trx exercises on the beach

20 TRX Exercises to Do With a Suspension Trainer + Workouts

If you’re a fan of effective & efficient workouts without a ton of expensive equipment, look no further than the TRX Suspension Trainer. Its versatility is unparalleled and its ability to hit every major muscle group while simultaneously working your core is what drives the tagline “All Core, All the Time.” 
Reading 20 TRX Exercises to Do With a Suspension Trainer + Workouts 23 minutes

If you’re a fan of effective & efficient workouts without a ton of expensive equipment, look no further than the TRX Suspension Trainer. Its versatility is unparalleled and its ability to hit every major muscle group while simultaneously working your core is what drives the tagline “All Core, All the Time.” Today, we’ll look at the best TRX exercises you can do either at the gym or from the comfort of your own home.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

If you're on the go, here are our favorite TRX exercises and what they're good for:

  • TRX Rows: Great for building the back, hips, and overall posture
  • TRX Squat to Fly: Builds shoulder, back, and legs
  • TRX Push ups: Great for pecs, shoulders, and abs

We get more into the exercises below, but you can check out thousands of other TRX movements like the ones above:

Add image description

What Exactly is TRX?

TRX stands for total-body resistance exercise and Suspension Training refers to the type of bodyweight workouts you do with it. It was created by Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick as a way to keep him and his team in shape when they were deployed on missions where they had no equipment or space to work out. Using parachute webbing and a jiu-jitsu belt he created something so light, portable, and versatile, they could train in any type of environment, anywhere in the world. 

By holding onto the two straps with your hands or suspending your feet into the foot cradles, you leverage your own body weight against gravity to create as much or as little resistance as you want for each exercise. The two straps share a single attachment point to your anchor, creating 360 degrees of available movement space, as well as an unstable environment that recruits multiple muscles (as well as your attention) to keep yourself stable throughout the moves. The more muscles working together to do the exercises, the more functional and efficient the workout. 

The TRX Suspension Trainer is a piece of compact and light-weight equipment that can be anchored to anything that will support your body weight - think doorways in your home/hotel, cable machines or racks at the gym, trees or posts outdoors - and fits easily into backpacks and luggage. The ability to transport a single piece of equipment to almost anywhere makes it easier to squeeze in a workout and keep up a consistent fitness routine.

Is TRX as Good as Lifting Weights?

The short answer is yes! While the idea of putting down the weights may seem counterproductive to gaining strength, it’s been proven that TRX can build strength and muscle mass just as well as weights. Your attitude can also change when you realize, as well as feel, how many other muscles you’re using when doing TRX exercises compared to traditional ones. For example, a dumbbell bicep curl works your arms, but a TRX Bicep Curl works your arms, abs, glutes, hamstrings, and back. With the heart trying to pump blood to all these muscles at once, you feel the cardiovascular response as well. 

Functional workouts that move in all planes of motion, in different directions, and on different levels can increase your performance in recreational and competitive environments as well as in everyday life. While the functionality of TRX workouts is off the charts, the simplicity of doing it all with one set of straps rather than several different sizes of weights or plates makes it even more appealing for those needing something quick but effective.

But if you love your weight, don’t worry. They work together well with the straps! As a trainer myself, I often program heavy squats and deadlifts right alongside TRX Balance Lunges and Hamstring Curls for the best of both worlds!

Related: Suspension Training vs. Weight Training

20 TRX Exercises to Try Today

Whether you're a seasoned TRX pro or just starting your fitness journey, the following exercises are a great place to start as they’re all highly adaptable and suitable for all fitness levels. When you’re ready for more, I highly recommend checking out The TRX Training Club, an innovative online streaming workout platform specifically designed for TRX-curious & TRX enthusiasts alike. There, you'll find a treasure trove of expert-led workouts, training plans, and a supportive community of fellow fitness enthusiasts. Let's dive in:

20. TRX Rows

Strap Length: Short

Grab the handles and stand straight facing the anchor with the arms bent, and elbows at your sides. With the straps taught, move your feet towards the anchor to add resistance (you’ll feel when it’s enough). Straighten the arms to lower your body back at an angle. Keeping your back and hips straight, bend the arms to pull yourself back up, with your elbows low by your sides. 

