Since TRX® introduced Suspension Training to the world more than a decade ago, we’ve championed the idea that the TRX Suspension Trainer® can be a one-and-done tool. If you only have space for one piece of equipment in your home or on the go, the straps deliver a full-body workout.
But the Suspension Trainer doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s also easy to incorporate other equipment, like weights, into your Suspension Training routine to level up your strength training. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce TRX Dumbbells—the latest addition to our full-body lineup of tools.
Why TRX Dumbbells?
From weights to resistance bands, TRX has spent years branching out beyond our signature straps to outfit your gym with the highest-quality fitness staples for any type of workout. We’ve developed the best kettlebells, weighted vests, power bags, and glute bands, and now we’re excited to debut the ultimate fixed-weight dumbbells.
Ranging from 5 pounds to 50 pounds, (or 2.3 kg to 22.7 kg, for the metric-minded folks),TRX Dumbbells have durable, rubber-hex ends—so they won’t go rolling away—and ergonomic handles with a knurled textured grip to encourage proper form.
Get Reacquainted With a Classic
The dumbbell icon is synonymous with strength. While many people may associate free weights with mental images of bodybuilders and CrossFitters, dumbbells aren’t just for bulking up and building mass. They can also be used for strength and toning.
How To Add Dumbbells to Your Suspension Trainer Workout
To ease into adding dumbbells into your TRX routine, we’ve developed two mini-circuits demonstrating different approaches to the combo.
Let’s get started!
Superset Cardio Burst
For this superset series, we’re letting the TRX Dumbbells and TRX Suspension Trainer shine individually by pairing slight variations of the same exercise using each tool. Our three combos are:
- TRX Jump Squat + Dumbbell Loaded Squats
- TRX Sprinters + Dumbbell Stepback Lunges
- TRX Hamstring Curl + Dumbbell Hip Thrusters
You’ll be doing each move for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 second break to reset with the next move. Total circuit time: 6 minutes. Feeling feisty? Double the set for a 12-minute burn.
TRX Jump Squat + Dumbbell Loaded Squats
Start with your straps adjusted to mid-length. Stand facing the anchor, heels planted hip distance apart, and lightly grip the handles. Drop low into your squat, and drive back up into a jump, lifting off from your toes and landing on your toes. Keep the movement fluid for maximum benefit.
For the Loaded Squats, you’ll once again start with your heels planted hip-distance apart. Rack your dumbbells on your shoulders—we suggest a set of mediums or heavies—and proceed to drop into a squat, and fire back up to full extension. For your safety, keep your heels on the ground for this move. (In other words, no jumping!)
TRX Sprinters + Dumbbell Stepback Lunges
Fully lengthen the straps, and stand facing away from the anchor point with the straps threaded under your arms. Keep your chest forward, and walk your feet back until your body is forming a 45-degree angle with the floor. The angle may feel a little weird, but the Suspension Trainer will support your bodyweight.
Next, pick one foot to be your planted or forward foot: that foot will stay connected with the floor as your other foot steps back into a lunge. Return to your neutral position—feet standing parallel—by driving off your forward, planted foot and activating your front quad.
Once you get the hang of that movement, you can add a balance component by not letting your “free” foot touch the floor at the front of the movement. Finally, you can either speed up or add a hop to each rep for an additional challenge. Don’t forget to spend equal time on each leg!
For your Loaded Stepback Lunges, you’ll hold either one dumbbell in each hand by your sides, like a suitcase, or grab the rubber ends of a single dumbbell and hold it next to your chest, under your collarbone. Keep one foot firmly planted, and step back into a lunge with the second foot. Both knees should bend to 90-degree angles, and your back knee should hover just above the floor. Drive forward to standing through the planted, front foot, and repeat the move, alternating between sides.
TRX Hamstring Curls + Dumbbell Hip Thrusters
For the TRX Hamstring Curl, adjust your foot cradles to the mid-calf position, and start lying on the ground, face up, with your heels resting in the foot cradles. In this move, you’ll begin firing through your quads and posterior chain to lift your backside off the ground. Once you’re flexing and floating, pull your knees in toward your chest, and then fully extend your legs.
