trx swimmers pull shoulder exercise

Try These 8 TRX Shoulder Exercises for Muscle & Strength

Get ready to redefine your shoulder workout game! We all crave those toned, strong shoulders, right?
Reading Try These 8 TRX Shoulder Exercises for Muscle & Strength 15 minutes

Get ready to redefine your shoulder workout game! We all crave those toned, strong shoulders, right? Well, enter the TRX suspension trainer—a total game-changer when it comes to sculpting and strengthening those upper body muscles. In this guide, we're diving into eight innovative TRX shoulder exercises that not only bring the burn but also make your shoulder workouts something to look forward to. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast seeking new challenges or a beginner exploring the world of workouts, these TRX exercises are here to help you carve out those sculpted shoulders you've been dreaming of. 

This article is structured to guide you through eight TRX shoulder exercises that will target all aspects of your shoulder muscles, helping you achieve well-defined, powerful shoulders. Each exercise will be explained in detail, with step-by-step instructions and form tips to ensure proper execution. We'll also discuss variations and modifications to cater to different fitness levels.

Why Use TRX For Your Shoulders?

Incorporating TRX into your shoulder workout routine offers a multitude of advantages that can significantly elevate your training regimen. One of the key benefits lies in its ability to introduce versatility and instability to exercises. TRX straps, with their adjustable length and suspension design, prompt your body to engage various stabilizing muscles while performing shoulder exercises. This instability factor challenges your muscles differently than traditional weightlifting, enhancing overall strength and coordination.

What sets TRX apart is its adaptability, catering to individuals across all fitness levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced athlete, TRX workouts can be customized to suit your capabilities. For newcomers, the adjustable nature of TRX allows for gradual progression, starting with simpler movements before advancing to more complex exercises. Conversely, seasoned fitness enthusiasts can intensify their shoulder workouts by adjusting angles and body positioning, ensuring a continuous challenge to muscles while avoiding plateaus in their training routine.

TRX workouts foster a greater range of motion, allowing for a more comprehensive engagement of the shoulder muscles. This enhanced freedom of movement can target specific areas of the shoulders, leading to improved muscle activation and development. Overall, the versatility, instability, and scalability of TRX exercises make them a valuable addition to any shoulder-focused workout plan, regardless of fitness proficiency.

For more information, check out these articles:

Basic TRX Shoulder Exercises

First, we’ll take a look at some simple TRX shoulder exercises to get you started. The purpose of these exercises is to familiarize you with the suspension trainer.

Here's what you'll need:

TRX Face Pulls

TRX Face Pulls primarily target the rear deltoids, upper back, and rotator cuff muscles. This exercise aids in strengthening shoulder muscles while promoting better posture by engaging the muscles responsible for retracting the shoulders. Because of the wide range of benefits, TRX face pulls complement resistance band shoulder exercises like pull-aparts. 

  1. Adjust the TRX straps to fully lengthened. Stand facing the anchor point, holding the handles with an overhand grip. 
  2. Walk your feet towards the anchor point to add resistance, maintaining a plank position from your heels to your head 
  3. Engage your upper back muscles and retract your shoulder blades. Pull the handles towards your face, keeping your elbows high. 
  4. Squeeze your upper back muscles at the end of the movement, then release the tension and return to the starting position.

For optimal results, aim for 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, focusing on controlled movements to maximize muscle engagement.

  • Beginners: Adjust the body angle more upright to reduce the intensity (walk away from the anchor point)
  • Advanced: Increase the challenge by positioning the body at a more horizontal angle, intensifying resistance (walking feet in towards the anchor point)
  • Modify the difficulty by incorporating pauses at the end of each repetition or using a slower tempo to enhance muscle engagement. 

TRX Chin-Ups

TRX Chin-Ups is an exceptional exercise for building shoulder and upper body strength. They primarily target the latissimus dorsi, biceps, and upper back muscles while engaging the shoulders to stabilize the movement. This exercise contributes to overall upper body strength and muscular development.