Benefits: Strengthens back muscles, improves posture

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Biceps, Lats
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Related: 10 Best Exercises to Build Bigger & Stronger Lats


19. TRX Pullups

Strap Length: Over Short

Sit on the ground below the anchor point with the straps above your head. Grabbing the handles, pull yourself up bringing the elbows to the sides and the chin higher than the hands. Legs can stay bent with the feet on the floor, or legs can be straight for a harder option. 

Benefits: Stronger back, shoulders, and upper body

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Muscle Targets: Shoulders, lats, biceps
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Pro tip: Combine TRX pull-ups with other pull exercises to get a full-body workout.

18. TRX Squat to Y Fly

Strap Length: Long

Start by standing facing the anchor with the arms extended overhead in a Y shape and the body at a slight angle. Keeping the elbows almost straight, lower the arms toward the anchor to lower the body backward, stopping when the arms are in front of the chest. Then bend the knees to drop the hips down toward the heels, keeping the back straight. Straighten the knees to bring yourself back to standing and then pull the arms overhead into the y shape. 

Benefits: Improves shoulder, back, and leg strength and posture

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Deltoids, Back Extensors, Glutes, Quads
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

17. TRX Push-ups

Strap Length: Mid-Calf

With the toes suspended in the foot cradles, lift the knees off the ground and flex the feet so you’re in a plank position on your hands. Bend the elbows to lower the plank toward the ground. Keeping your knees straight and body stiff, straighten the elbows to push back up to the starting position. 

Benefits: Strengthens arms, chest, shoulders, and core. 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Pecs, Shoulders, Abs
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Note: This is more difficult than a traditional push-up. Since the legs are elevated and not stable the core and upper body have more load. Make sure you’re comfortable with a regular bodyweight push-up before doing this version. 

16. TRX Split Squats

Strap Length: Mid Length

Standing facing the anchor with the straps tight and elbows at the sides, stand in a split stance with the front foot flat on the ground and the back foot up on the ball of the foot. Keeping the torso tall and upright, bend and drop the back knee like you were going to propose. The front foot should stay flat as you push through the heel to stand back up straightening both legs. Complete the reps and repeat on the other side. 

Benefits: Strengthens the legs and hips.

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12 per leg
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

15. TRX Pistol Squats

Strap Length: Mid Length

Standing facing the anchor point with tight straps and the elbows at the sides, center the standing leg with the anchor and lift the other leg off the floor. Hinging at the hips, bend the knee so you’re dropping the hips back and hinging the spine and torso forward. Drive into the heel to straighten the knee back up to the starting position

Benefits: Lower body (legs and hip) strength, balance, and core.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, obliques
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12 per leg
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Note: While the TRX assists you with balance on this exercise, you should only lean back on the straps if you have a knee injury/issue. Otherwise, drop straight down and try to use the straps more for balance so you gain strength in the glutes more than the quads. 

14. TRX Chest Press

Strap Length: Long

Hold onto the handles facing away from the anchor point with the arms straight our in front of you, barely wider than your torso at chest height. Keeping a strong plank position in the torso, bend the elbows to lower the body toward the hands. Straighten the elbows to press back up to the start position. 

Benefits: Strengthens upper body and core & is a great way to build up to push-ups!

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Pecs, abs, triceps
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Note: This is essentially a standing push-up but your angle will determine the difficulty level. Beginners should start more upright in your angle, as you can move your feet backward toward the anchor point to increase the resistance/difficulty. 

Related: TRX Chest Press vs. Bench Press

13. TRX Mountain Climbers

Strap Length: Mid-Calf 

Start with your toes in the foot cradles on the ground in the plank position. Lift the hips slightly as you bend one knee in toward your chest. Straighten that leg back out to plank position and at the same time bring in the other knee. 

