Suspension Training (TRX) Exercises

By now you've probably noticed that the suspension trainer is one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. Following are just a few of my favorite exercises on a suspension trainer. Use these as some ideas, but then use your imagination to create new and fun exercises on your suspension trainer. Let me know if you come up with something great.

Where I say "anchor" in the exercise description, I'm referring to the point where your suspension trainer is attached to your wall, ceiling, door, pull up bar, etc. For all exercises, if I don't mention the height of the strap, then adjust it to a comfortable height, often depending upon the difficulty you want in the exercise.

To see a few of the suspension trainers available, along with a description of each and our recommendations, visit our Suspension Trainers Shop.

Chest Press

  • Face away from the anchor with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the handles with an overhand grip, palms facing down.
  • Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Lean forward. The more you lean (body closer to the floor), the harder the exercise.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest between your hands (like a push-up).
  • Push yourself back up to the start position.

Inverted Row

  • Face the anchor with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold the handles with palms facing each other.
  • Lean back so that your arms are fully extended, bending your knees so your feet stay firmly on the floor. The more you lean (the closer your back is to the floor), the harder the exercise.
  • Bend your elbows to pull your body towards the handles at about chest height, stopping when your body is in line with your hands.
  • Lower your body back down to the starting position.
  • To make this exercise more difficult, you can do it with your legs straight, heels making contact with the floor. Just watch that your feet don't slide.
  • As you get stronger, try this exercise with only one arm at a time.

Chest Fly

  • Face away from the anchor with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the handles with your palms facing each other.
  • Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Lean forward. The more you lean (body closer to the floor), the harder the exercise.
  • Slowly, and in control, lean forwards and spread your arms out to form a "T" with your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise.
  • Pull your hands back towards each other to raise your body to return to the starting position.

Biceps Curl

  • Face the anchor with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold the handles with palms facing up.
  • Lean back so that your arms are fully extended, bending your knees so your feet stay firmly on the floor. The more you lean (the closer your back is to the floor), the harder the exercise.
  • Bend your elbows to pull your body up, bringing your hands towards your face.
  • Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
  • As you get stronger, try this exercise with only one arm at a time.

Triceps Extension

  • Face away from the anchor with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the handles with your palms facing down, hands close to each other.
  • Extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Lean forward. The more you lean (body closer to the floor), the harder the exercise.
  • Slowly bend your elbows, bringing your hands towards your face.
  • Keeping your body straight, straighten your elbows, pushing yourself back up to the start position.
  • If this exercise is too hard, try it on your knees.

Suspension Push Ups

  • Laying face down, hook your toes through the straps by the handles so your toes are pointing towards the floor.
  • Now do regular push ups, making sure to keep your body straight.
  • Want to add more ab and core work to this exercise? When you reach the up position, bring your knees towards your elbows, then straighten out your legs before the next rep.
  • Another addition to the push up to hit more of your abs and core is to add a pike to the up position (lift your hips, keeping your legs straight, until your body forms an upside "V" position. Straighten out before the next rep.

Assisted Squat

  • Standing, face towards the anchor, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold onto the handles, palms facing in, with arms slightly bent, at about stomach height.
  • Now perform a squat, raising arms to just about eye level.
  • When you reach the point that you are down as much as possible, push yourself back to the starting position. Use the suspension straps for balance and assistance if needed.
  • The suspension trainer is also a great tool to help you progress to a single leg squat.

Assisted Lunge

  • Standing, face towards the anchor, feet together.
  • Hold onto the handles, palms facing in, with arms slightly bent, at about chest height.
  • Step one leg back to perform a lunge (knee slightly touching the floor), raising arms to just about eye level.
  • Bring the leg you brought back, back to the starting position to complete the rep. Use the suspension straps for balance and assistance if needed.
  • For a more challenging lunge, facing away from the anchor, start with your back foot hooked in a strap and perform the lunge by lowering your front leg.

Leg Curls

  • Lying on your back, hook your heels into the straps by the handles.
  • Lift your hips off the floor.
  • Keeping your hips at the same height off the floor, bend your knees to bring your heels towards you backside.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • This exercise can be modified by bending only one knee at a time, so will almost look like you're running.

Gymnastic Rings Exercises

  • If you have your suspension trainer attached to your ceiling or a pull up bar, you can also use it like gymnastic rings. Just make sure it's attached solidly since you're be putting your full body weight onto them.
    • Support position - this is your starting point - handles about waist high, grab each handle, straighten your arms and bend your knees so that your holding your body weight with the 2 handles.
    • Ring dips - just like dips you'd do on a dip bar or between 2 benches, but do these with all your weight on the suspension trainer handles (feet off the ground by bending your knees).
    • Ring pull ups - adjust your handles to a high position, then do pull ups, bending your knees so that you're pulling your whole body off the floor.
    • Leg lifts - holding yourself in the support position, keeping your legs bent, bring your knees up to your chest.
    • For more exercises, do a search for ring exercises and adjust for your suspension trainer.

Give some of these exercises a try. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

For more challenge and fun, combine some of these exercises. For example, do a squat followed by an inverted row. Or squat to curl. Or mix triceps extension with chest presses.

Suspension trainers are also great for doing supersets. Do a set of chest presses followed immediately by a set a inverted rows. Take a short rest, then repeat. Any 2 or 3 combination of exercises will work.

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