The TRX Suspension training system is an awesome portable tool to be used for your strength training program. Using it successfully is all dependent on using it properly and safely. To ensure you do so we have compiled some basic information you will want to take note of if you are unfamiliar with the TRX. For tips on performing specific TRX movements check out our technique videos.
The TRX is a suspension training system that leverages gravity and bodyweight in order to provide many resistance training exercises that are easily scalable for a variety of ability levels. The TRX uses the Vector, Pendulum, and Stability Principles to provide the difficulty level of each TRX movement. The Vector Principle refers to the angle of your feet in relation to the anchor point of the TRX. For most of the standing TRX exercises there will be more difficulty the closer your base (usually your feet, sometimes hands) is to the anchor point. The pendulum principle refers to the TRX movements taking place on the ground. For these movements, opposite of the vector principle, moving your feet away from the anchor point will increase resistance, while moving toward or behind it will make it easier. The stability principle, as applied to the TRX, refers to a narrow versus wide base of support. When working in a narrow base of support the user will have to engage more of the core and recruit more of the agonist muscle to control the movement while a wide base of support provides more stability therefore requiring less challenge to perform the movement.
There are several rules to follow when using the TRX in order to maximize safety and ease of use. First, when setting up the TRX using the regular anchor, wrap it around the anchor point two to three times then secure it by clipping the caribiner through one of the eyelets or around the main system. Never clip the caribiner into the black lower loop of the suspension anchor. If using the door anchor, place the anchor on top of the door, center it, then securely close and lock the door. In order to adjust the length of the TRX straps, push the black metal tab down and either extend the strap out or pull the excess strap up to shorten.
When converting the TRX from two to one handle usage begin by holding the straps one in front of the other, with the bottom handle turned perpendicular to the top one. Pass the bottom handle through the triangle formed by the handle and the straps then hold it so you can see the full length of the handle. Turn the bottom handle perpendicular to the top one and thread through the other handle as was done before, then pull the handle that was passed through tight so that it is locked into place.
There will also be times when you need to have your feet in the TRX stirrups in the prone position. To achieve this sit facing the TRX with the bottom of the stirrups about one foot off the ground. Place the middle part of the left foot in the right stirrup, then cross the right leg over the left and place the middle of the right foot in the left stirrup. Since your right foot was place in the TRX last, turn to the right and flip your body into the prone ‘push-up’ position. This will be the start position for many of the TRX exercises.
In order to perform posterior chain exercises such as the hamstring curl you will need to be lying on the ground with the heels in the stirrups of the TRX. To achieve this begin by sitting down facing the TRX with the bottom of the stirrups about one foot off the ground. Hold each of the stirrups in place with the fingers then roll back so both heels can go in the stirrups simultaneously. Once the heels are in the stirrups, simply straighten the legs and prepare to do the desired exercise.
The TRX can be used just about anywhere so long as you have a stable anchor point or door that is approximately 6 feet off the ground.