Benefits: Builds strength & muscular endurance in the abs, hip flexors, chest, and shoulders

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Abs, hip flexors, shoulders
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 10/leg
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

12. TRX Single-Arm Row

Strap Length: Short and Single Handle Mode

Pull the strap tight and walk toward it holding your wrist next to your ribcage with your elbow low to your side. Keep a wide stance (in the beginning) and your shoulders and hips square to the anchor. Lean back slightly and straighten the arm to lower the body. To prevent rotating the torso, move slowly until the arm is all the way straight. Pull the shoulder blade down and back to bend the elbow and pull yourself back up to the start position, elbow low, and ribcage back to the wrist. 

Benefits: Strengthens arms, back, and core. Builds unilateral strength. The greater challenge since it’s a single-sided movement resisting rotation.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Lats, biceps, abs, obliques, transverse abdominis
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12 per arm
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Tip: If you want a greater core challenge, move the feet closer together. If you want more strength challenges for your arm and back, move the feet closer to the anchor point for a deeper angle/more resistance.

11. TRX Bicep Curls

Strap Length: Mid Length

Start facing the anchor with the straps tight, arms straight, and palms up. Bend the elbows and bring the hands next to the face. Keeping a straight spine and hips, slowly lower the body by straightening the arms and keeping palms up. Think of keeping the elbows “on the table” as you bend the arms to bring yourself back up to the starting position. 

Benefits: Strengthens and defines biceps, while also working core and posterior chain (back side of the body). 

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Biceps
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Note: Since most people do bicep curls with their arms at their sides, the TRX version provides the extra challenge of shoulder stability as you’re doing the move while trying to maintain shoulder flexion throughout. 

10. TRX Triceps Presses

Strap Length: Mid Length

Start facing away from the anchor point holding the handles in front of you with straight arms, palms down about eye level. Keeping a stiff standing plank position, bend the elbows forward lowering the body until the head comes between the hands. The hand should end up next to your temples or at the crown of the head. Straighten your elbows to press yourself back up to the starting position. 


Benefits: This exercise is unique in that it targets the triceps and core together, while the shoulders also have to stabilize. Highly effective!

  • Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Triceps, Abs
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

9. TRX Chest Flys

Strap Length: Mid Length or Long

Start by facing away from the anchor with the arms in front of you at chest height, elbows slightly bent and palms turned toward each other. The straps will be on either side of your neck. Start at a very light angle to keep the shoulders safe. Keeping the spine and hips straight, slowly take the arms out to the sides away from each other, lowering the plank forward. Bring the arms together with the elbows staying slightly bent back up to the start position. 


Benefits: Strengthens back and shoulders while improving posture

  • Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Deltoids, back extensors
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12 
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Tip: You want to start out slowly with a small range of motion and a light angle to avoid excessive stress on the shoulders. You can progress with a bigger range and a deeper angle as you feel safe. 

8. Hamstring Curls

Strap Length: Mid Calf

Start on the ground on your back with your heels in the foot cradles. Lift your hips off the ground and bend your knees to pull your heels toward your hips, keeping the knees parallel to each other. Keep the hips high off the ground as you straighten the legs back toward the anchor. Repeat for the desired amount of reps keeping the hips off the ground.

Benefits: Strengthens hips, low back, and hamstrings together

  • Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Hamstrings, glutes, low back
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12/leg
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Note: If you feel stress behind the knees during this exercise, raise the straps another 3 or 4 inches.

7. TRX Triceps Kickbacks

Strap Length: Mid Length or Long

Start facing the anchor with your arms straight down by your hips, palms facing back, and your shoulders pulled back. Offset the feet, with the heel of the back foot raised off the ground. Keeping the arms at the sides, bend the elbows only so the body lowers back. Stop when the elbows are at about 90 degrees, then straighten the elbows to bring the body back up to the start position, pushing the hands toward the hips (or just past them).

