TRX – A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
Here at Hale Country Club we endeavour to stay ahead of the curve with all things fitness. TRX is one such development that has been around for awhile now but continues to provide results to users of all experience levels.
I appreciate however, that taking the decision to use a TRX for the first time can be a daunting one. It needn’t be. The whole premise of TRX is that any given movement can be performed at various levels of intensity. There are, of course movements that are more appropriate for beginners and I’ll outline these later in the article.
The basic idea behind TRX is that your body provides the resistance and the TRX provides the leverage – Leverage principles are already a huge part of resistance training so combining bodyweight and leverage serves to provide the benefits of both training methods. Arguably its biggest advantage is that it can be used in an extremely low impact manner which safeguards connective tissues and joints, ideal for those with joint injuries or those undertaking rehabilitation. However, to limit its use to just these movements would be a massive disservice. Pretty much any movement you can perform on a machine or with free weights can be replicated on the TRX and in doing so add variety to your fitness regime. I believe this is where the most benefit is gained from its use – when used alongside other training methods.
TRX FOR THE BEGINNER
Hopefully in reading this you’ve decided to give TRX a try. Next time you go to the gym ask one of the instructors if a specific induction is needed – this allows you to get familiar with the equipment whilst learning some fundamental teaching points. However, if this option isn’t available you’ll be amazed at how intuitive and safe a TRX is to use. The only things you should check are that the TRX is securely fastened to its anchor point and you have enough space around you. A good routine for a beginner would target all muscle groups and last somewhere in the region of 30 minutes. To begin, you would warm up and mobilise as you would prior to any workout. You’ll notice pretty much every movement involves abdominal activation, which is another huge benefit of using TRX – you get a great core workout with movements that ordinarily isolate one body part.
7 TRX MOVEMENTS IDEAL FOR BEGINNERS
SIMILAR TO – Low pulley row
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Rear delts, biceps, lats, abdominals
METHOD – Start by facing the TRX anchor point, take hold of the handles with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and take a step forward so the TRX is taut then lean back slightly so the TRX is supporting your bodyweight. Your arms will now be straight and you’re ready to begin. Pulling through your arms bring your chest to meet your hands bending at the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you reach the top. Lower yourself back to your starting point under control to complete 1 rep.
TRX CHEST PRESS
SIMILAR TO – Bench press
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Chest, triceps, abdominals
METHOD – Start by facing away from the anchor point, the TRX should be on the outside of your arms and your palms facing down. You then take a step back to create 45º angle with your body. Begin the movement by lowering your chest towards your hands by bending your elbows (much like a press up) you must maintain a straight back throughout the movement. Then to return to your starting point straighten your arms by extending your elbows.
TRX BICEP CURL
SIMILAR TO – Barbell curl, dumbbell curl
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Biceps, abdominals
METHOD – Stand facing the anchor point. Hold the TRX with a supine (underhand) grip. Take a step forward so only the TRX is holding your body weight. You begin the movement by bringing your hands to you chest by bending at the elbows. Core stability comes into play here as you’ll need to keep your back straight to allow the leverage to have its effect. Finish the repetition by extending your elbows slowly back to the starting point.
TRX FRONT DELT RAISE
SIMILAR TO – Front dumbbell raises
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Front delts, chest, triceps, abdominals
METHOD – This movement is pretty much an exact copy of a conventional frontal raise performed with dumbbells. You begin by facing the anchor point, you want to ensure the TRX is taut to provide adequate resistance. Your hands will be besides your hips with an overhand grip. You then raise your arms (keeping them straight) above your head using the TRX to assist. At the top of the movement you should pause and allow a slow return to the starting point.
TRX REAR DELT FLYES
SIMILAR TO – Rear dumbell flyes
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Rear delts, triceps, abdominals
METHOD – Again stand facing the anchor point. You should have your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height with your hands facing in. You then want to separate your arms by squeezing your shoulder blades together. The further you spread your arms the more leverage you feel. Ideally at the end of the contraction both arms will be straight out at either side of your body. To repeat the repetition slowly reverse the movement.
TRX ASSISTED SQUAT
SIMILAR TO – Squat, hack squat
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals
METHOD – Begin by facing the anchor point, take hold of the TRX with a neutral grip and take all the slack so the TRX is supporting your bodyweight. Start the squat using the resistance of the TRX to assist you on the way down, the leverage supplied by the TRX should allow you to squat slightly lower (think hack squat) which means more glue activation. To complete the rep you should return to your starting point with slightly bent knees.
SIMILAR TO – Bodyweight lunge
MUSCLES RECRUITED – Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals
METHOD – Facing away from the anchor place your left foot through both TRX handles leaving your right foot planted, the movement begins by allowing your planted foot to bend (as it would in a squat) as your body lowers begin to stretch the foot in the TRX backwards. There’s no real need to go deeper than 90 degrees as the main focus of this movement is stability.
The above movements can be performed at higher rep ranges than their resistance based counterparts. Meaning for each exercise you should look to complete 15-20 reps each set. Try and be strict with rest times too as this is usually what dictates the intensity of a session. I recommend 45 seconds rest between each set and 1 minute between each new exercise. This session can quite easily be performed twice weekly for around 3-4 weeks. You’ll gradually increase core stability and balance and be ready to try some more advanced movements in no time.
(Hale Country Club – Duty Manager)