Visit any gym worthy of the name and you’re as likely to find TRX suspension bands amongst its equipment offering as you are a treadmill, rowing machine or squat rack. One of the easiest bits of kit to start training with, they utilise bodyweight in a multitude of ways to create the resistance necessary to build strength and promote coordination.
Due to the high intensity you can achieve with TRX, it’s possible to perform an effective total body workout in just 20 minutes. Simply perform each exercise for 30 to 45 seconds, with a 30 second rest in between, to reap the full benefit.
The following 5 exercises will target and activate every muscle group in your body. Stay focused throughout, and let’s get started…
Given the amount of strength required, most people find it too difficult to perform a bodyweight single-leg squat. With a TRX suspension band, however, they are no problem. Keeping your elbows at your side, hold both handles so the band is at a 45-degree angle. Lean back slightly and, keeping it straight, lift your right leg a few inches off the floor. With your weight now on your left leg, squat down as deep as you can, allowing your arms to extend straight. Pause for a moment at the lowest point of the squat, then push through your heel to return your left leg to a standing position. Once time’s up, simply repeat with the left leg off the floor and your weight on the right leg.
Muscle groups trained: legs, torso and buttocks.
Holding both handles, keep your body in a straight line from head to toe and lean back until your arms are out in front of you. Your hands should now be roughly level with your forehead and you are resting on your heels. Simultaneously, pull both arms back and up into a ‘Y’ shape, keeping your elbows locked so that your body moves forward and upright with the movement. Hold that shape briefly, then lean your body back so that your arms return to their starting position.
Muscle groups trained: upper back, arms and torso.
This exercise is challenging, but with repetition you’ll have it mastered in no time. From a kneeling start, place each foot in the loops below the TRX band’s handle, then lift your knees to assume the press up position with your feet off the floor. Keeping your wrists directly below your shoulders, lift your lower back, buttocks and hips as high as you can, so that your body bends at the waist and your feet move towards your arms. At their highest point, hold the position by tensing your abdominal muscles, then slowly lower to return to the start. Don’t worry if you don’t get much height to start with – it might not be instantly apparent, but you’ll make gradual progress every time you perform the pike.
Muscle groups trained: arms, back, shoulders, torso, legs and abdomen.
Start off exactly as you did with the atomic plank, until you’ve assumed the press-up position. Now rest your right forearm on the ground so that it’s perpendicular with your body, and lift your left arm up until your fingers are pointing to the ceiling and your body is facing the wall opposite. Turn your head to look up at your left hand and hold. Keeping your body rigid and your movement controlled, slowly bring that hand down and pass it underneath you as far as it can go, so that your fingers are now pointing in the opposite direction of your right forearm. Hold for a second, then slowly return your left arm to the starting position. Allow your hips to rotate as much as they need to in order to allow your arm to travel under and around your body. Once time’s up, simply switch to your left forearm and repeat with your right arm.
Muscle groups trained: Lateral abdominal muscles and your entire core.
Burpees are one of the best total body exercises you can do. Again, start off exactly as you did with the atomic pike, until you’ve assumed the press-up position, except this time put only your left foot in one of the TRX band’s loops and keep your right foot on the floor. Bend both arms about 90-degrees, as you would with a normal press-up, then as you straighten them to push your body away from the floor, bring your right foot as far forwards as you can, stand up and quickly jump up off of it. Carefully lower your hands back down to the floor and repeat. Once time’s up, put your right foot in the loop, your left foot on the floor and go again.
Muscle groups trained: arms, chest, abdomen, buttocks and legs.