Benefits: Strengthens upper body, grip strength, and posterior chain

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: triceps, abs, glutes, back, forearm muscles
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

6. TRX Clock Presses

Strap Length: Long

Start facing away from the anchor with a light angle and both arms extended in front of you at chest height. Have one hand turned down and the other hand turned in toward the body. Bend one elbow to bring the hand straight in toward the chest for the press and take the other arm out to the side for the fly. Press both arms together to bring the body back up. Increase the angle to make the resistance more difficult. 

Benefits: 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Pecs, abs
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8 -12 per side
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

5. TRX Pike

Strap Length: Mid Calf

Start with the toes in the foot cradles in a plank position on your hands or forearms. Keeping the legs straight, lift the hips and pull the feet and head towards each other. Lower the hips back to the plank position with control. Repeat for the desired amount of reps. Keeping the feet flexed will help!

Benefits: Strengthens core and shoulders

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Abs, hip flexors, deltoids
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12-15
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

4. TRX Power Pull

Strap Length: Short or Mid Length, Single Handle Mode

Start facing the anchor and holding on to one strap with one hand. Pull the strap in close so your wrist is next to your rib cage with the elbow down to the side. Feet wide, twist the body toward the strap, and reach the free arm up toward the anchor. Slowly straighten the working arm, lowering the body back. Rotate the body away from the strap and reach the free arm toward the ground. Pull the working elbow back into your side to pull yourself up to the starting point and reach the free arm back toward the anchor, twisting the body toward the straps. 

Benefits: Strengthens the upper body and core. The single-sided move also challenges the core in a unique way. 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Lats, abs, obliques, transverse abdominis
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12 per side
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

3. TRX Lunge

Strap Length: Mid Calf and Single Handle Mode

Start on the ground in a half kneeling position with one foot in the foot cradles and the other foot flat on the floor. The suspended foot should be directly below the anchor point so you’re centered. Hinge slightly forward to put weight on the front foot, push through the heel to stand up, straightening the knee and hip and pull the suspended knee forward. Shift weight back and drop the back knee to the floor, barely tapping the ground. Repeat for the desired amount of reps on both legs. 

Benefits: Strengthens the lower body and improves single leg balance and power

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Muscle Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, ankle/knee/hip stabilizers
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 8-12 per side
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Tip: Bringing the hands to the floor for the first few reps will help you gain your balance. The hands can move to a gait swing pattern as you progress. You can then add resistance with a weight vest or by holding weights in your hands. 

2. TRX Squats

Strap Length: Mid Length

Start facing the anchor with the elbows next to the sides and the straps tight. Keeping a flat back, bend the knees and drop the hips back toward the floor. Press through the feet and straighten the knees and hips to stand back up straight. You can make this more difficult by wearing a weight vest to add load. 

Benefits: Strengthens lower body. The straps can be made to assist the movement for those with lower body injuries by using the arms to help. They can be made to challenge the movements by pushing into them for additional arm and core recruitment. 

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Muscle Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12-20
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Tip: For those with knee injuries/issues, you can lean back like you’re sitting in a chair and use your arms more to keep stress off the knees. If you don’t have any knee injuries, keep your weight over the legs and use the straps minimally. 

1. Lateral Lunge

Strap Length: Mid Length

Start facing the anchor with the straps tight, feet together, and elbows at the sides. Step out to the side with one leg, bending the knee in the same direction as the toe and hinging at the hip. Drop the hips as low as you can and then press through the foot to straighten the knee and hips to step back to the start position. Repeat the desired amount of reps on both legs.


Benefits: Builds lower body strength in the frontal (lateral) plane, increases lateral stability in the hips, knees, and ankles

  • Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Muscle Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads
  • Suggested Number of Reps: 12 per side
  • Suggested Number of Sets: 2-3

Tip: For those with knee injuries/issues, you can lean back and use your arms more to keep stress off the knees. If you don’t have any knee injuries, keep your weight over the legs and use the straps minimally. 

