The TRX is an amazing piece of equipment, its both extremely versatile and can be used by those of all abilities. However, even if it has a great deal of exercise variation it can be difficult to know the different exercises you can perform with the TRX. That’s why we wrote this list of the 7 TRX Leg Exercises, so you can find variations that are both novel and match your current ability.
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In the list you will see exercises that can be used by all abilities, from beginners to advanced, making the TRX a very versatile tool no matter what your ability level is. Some exercises will be extremely challenging even for the most advanced individuals while some exercises even beginners may find easy, this spectrum allows you to pick exercises which match your current ability. This enables you to pick exercises which are best placed to help you adapt to training, if you use exercises outside of a certain difficulty, they produce no results, if you use exercises which are too challenging they cannot be performed with technical precision and control, which can risk injury and certainly halts progress.
One of the most beneficial aspects of these exercises is that your are able to travel with a TRX, meaning you can perform these whilst on vacation. Staying fit and healthy while you travel, especially if you travel a lot for work, is no easy task. So the TRX really opens the door to a wide variety of movements while you’re on vacation, which bodyweight training doesn’t provide. This is especially useful for the lower body and legs because the upper body is much easier to train with body weight exercises than the lower body, so every different exercise counts when it comes to the lower body.
Improving your range of motion in your joints can be done through strength training, the TRX provides exercises that a beginner may not be able to perform without a TRX like a TRX lateral lunge or a TRX curtsy lunge that really allow beginners to open up their hips. The added assistance on these TRX leg exercises makes a huge difference for beginners and allows them to move through these new ranges of motion with a sensation of security, meaning they can ease into the positions.
We only have a total of 8 TRX lower body exercises in our exercise library. This means that depending on what ability you are, you may only use 4 different variations. This is much better than none, but it is stil not a huge increase.
The TRX cannot be used to create a hypertrophy training plan, it is great for improving strength and building a base of muscle mass for beginners and maybe some intermediate individuals but could never truly be used to create a hypertrophy (muscle gain) training plan, like say a barbell and dumbbells could. So pick your equipment based on your training goals. If your striving to gain lots of muscle mass in the legs the TRX may not be the piece of equipment for you, if you want to stay fit and healthy while training at home it can be a great option or if your looking to maintain your strength whilst your on vacation it can also be a great piece of equipment.
These exercises can be incorporated into full body resistance training sessions, which are an excellent way to improve both health and athleticism. This style of training involves using exercises from multiple body parts and movement patterns and performing them in one session. It is a very effective way to train with a TRX, especially at home or with minimal equipment.
This is when you pick a selection of 2-4 exercises and perform multiple rounds of a circuit, exactly like the one shown below as the sample lower body TRX circuit. These can be between 10-20 minutes per session and if performed multiple times a week can be an effective way to stay in great shape using a TRX.
The TRX reverse lunge with support is an excellent exercise for beginners to use when learning how to perform unilateral squatting movements. It provides a great deal of support through putting your weight through the TRX, meaning the difficulties that beginners might have with balance and foot placement will be heavily reduced. Also it will reduce the amount of load placed through the single leg, this can be very beneficial to those who are overweight or have sever mobility restrictions. Intermediate and advanced individuals should avoid using this exercise as it will not create enough of a stimulus to cause an adaptation.
The TRX Squat with support follows the same principle as the trx reverse lunge. The bilateral air squat can be very challenging for some people who are just starting their experience with resistance training, the TRX can help ease into the squatting pattern with confidence. If performing an Air Squat is very physically challenging then its unlikely a great deal of repetitions will be performed, this can really slow down skill acquisition, with the TRX you will be able to perform more repetitions, meaning you’ll be able to learn the skill of squatting even if the air squat is still very physically demanding. Again this exercise should not be done by intermediate or advanced individuals as the stimulus will not be high enough to create any sort of an adaptation.
The TRX Curtsy Lunge is more suitable to intermediate individuals than the first two exercises but can still also be performed by beginners who illustrate good hip control and some basic strength in the lower body. This exercise is excellent to allow beginners to ease into slightly more complex movements and muscle groups. It can really help people open up the hips and learn to use the glutes in the curtsy squat movement.
The TRX Glute Bridge Hold is a very effective movement for those people of all abilities. It can be used to learn to create tension in the glutes for beginners, or as a way to generate fatigue in the glutes through long holds for more advanced individuals. This exercise is an excellent stabilising exercise for both the glutes, hamstrings and lower backs, athletes can use this exercise to great effect also.
The TRX Hamstring pull in is a much more challenging exercise than those previously seen and should only be performed by those who are already comfortable with exercises like deadlift and nordic curls. If you don’t know what these exercises are, chances are that you shouldn’t attempt this movement. It needs to be performed with precision and control, as you reach the end of the range of motion when the legs are straight, be sure to take your time here as this is where the stimulus is created. Start with lower reps than traditional exercises, say between 4-6 to start whilst you get a feel for this very challenging exercise.
The TRX Lateral Lunge puts much more emphasis on mobility than the previous exercises, it aims to open the hips and not necessarily build strength in the legs. That does’t take away from it’s effectiveness of the exercise, many beginners and advanced individuals can benefit from improving their mobility in their hips. This exercise should not be a primary exercise in your programme, meaning it shouldn’t be done towards the start of your session, it should be near the end as a secondary or tertiary exercise as it will generate little to no fatigue. This exercise is also targeted towards beginners as intermediate and advanced individuals can just perform a traditional lateral lunge.
The TRX Single Leg Squat is one of the best leg exercises for more advanced individuals to use with a TRX. It provides a chance to maintain a lot of strength in the legs while on vacation, if traveling with a TRX. I prefer this exercise to pistol squats for high repetitions as a tempo can be added, putting pressure on the muscles rather than on the mobility of the ankle and hip, which is important, but sometimes we just want to challenge the muscle to create adaptations in that physiological attribute.
Complete 3 rounds
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.