In this last installment of the “exercises you can do with our fancy equipment” series of articles Matt and I had a huge session of exercises using the TRX straps. There are a lot of things on the market right now that are similar to these such as blast straps by EliteFTS, and to be honest you could also use some lengths of chain and knock some up yourself at home. Whatever you use, these are great equipment choices that allow you to do a plethora of exercises for a fairly low price, and they don’t take up a massive amount of space either so if you have a garage gym they’re worth the investment.
Here at Dave’s, though, we’ve got two sets of TRX straps and that’s what we used in all the videos in this article. Some of the videos show off a few different exercises or variations, so be sure to read the descriptions underneath for a better idea of what’s going on!
TRX Inverted Rows
A great alternative to bent over rows or pullups for overall back development, you can also add extra weight by using a weighted vest or balancing a barbell plate on your chest (be careful, don’t want to lose any teeth!). For some reason this exercise absolutely rinses my grip – moreso than pullups even – when I do them with any sort of volume. This is definitely a good thing.
TRX Standing Rows
In this video Matt goes through a few variations of the standing row. You can either do them with your arms in the usual position for a row, similar to the inverted rows above, or put them in a Y or T position to work more shoulders and traps than back. The Y’s and T’s are exceptionally difficult depending on your shoulder stability, so use with caution. In this video Matt also does two variations of bicep curl you can perform on the TRX – great stuff!
TRX Pushups + Flys
Pushups using the TRX straps introduce an unstable base to the exercise and will sorely test your shoulder stability and strength (emphasis on sore, I got terrible DOMS from these). Flys are even worse due to the extended position of your arms, I struggle to do five reps if I’m honest! Great exercises.
TRX Suspended Pushups
Much like the difference between standing and inverted rows using the TRX, the increase in difficulty from pushups to suspended pushups is palpable. With your feet raised even more weight is going through your shoulders and chest and it takes a pushup ninja to be able to rep out on these!
TRX Core Exercises
There are likely more core exercises involving the TRX, such as doing planks with your feet in the loops, but here are two great ones – knee tucks and supermans!
TRX Pistol Squats
These are a great stepping stone to regular, un-assisted pistol squats as well as being a worthy addition to a leg routine because of the higher number of reps you can do when balancing on one foot is not so much of an issue. We had a competition in the gym some months back to see how many reps of TRX pistol squats we could each do on one leg, and I think the winner was over 40! Amazing!
I like this variation of the lunge because it forces you to keep your head up and back straight throughout each rep. If you want to refine your lunge technique, or want to learn the lunge from scratch I highly recommend trying these out! Once you have the form down you can start to add weight using a weighted vest or even a dip belt over your shoulder.
TRX Leg Curls
Another replacement for regular machine leg curls, if you want to give your hamstrings a bit of a different stimulus these are a safe bet!
As you can probably see from all those videos, if you really wanted to you could get a great workout for your entire body using nothing but your bodyweight and some straps if you really had to. There are a tonne of possibilities, either combine them in a few circuits (or one giant unholy circuit), do them for low volume as a general pre-workout warmup, or work on your bodyweight endurance by doing the exercises separately for a high number of reps and sets. Obviously, like anything you can slot them into your program however and wherever you like.
Hopefully these last few articles have given you some new ideas of where to go with your training to stimulate new gains and have some fun in the gym!