Try These TRX Workouts Today

1. Full-Body TRX Workout

Warm Up: Do 8 Reps of Each, Once

  • TRX Squat Rows
  • TRX Alternating Forward Lunge with T Fly
  • TRX Standing Rollouts
  • TRX Wide Hip Hinge

Workout:


Exercise

Reps

Sets

TRX Squat

12

3

TRX Lateral Lunge

12/Leg

3

TRX Chest Press

12

3

TRX Power Pull

8/Arm

3

TRX Mountain Climbers

10-20/Leg

3

TRX Hamstring Curl

12-15

3


Cool Down: Do 30-60 Seconds of Each

  • TRX Chest Stretch
  • TRX Figure 4 Stretch Right and Left
  • TRX Low Back Stretch
  • TRX Offset Hip Hinge Right & Left

2. Strength-Training TRX Workout

Warm Up: Do 8 Reps of Each, Once

  • TRX Squat Rows
  • TRX Alternating Forward Lunge with T Fly
  • TRX Standing Rollouts
  • TRX Wide Hip Hinge


Exercise

Reps/Work

Rest

Sets

TRX Split Squats R & L

8-12 Reps/Leg

15 Seconds

2

TRX Lunge

8-12 Reps/Leg

20 Seconds

2

TRX Hamstring Curls

12 Reps

20 Seconds

2

TRX Tricep Presses

12 Reps

20 Seconds

2

TRX Chest Fly

12 Reps

20 Seconds

2

TRX Push Ups

12 Reps

20 Seconds

2

TRX Bicep Curls

12 Reps

20 Seconds

2

TRX Pull Ups

8-12 Reps

20 Seconds

2


Cool Down: Do 30-60 Seconds of Each

  • TRX Chest Stretch
  • TRX Figure 4 Stretch Right and Left
  • TRX Low Back Stretch
  • TRX Offset Hip Hinge Right & Left

Note: As you get stronger, you’ll need harder levels of each exercise. You can increase the load by deepening the angles for the upper body exercises, adding weights or weighted vests for the standing lower body exercises, or adding rep numbers to progressively overload your body. 

3. Cardio TRX Workout

Alternating lower body exercises with upper body exercises makes the heart work harder to pump blood from the legs to the arms and back again, which makes a strength workout feel more like a cardio workout. We’re including some traditional “cardio” or high-intensity moves in the mix for even more fun. This workout will elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health and endurance. Get excited… 

Do each exercise for 45 seconds, and rest/transition for 20 seconds. For the high-intensity moves, you’re doing them for 30 seconds with a 15 rest. Rest for 1 minute then repeat the whole circuit twice more for a total of sets. 


Warm Up: Do 8 Reps of Each, Once

  • TRX Squat Rows
  • TRX Alternating Forward Lunge with T Fly
  • TRX Standing Rollouts
  • TRX Wide Hip Hinge

Exercise

Work

Rest

Sets

Alternating Side Lunges

45 Seconds

20 Seconds

3

TRX Y Fly

45 Seconds

20 Seconds

3

TRX Alternating Pistol Squats

45 Seconds

20 Seconds 

3

TRX Atomic Push Ups

45 Seconds

20 Seconds

3

TRX Squat Jumps

30 Seconds

15 Seconds

3

Skater Jumps

30 Seconds

15 Seconds

3


Cool Down: Do 30-60 Seconds of Each

  • TRX Chest Stretch
  • TRX Figure 4 Stretch Right and Left
  • TRX Low Back Stretch
  • TRX Offset Hip Hinge Right & Left

P.S. Get other TRX workouts like the ones above with our TRX Training Club. Access hundreds of free workout classes from TRX-certified professionals today! 

Try a TRX Workout at Home Today

Suspension Training offers a multitude of benefits that can elevate your fitness journey and transform the way you approach your workouts. By incorporating these 20 TRX exercises into your routine on a regular basis, you'll quickly experience improved strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability. The versatility of TRX allows you to target various muscle groups and adapt the intensity to suit your fitness level, making it perfect for beginners and seasoned athletes alike.

Remember, you can elevate your fitness game by checking out the TRX Training Club today. Embrace the power of Suspension Training and witness the incredible transformation it brings to your body and overall well-being. Your journey to a fitter, stronger, and healthier you can start right here, right now.