With a global pandemic that has changed the way we look at a lot of things, many of us have found ourselves dealing with some major changes to the structure of our daily routine and the pillars that uphold them. Arguably one of the most important, if not the most important pillar of our lives is our physical health.
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We Need To Prioritize Our Health And Fitness:
Now more than ever we are seeing not just the importance of prioritizing it, but the need for getting creative with it. While many gyms have been reopening across the country, the mask mandate has made exercising at a gym less enticing when compared to the unrestricted breathing that we can experience within our own homes. Still, the first dilemma that we often encounter with home workouts is how to get the same quality of workout that was available to us at the gym, in the safety and comfort of our own homes.
This is where strategic bodyweight movements along with good equipment come into play. If you are able to spend just a little bit of money to get a good piece of equipment that can last your entire lifetime then you can make these home workouts as effective as just about any workout in the gym. The TRX training system is designed to allow you to be able to do this, and when you buy relatively cheap trx straps then you can have an entire gym right at your fingertips.
The Oh So Versatile TRX Suspension Trainer:
Enter the TRX suspension trainer. This piece of equipment stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise and is specifically designed to utilize your body weight and gravity as resistance to build strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. The TRX training system was first developed by Randy Hetrick while serving as a Navy Seal.
Hetrick needed a device that would keep him in peak shape and able to respond to the various demands of the missions he was deployed on as a Navy Seal. Thankfully, the TRX suspension trainer did just that, and when Hetrick returned home, he made it his priority to share its design with the world. There are currently two main versions of the TRX, one that attaches to your door frame and another that can be hooked into a ceiling fixture. In terms of movement, I personally find the ceiling variation less restrictive, however the door hinge version is still a very solid option.
Speaking as a personal trainer and someone who has always been relatively skeptical of “new” workout equipment, I can honestly say I was shocked with how well this thing performs. The beauty of the TRX suspension trainer is its ability to offer you a killer home workout that does not neglect a single muscle, no wonder the Navy Seals use this thing!
I am currently following a three day workout split which is spread into “push days” “pull days” and “leg days” however, we will be exploring both a three day and a five day workout split so you can utilize the plan that best fits your preferred weekly workout routine.
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To get the most out of these TRX workouts, I recommend using a high intensity interval training format with a full body workout split, and completing each exercise as part of a “round” with little rest between each exercise and longer rest periods at the end of each round. One way to do this is to download an app like interval timer that allows you to set timers for each exercise, one for rest periods and a final timer that alerts you to the completion of a round.
For example, one of the ways I may go about this is by choosing four to five exercises, setting a timer for two minutes on each exercise with thirty seconds of rest between them and a longer rest period of three minutes between rounds. I would then complete this for as many rounds as I can while doing my best to avoid overshooting or undershooting my physical limits. You can also experiment with your rest intervals for more or less of a cardiovascular burn.
Another thing to note is that the intensity of each TRX exercise can be increased or decreased depending on factors such as the angle of your body, i.e how close you are to the ground, as well as the exercise selection itself. I will also be including exercise variations that will help you either dial up or dial down the intensity. The more challenging variation will be highlighted in red, with the beginner progression highlighted in blue. Lastly I recommend utilizing “progressive overload” to continue to see greater returns on your workouts as time goes on.
This can be done simply by manipulating the intensity of your exercise selection over time to support continued growth adaptations. So without any further ado, here are two highly effective TRX workout routines that you can get started with to see results immediately!
TRX Workout Routine Option A - 3 day split: 60-90 minutes:
1. TRX Push Workout
TRX fly’s: To begin the TRX workout plan we are gonna start with TRX fly's. To start this exercise grasp both handles with an overhand grip and adjust your body so that your chest is angled towards the floor. Pull both handles towards each other so that your hands meet in the center. This exercise is great for getting a good contraction in the Pec major, as well as the anterior deltoid.
Tricep dips: This exercise is awesome because you get the same amazing tricep benefits of regular “chair dips” but with the same joint stability gains as ring dips. Start this exercise by grasping both handles and guiding them to the sides of your body as you walk your legs out. To adjust the difficulty simply bring your legs further or closer to your body.
Lower your body down until the angle of your arm creates a ninety degree angle and then push your body back up to the neutral position. Be sure to keep proper alignment and avoid collapsing in your chest during the movement.
