The TRX is one of the best tools available for beginners looking to get into resistance training at home. If your just getting into resistance training and have a TRX or are looking to buy one your in the right place, we will go through exercises you can use, why they are beneficial and how you can best structure your training to find success in your endeavours.
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For true beginners, it can be used for almost every movement pattern that we use in resistance training, making it a hugely valuable tool. The TRX gives variations of the squat, hinge, core, press and pull, which are the basis of all movements in resistance training.
The TRX provides a very non-intimidating and user friendly way to learn the fundamental movement patterns of resistance training. A weight like a kettlebell or dumbbell may have some negative connotations with some beginner trainers, a TRX is unlikely to have this effect. Also the TRX simplifies a lot of the movements allowing better skill learning, when learning skills we want to avoid the movements being extremely challenging.
A lot of movements can be too challenging for beginners with bodyweight variations, the TRX makes them easier. Take the eccentric press up for example, for a beginner with very little muscle mass this exercise may be too challenging but the TRX gives the opportunity to make the exercise easier through raising the handles, this can even be modulated further by making the handles high and higher.
Many beginners can feel intimidated by the gym and going to the gym, which is understandable, gyms can often be very uncomfortable environments. Home training is also very popular because it’s much more accessible in terms of cost, once you have bought your TRX and kettlebell you can train at home for free for the foreseeable future.
It provides a large variety of exercises that can be used for beginners, but not only that, it also provides progressions to more intermediate and advanced exercises. It’s not as if it’s only a tool that can be used for beginners and then you need to buy a new piece of equipment. Have a look through our articles for intermediate and advanced exercises you can do with the TRX.
The Reverse Lunge with TRX support is an excellent introduction into uni-lateral squatting (knee flexion) and learning to take the majority of your weight in one leg. For some beginners a reverse lunge without assistance from the TRX or the wall can be too challenging, so having an external point that you can use to take load can be very beneficial.
The Squat with TRX Support offers similar support to the reverse lunge with support but in the bilateral squat. For beginners who have been sedentary for an extended period of time or are rehabilitating from an injury this exercise can be extremely beneficial, it allows the individual to “feel out” the squat movement pattern in their own time. For beginners who have more muscle mass or experience playing multiple sports, this exercise will be too easy and provide no adaptation other than skill learning in the squat. For true beginners it can increase strength in the legs and also provide skill acquisition.
The TRX Curtsy Lunge is a little more complex than the first two movements and will require more balance and stability. That being said it is still very beginner friendly and can be used with very little body weight if required, by putting more of your weight into the TRX. Take time to have a good look at the foot placement, it is subtly to the other side of the not aggressively, if you move too far to the other-side you can put your knee in an uncomfortable position.
The TRX Eccentric Press Up (high) is a great introduction to developing the horizontal press. Be sure that you are able to take your bodyweight comfortably before attempting this exercise. The goal is to move the chest as slowly as possible towards the hands, it’s normal if this is an extremely difficult variation for female beginners with very little muscle mass. Once you have mastered the high version of this you can progressively lower the handles towards the floor.
The TRX Kneeling Tricep Extension is a good isolation exercise for beginners to use to develop their triceps, this can help with improving strength in the horizontal press movements if you’re trying to move towards your first press up. This can cause some discomfort in the elbows if performed with speed, so make sure you’re taking your time and slowly stretching the triceps and squeezing the muscles at the top of the repetition.
The TRX Press is probably the most basic variation available in our TRX library, a great exercise for those who have limited mobility in the shoulders and are learning to press overhead. This exercise is meant for those who have been sedentary for a long period of time or are rehabilitating their shoulders, just consider this before adding this into your training regime as it may offer little stimulus for many beginners while for others it can be very challenging.
The TRX Row is a great introduction to the horizontal pull for beginners. It provides an easy to modulate pulling variation that can be made progressively difficult, which is perfect for beginners as they can learn the skill quickly and then progressively challenge the position. One of the most challenging aspects of this exercise for beginners is keeping the core tight throughout, physically it is challenging not to drop the hips but also thinking about multiple cues at once can be a challenge for beginners.
The TRX Row Eccentric is for true beginners who have been sedentary for a long time and need to build the base of the muscles in the upper back and the core to be able to perform the TRX row. This is a perfect regression for the TRX row which can be too challenging for some beginners. It’s difficulty can be modulated by feet positioning and the speed of the eccentric portion of the movement.
The TRX Top of Press Up Hold is the perfect entry point for a beginner who is unable to take their bodyweight on the floor. The added instability of the TRX can be a great way to build the important stability in the shoulders that beginners will need to acquire as well as improving straight arm strength. These simple and basic positions are underestimated for beginners, they can have large physiological benefit while requiring no skill whatsoever and are the building blocks for the movements to come, if you can’t hold a perfect top of press up hold in a TRX how are you going to perform a perfect eccentric press up in the TRX.
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.