9 Suspension Training Workout Routines (TRX Exercises)

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

As a seasoned fitness trainer, I often advise clients to engage in suspension trainer workouts to improve their functional strength, cardiovascular health, weight loss, and balance.

Over many years, I have compiled a list of Total Body Resistance Exercises (TRX) that consistently yield optimal results for my clients.

After conducting thorough research, I have narrowed down the list to the top nine exercises.

Quick Summary

  • The best TRX exercises include squats, chest presses, triceps extensions, chest flys, biceps curls, lateral lunges, glute bridges, and planks.
  • Suspension training is a type of bodyweight workout that utilizes your body weight and suspension trainer straps, providing a full-body exercise that improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • A National Institute of Health study found that 91 percent of participants experienced positive effects, mainly in strength gains, after 12 weeks of TRX suspension training.
  • In my opinion as a fitness trainer, common suspension training errors involve improper form, attempting advanced exercises prematurely, and failing to engage the core during the workout.

Suspension Trainer Workout Routine

Man using suspension trainer for his workout

Creating a suspension trainer workout routine offers a versatile and effective way to target various muscle groups. Begin with fundamental movements like squats, rows, and push-ups to build a solid foundation.

1. TRX Squats

TRX Squats utilize a TRX suspension system for squat exercises, effectively boosting strength and stability through engagement of the core and lower body.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Set up your TRX bands at shoulder height.
  2. Face the TRX, holding the handles in front of your stomach with bent elbows and toes forward.
  3. Squat down, maintaining a straight back and upright chest.
  4. Push back up using your legs, avoiding reliance on the TRX.
  5. Repeat for a few sets.

2. TRX Push-ups

TRX Push-ups involve performing push-ups while gripping TRX handles. This exercise targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, enhancing upper body strength and stability.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Adjust TRX straps to a high anchor point, handles a few inches above the floor.
  2. Maintain push-up position: feet hip-width apart, hands shoulder-width on TRX handles.
  3. Lower body with engaged core until chest touches the ground.
  4. Push back up to starting position.
  5. Repeat desired reps, keeping head and neck aligned.
  6. Avoid arching or sagging the back during the movement.

3. TRX Chest Press

Doing TRX Chest Press

TRX Chest Press involves using a TRX suspension system for a pressing motion. This exercise targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, enhancing upper body strength, stability, and muscle engagement.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Attach quality suspension trainer straps to an anchor point above your head.
  2. Attach suspension trainer straps above your head.
  3. Adjust to mid-length, holding handles.
  4. Lean forward to a 40-degree angle.
  5. Lower, bending elbows to 90 degrees.
  6. Press back up, engaging core and maintaining a straight back.
  7. Repeat TRX chest workout until reaching the desired amount of reps.

“Keep the straps from scraping your skin by setting up the cables and exercise properly. It may feel more stable resting the straps on your arms during the chest press, but it makes the exercise less effective and creates an uncomfortable skin problem post workout.”

- Darla Leal, Editor at Verywellfit.com

4. TRX Triceps Extension

TRX Triceps Extension involves using a TRX suspension system for an overhead extension. This exercise targets the triceps, enhancing arm strength and definition by isolating and engaging the triceps muscles.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Start in a plank position, ensuring a neutral spine and engaged core.
  2. Fall forward, placing elbows by your forehead and keeping them close to your ears.
  3. Extend elbows, maintaining core tightness and a straight back.
  4. Repeat for desired reps, focusing on control and form.

5. Chest Fly

Performing Chest fly using suspension trainer

Chest Fly is a resistance exercise targeting the chest muscles. Using a TRX suspension system, it involves a controlled horizontal arm movement, enhancing chest strength, muscle definition, and shoulder stability.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Hold the TRX handles evenly on both sides of your body at chest level.
  2. Take a step back.
  3. Open up your arms with a slight bent in your elbows.
  4. Pause for three seconds before slowly bringing your hands in front of you.
  5. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

6. Biceps Curl

A Biceps Curl is a strength training exercise that targets the biceps. Using a TRX suspension system, it involves a controlled upward arm movement, effectively enhancing bicep strength, muscle tone, and definition.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Hold the handles with both hands.
  2. Lay back so your hands are entirely extended, maintaining a neutral spine.
  3. Curl yourself up and squeeze at the top.
  4. Slowly lower back down towards the floor to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat until reaching the desired amount of repetitions.

