TRX Fully Explained for Beginners
TRX suspension training is a rope (suspension) training system that was developed by former Navy Seal and Stanford MBA graduate, Randy Hetrick.
In the 1990’s he developed the TRX exercise equipment and the bodyweight exercise program that comes with it. He started marketing TRX in 2005. The TRX equipment includes a set of straps that you can “hang” from in order to do different types of suspension training exercises. TRX exercises will not only require of you to work against gravity with your body weight, but it will also require all of your effort in order to constantly keep your body stabilized. This means that all the exercises, no matter what body part it aims to work, will also inevitably work your core.
The way that TRX is designed makes it suitable for all levels of athleticism.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a complete beginner, you can adjust the difficulty to suite your level just by changing your body position. The TRX is also pretty versatile because the equipment is so portable. You can do it in the gym, in the comfort of your own home or you can even take it on vacation with you.
TRX is one of the best exercises out there for strengthening your core – and a strong core always translates to functional fitness.
While it engages the whole body with every rep, it remains pretty low impact which is great for those who have joint pain or just don’t like high impact exercises.
TRX classes look pretty cool but we get it that it can tend to be intimidating. Beginners, especially, tend to feel this way. This article will give a rundown on what to expect and what to do during your first experience with TRX suspension training.
- What to Expect?
The classes will require you to use your body weight and make the most out of gravity. You will have to push, pull, plunge, squat, and plank, all the while being totally or partially suspended on the straps.
Expect to be completely challenged and expect for your core to be exceptionally sore the next couple of days because TRX suspension training is basically “all core, all the time”.
If it’s your first time trying out the TRX, we would suggest taking a class at the gym before buying your own equipment to use at home. Installing the TRX properly is crucial for optimum results and safety of all your workouts. The gym will probably have the TRX already anchored properly, but here are some pointers to note for when you are installing your own TRX at home.
- Choosing an anchor point: Your anchor point should be stable and high enough (about 7-9 feet high). Once you’ve chosen an anchor point, just wrap the yellow suspension anchor around it and clip it in place using the carabiner.
- Ideally, your anchor point should be high enough to keep the black stabilizing loop 6 feet off the ground or over your head.
- In full extension, the bottom of the cradles should be 3 inches off the ground.
- Adjusting the Straps
Different exercises will require the cable to be at different lengths, so expect to do a lot of adjusting. To shorten the system, press down on the buckle with one thumb and pull up the yellow adjustment tab with the other hand. To lengthen, hold down both buckles and pull. Remember to keep the yellow tabs even with one another.
- Strap Lengths
In TRX exercises there are 4 basic lengths: short, mid-calf, mid-length and long.
- Short: tabs all the way to the top
- Long: tabs fully extended
- Mid-calf: Foot cradle at mid-calf (12 inches off the ground)
- Mid-length: This is actually marked right on the TRX straps
- Controlling Intensity & Tension
The intensity of your exercises can be controlled by how far you step your feet away from your body. The closer your feet are to your body the less work your core has to do to stabilize itself.
On your first TRX session we would encourage you to focus on form first before increasing intensity. With that said, don’t make the workout too easy by stepping your feet too close to your body either. Your feet should never feel loose or limp. If they do, step them away a little bit to enable you to work against your body weight throughout the exercise.
- Get Some Guidance
Finally, we would suggest getting a trainer to show you the ropes the first few times you attempt suspension training. This is especially helpful for those who are just embarking on their fitness journey. A good trainer can challenge you, keep you from injuring yourself, and encourage you to stick to the program.