an effective piece of equipment because of the philosophy and science behind the system. The TRX system utilizes movements that engage the full body. The people at TRX believe, “no part of the body is an island” and their training methods incorporate this belief. Because of how effective the TRX is, not only do everyday people use the TRX, but the pros do to. TRX is used by Major League Baseball teams, UFC fighters, and Olympians.
You can literally workout every muscle group in your body on the TRX. One thing that I personally love about the TRX is that it enables you to get a great back workout wherever you are. I find the back to be one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult muscle group to work without going to the gym and lifting weights. Think about it: Push-ups hit the chest, shoulders and triceps. Abs are a cinch wherever you’re at. Grab a chair and you can do triceps dips. You can do lunges, 1-legged squats, and calf raises to have the legs taken care of. Yet, how do you get a good back workout at home? That’s where the TRX comes in handy.
How Much Does TRX Cost?
TRX sells for $199.95 (plus tax and shipping). Occasionally, there is a TRX equipment special offer promo code available which saves you 10-15% off the initial price.
5 Basic Exercises
Below are five basic exercises you can do on the TRX to start off your suspension training. To begin using the TRX at home, open a door. Flip the top of the TRX over the door. Make sure the door is tightly closed. Lastly, straighten the TRX arm out and lightly apply pressure to check the system is in place properly.
Upper Back Exercise
To begin this upper back workout, grab the hand straps, keeping them in a pronated position, and bring the feet in together. Slowly lean back, keeping your feet stable and in the same position. As you lean back, let your arms straighten out. Once all the way back with your arm fully extended, pull yourself up. A similar arm movement would be that of a dumbbell bench press (although it will feel nothing like that, its a pull not a press). When pulling yourself up with your arms, squeeze your upper back. At the top of the motion hold it for a split second then slowly release back down to the begin. Your feet stay in place throughout the whole movement.
Rear Delts Exercise
This time the TRX exercise focuses on the rear delts. For this movement, think chest or back fly as the arm movement. To begin this rear delts workout, grab the hand straps with your hands in a neutral position, and bring the feet in together. Slowly lean back, keeping your feet stable and in the same position. As you lean back, let your arms straighten out. Instead of pulling yourself up though, you raise yourself up by spreading your arms outwards as far as possible. Then slowly lower yourself down to the starting position.
Tricep Press Exercise
Doing triceps on the TRX is a similar movement to doing a tricep press on a suspension cable machine. To begin, grab the hand straps and face away from the TRX. Have your body slightly leaning forward and your hands directly above your head holding the TRX straps. Keeping your hands in basically the same position, lean forward more so. Done correctly your arms will go from a straight position to a 90-degree angle and you will feel a stretch in your triceps. Then to get back to the starting position press through your triceps until you are again at a slight lean with your arms straight in the air.
Reverse Crunch Exercise
The TRX is a great device to exercise your abdominals. One benefit of doing abs on the TRX is that all of the muscles in abdominals get used, including the smaller ones. The reverse crunch is an advanced exercise. To begin, hook your feet into the TRX hoops so that the top of your toes are facing the ground. With your feet locked in, plant your hands on the ground and get into a plank position, arms extended, hands under your shoulder. Bring your knees to your chest and raise your hips up, thus creating a reverse crunch. Then lower your hips back down to the starting position.
A basic exercise that becomes more difficult using the TRX is the push-up. To perform a TRX push-up, get into a normal pushup position, but have your feet hooked into the TRX straps in similar fashion as with the reverse crunches mentioned above. Thus, to begin the top of your foot will be facing the ground. Next, perform normal push-ups while keeping your feet hooked in. The TRX adds an unstable component to the movement, engaging your core and lower back muscles more so than with normal push-ups.
More information about TRX at www.TRXtraining.com