7. Lateral Lunge

Doing lateral lunge in her home gym

A Lateral Lunge is a leg-strengthening exercise involving a sideways step. Using a TRX suspension system adds resistance, targeting the inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and glutes, improving lower body strength, balance, and flexibility.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Stand with legs straight, feet shoulder-width apart, holding TRX straps.
  2. Hinge at the hips, keeping arms straight, bending the right leg to 90 degrees.
  3. Push back up, maintaining a straight back.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Glute Bridge

The Glute Bridge is a lower body exercise engaging the glutes and hamstrings. Using a TRX suspension system, it involves lifting the hips, enhancing gluteal strength, hip stability, and core activation for improved posture.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Place heels in the cradles.
  3. Lift hips, creating a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  4. Pause for three seconds.
  5. Lower back down slowly.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

9. Plank

Doing suspended plank outdoors

The Plank is a core-strengthening exercise where the body is held in a straight line from head to heels. Utilizing a TRX suspension system adds instability, engaging the core muscles for improved stability and endurance.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Adjust straps to mid-calf length.
  2. Lie down with hips aligned to the anchor point.
  3. Place heels in foot cradles, hands below shoulder blades.
  4. Bend elbows, landing softly on forearms with a neutral spine.
  5. Hold for 3 seconds.
  6. Extend arms to starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

What Are the Benefits of TRX Suspension Training?

Woman doing suspension training

TRX suspension training offers various benefits, including enhanced strength, balance, weight loss, flexibility, and joint health.

Besides being joint-friendly, a study from ResearchGate indicates that suspension training is more effective than free-weight training for improving dynamic balance [1].

Additionally, the flexibility to adjust the exercise intensity, such as modifying foot position and strap length during movements like the low row, contributes to a customizable and adaptable workout experience, according to the National Institute of Health [2].

“​​One of the many pros of this method of training is developing a strong core. A stronger core improves posture, helps relieve low back pain, and reduces the risk of injury. This is so important for functional fitness.”
- Darla Leal, Editor at Verywellfit.com

Common TRX Workout Mistakes

Woman doing TRX workouts

Examples of common mistakes during TRX workouts include poor form, dropping the elbows, and loose suspension training straps.

  • Improper Form: Failing to adjust the straps correctly can lead to ineffective results and potential injury.
  • Disengaging the Core: For stability and balance, ensure you engage your core throughout the workout.
  • Loose Suspension Straps: Keep the suspension straps tight for effective and intense movements.
  • Uneven Pressure on the Sides: Check and balance the straps to avoid lopsided movements.
  • Physical Unreadiness: Avoid advanced TRX exercises if they exceed your fitness level.

As a fitness trainer, another common mistake I observe is not preventing skin friction by incorrectly setting up and ensuring the straps stay clear of the skin during pressing movements.

TRX Training Tips

To include TRX in your routine for a thorough full-body workout and stability challenge, leverage the adjustable strap length for diverse exercises targeting various muscle groups.

Focus on engaging your chest muscles by maintaining proper form and utilizing TRX support. This ensures an effective workout that not only strengthens but also enhances muscle definition.

To step up the stability challenge, I recommend adding one-foot exercises. They not only boost mobility but also bring an extra layer of difficulty, making your TRX training more dynamic and rewarding.

FAQs

Can You Build Muscle With TRX Training?

Yes, you can build muscle with TRX training. By using your own body weight and the resistance of the straps, TRX can help you build strength, endurance, and muscle mass.

Can You Do Suspension Training Every Day?

No, you can’t do suspension training every day. Most experts suggest that recovery time is crucial for muscle growth and repair. Including rest days into your workout schedule is crucial to avoid setbacks, injury, or burnout, which can delay your fitness progress.


References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/370403203
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833470/
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

A woman in the gym using a StairMaster in her workout
By Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
Best StairMaster Workout (12-Min Pro Routines)
A woman doing cardio outside
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 3 months ago
Best Calorie Burning Exercises (Must-Try Routines)
A group of beginners doing plyometric exercise
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 3 months ago
Plyometric Exercises for Beginners (Power Training Tips)
A person in the gym doing 5 day split workouts in the gym
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
5 Day Split Workout Routines for Building Muscle & Strength
Carrying a dumbbell from the rack to perform crossfit
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
Dumbbell Crossfit Workout Routines (Transform Your Physique)

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.