TRX Atomic pushup or Chest Press: For the Atomic pushup, begin the exercise on the ground with your feet secured into the TRX handles and your hands in a pushup position. Keep your spine neutral and lower your body towards the ground for the pushup portion of the movement. Press up to the top position crunching your knees in towards your torso and then out again. This exercise is exceptional at building core strength as well as power through the muscles of the upper body, effectively strengthening the shoulders, chest, triceps, and back muscles.
If you opt for the chest press, begin by grasping both handles so that the bottom of your hands are facing the floor. Walk your feet out until you have reached your desired level of intensity, and then lower your body towards the floor as you would for a standard pushup. Push back up evenly through your hands while keeping your glutes and abdominal muscles engaged to ensure proper alignment. This exercise is phenomenal at helping to build the necessary strength for the atomic pushup. I recommend working with it for a few weeks before attempting the atomic push up.
Tricep Extension: Begin this exercise by setting the TRX in a high position, grasp the handles and shift your weight outwards over your toes, adjusting the angle of your body to the ground for less or more resistance. Maintain a neutral spine as you lower your body to the ground, squeezing your triceps on the way up.
2. TRX Pull Workout
Single Arm Row or Low Row - For The Low Row, grasp the TRX handles in each hand and pull your chest up between your hands, while keeping your elbows close and squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you. Pause for a second at the top of the movement, then slowly lower your body down until your arms are fully extended again. As with each of these exercises it is crucial to maintain good postural alignment and body position.
High Row - Grip the TRX handles so that your palms are facing away from you. Position your feet at an angle. Let your weight fall back so that the TRX strap is taut. Now squeeze your back muscles while rowing the handles back. This exercise is most similar to a “face pull” and offers the same benefits to the strength of your trapezius and rear deltoids.
TRX Bicep Curl - Grip the TRX handles so your palms are facing upwards, position your feet at an angle, and curl the handles toward yourself as you pull your body forward to meet them. For added difficulty, focus on doing a slow “negative” on the lowering portion of the movement.
3. TRX Legs And Core Workout
TRX Squat or Pistol Squat - For this one, simply increase the difficulty of the movement by opting for a regular squat with both feet planted on the ground or the single leg variation. The TRX assisted pistol squat is awesome for working up to a non assisted pistol squat because you have the added stability of the TRX bands yet can still work through a full range of movement. I recommend starting with the standard squat and then working up to the single leg version when it becomes too easy. To begin, simply grasp both TRX handles in your hands, angle your feet, shifting your weight backward while lowering your body downwards to or slightly past ninety degrees. Maintain tension on the straps as you pull your body back up to neutral. The squat is arguably the most essential lower body exercise there is, as it will help you strengthen your glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, and core.
Lunge - Start this exercise by grasping the handles and extending them overhead. Next, assume a lunge position with your front leg forming a ninety degree angle and your back leg also bending to a ninety degree as you lower. Be sure to keep your chest up and front knee pointed overy your toes as you move. The lunge is an awesome complimentary exercise to the squat and allows you to strengthen the same muscle groups.
TRX Suspended Plank - (This exercise can be done on your hands or forearms) Begin by keeping the torso rigid. Press your feet into the handles while lifting your body into a plank position. Keep abdominals, glutes, and torso engaged as you hold the plank. Continue as long as a perfect plank can be maintained. The plank will benefit all of your other TRX movements and help to bulletproof your core.
Suspended Crunch - Begin this exercise in a pushup position with your feet through the TRX handles. Simply crunch your knees towards the front of your torso, while maintaining straight arms and a neutral spine. This exercise is a prerequisite to the atomic pushup, and is phenomenal at building greater core strength and stability.
TRX Workout Routine Option B - 45 minutes:
Due to the frequency of these workouts, they are going to be shorter in duration than the previous split. This is done to preserve the strength of your CNS (central nervous system) and avoid burnout.
Monday - TRX Chest & Triceps Workout
- TRX fly’s
- Tricep dips
- TRX Atomic pushup
Tuesday - TRX Back & Biceps Workout
- Low Row
- High Row
- TRX Bicep Curl
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - TRX Legs & Core Workout
- TRX Squat
- TRX Suspended Plank
Friday - TRX Chest & Back Workout
- TRX Chest Press or Pushup
- TRX Low Row into High Row
- TRX Dips
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - TRX Core Workout
- TRX Pikes
- TRX Oblique Crunches
- TRX Body Saw
There you have it guys, two incredibly effective TRX workout routines that can be done at home, and with just one piece of equipment. Follow these workouts with discipline and dedication and you will absolutely transform your body.
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