If the back of your body feels like it’s on fire, you’re doing it right!
You'll return to land for your Dumbbell Hip Thrusters. Again, you’ll lie down, facing up. Bend your knees to form a triangle with the ground, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Load one or two medium or heavy dumbbells on your hips, and be careful to hold them in place.
With your shoulder blades firmly connected with the floor, engage your glutes and press your hips—weights and all—up toward the sky. (You’ve reached the top of the movement when you’ve straightened out your hip crease.) Drop your booty back to the floor, and repeat!
It Takes Two
In the second circuit of our workout, we’ll incorporate dumbbells into three Suspension Trainer exercises.
Don’t breathe a sigh of relief too soon: this isn’t a shorter series. Since these are single-side moves, you’ll have to complete them on both sides of your body. The exercises in this set are:
- TRX Dumbbell Power Pulls
- TRX Lunges with Dumbbells
- TRX Plank with Renegade Rows
TRX Dumbbell Power Pulls
For the TRX Dumbbell Power Pulls, adjust your straps to the fully shortened length. (Pro-tip: If you want to keep the free handle from swinging while you work, you can thread the free handle through the triangle of the handle you’re using.)
Start with the Suspension Trainer handle in your left hand, with your left elbow pulled back and tight to your body. Your left palm should be facing inward while holding the handle. In your right hand, you’ll be holding a light or medium dumbbell.
Keeping your body squared with your anchor point, extend your left arm completely straight, then pull the left elbow all the way back. As you pull the left elbow back, you’ll reach the right hand and dumbbell up toward the anchor point. When you release and extend the left arm, you’ll rotate the right hand and dumbbell out and back to your right side for an opener.
As you complete reps, maintain your plank: your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles should all be in one line. After 45 seconds on the first side, take a fifteen second break, switch which hand is holding the Suspension Trainer handle, and which hand is holding the weight.
TRX Lunges with Dumbbells
Adjust your Suspension Trainer to the mid-calf length, and stand facing away from the anchor point. Place a medium dumbbell or set of dumbbells in front of you on the floor.
Choose which foot you want to suspend, and thread that foot through both foot cradles. Pick up your weight or weights. If you choose two dumbbells, you’ll hold them at your sides, like you’re carrying a pair of suitcases. If you opt for a single dumbbell, hold it in front of your chest, under your collarbone.
From your standing position, lower down on the planted, front leg to an almost-seated position, extending your suspended leg behind you. Then, pressing your front heel into the ground, drive up to straighten your front leg and return to your standing position.
Repeat for 45 seconds, then place your dumbbells on the ground and switch legs during your 15-second break. (If you need more than 15 seconds to transition safely, take your time.)
TRX Plank with Renegade Rows
We’re beefing up the TRX Plank by adding a Renegade Row using our TRX Dumbbells.
Adjust your straps to mid-calf length and kneel facing away from the anchor point. Place a medium weight or weights at the top of your mat. Thread your feet through the foot cradles, and—using either your palms as your base or your TRX Dumbbells as handles—push up into a TRX Plank.
Whether you use the floor or a dumbbell as your base, one arm will remain straight, braced on the floor or dumbbell, while the other will rep out as many rows as possible for 45 seconds.
Choose your rowing arm, and pull your dumbbell off the floor in a low-row motion—elbow tight to your ribs—while maintaining your TRX Plank. After 45 seconds, take a 15 second break and switch sides. This is an advanced move, so feel free to take breathers as needed during your 45-second active interval.
If the traditional TRX Plank is too challenging, you can lower down to the floor, slide both of the foot cradles onto a single foot, and suspend only one leg while using your unsuspended foot as a kickstand on the floor. (Both legs will still be activated to support your plank and Renegade Row.)
Can you use TRX Dumbbells on their own? Absolutely! And you probably will. But when you’re ready to test the theory that two tools are better than one—when you’re ready to challenge yourself with more demanding workouts—these TRX Dumbbell exercises will help you unlock next-level strength potential.