  1. Set your suspension trainer straps to over short 
  2. Sit on the ground below the anchor point with the straps above your head. 
  3. Grabbing the handles, with your palms facing you 
  4. Pull yourself up bringing the elbows to your sides and your chin higher than the rubber handles. 
  5. Your foot placement can be altered to provide assistance or add a challenge. Keep your legs bent with your feet on the floor as you begin to use the legs to provide some assistance, as you keep stronger try straight legs for a harder option, to advance further sit cross-legged and pull your whole body away from the floor with each rep.

Start with 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions, focusing on proper form and controlled movements. Progress by gradually increasing the number of reps or sets as strength improves.

  • Beginners: Use more assistance from the legs to aid the pulling motion.
  • Advanced: Use less assistance from the legs working towards pulling the whole body away from the floor with each rep
  • To further enhance difficulty, perform slower negatives (lowering phase) or add pauses at the top of the movement. 

Related: 4 Shoulder Supersets to Try

TRX Y-Raises

TRX Y-Raises is a targeted shoulder exercise that predominantly engages the rear deltoid. This exercise helps strengthen the shoulders while enhancing stability and mobility in the shoulder joints.

  1. Anchor the TRX straps securely to a stable overhead structure, such as a door frame, sturdy beam, or X-mount. Adjust the straps to mid-length
  2. Begin by facing the anchor point, holding one TRX handle in each hand. Position yourself so your body is at a slight angle, leaning back with your arms extended straight in front of you.
  3. Maintain a plank position with your body, avoid braking at the hips or bending at the elbows
  4. Initiate the exercise by squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your arms upward and out to form a Y shape with your body, focusing on engaging your deltoid muscles.
  5. Maintain control and tension in the straps throughout the movement.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the pull of the straps, and maintaining stability and control.

Aim for 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions to target the shoulders while ensuring controlled movements effectively.

  • Beginners: Adjust the body angle to be more upright to reduce intensity.
  • Advanced: Increase difficulty by leaning further back or holding the raised position for a brief pause at the top of the movement. Experiment with adjusting angles and tempo to intensify the exercise while maintaining proper form.

TRX T Delt Fly

The TRX T Delt Fly is a targeted exercise specifically designed to engage the rear deltoids, contributing significantly to overall shoulder development, and enhancing strength and definition in the shoulders.

  1. Begin by adjusting the TRX straps to a mid-length position and stand facing the anchor point.
  2. Hold the TRX handles with an overhand grip and walk your feet forward, creating an angle with arms extended in front.
  3. Lean back slightly, ensuring your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Open your arms outward to the sides while maintaining a slight bend in the elbows, creating a "T" shape with your body.
  5. Focus on squeezing the rear deltoids as you pull yourself back up to the starting position with control.
  6. Avoid overarching the lower back and maintain stability throughout the movement.

Target the shoulders effectively with 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Ensure controlled motions to maximize the engagement of the rear deltoids while minimizing the risk of injury.

The TRX T Delt Fly allows for focused isolation of the rear deltoids, promoting muscle activation and strength in this area. Adjust the difficulty by modifying body angles or incorporating pauses at the end of each repetition to challenge yourself while maintaining proper form.

TRX Swimmers Pull

The TRX Swimmers Pull is beneficial for enhancing shoulder strength, particularly targeting the upper back, rear deltoids, and rotator cuff muscles. This exercise mimics the motion of swimming strokes, emphasizing the muscles used during the swimming movement.

  1. Adjust the TRX straps to a mid-length position and face the anchor point.
  2. Hold the TRX handles with an overhand grip, arms extended in front of you, and lean back slightly.
  3. Initiate the movement by pulling the handles towards your hips, simulating a swimming motion.
  4. Keep your elbows slightly bent, and your shoulder blades should squeeze together as you pull.
  5. Maintain a controlled movement, focusing on engaging the upper back muscles throughout the exercise.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position by extending your arms forward.

For effective shoulder strengthening, aim for 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Focus on controlled movements to maximize muscle engagement while avoiding momentum-driven actions.

The TRX Swimmers Pull offers a unique way to target the upper back and shoulder muscles, mimicking swimming motions without the need for water. As with other TRX exercises, adjust the intensity by altering body positioning and angles. Experiment with tempo variations or incorporate pauses to challenge and strengthen your shoulder muscles while maintaining proper form.

Advanced TRX Shoulder Exercises

Once you’ve gotten the basic movements down, you can try out some advanced TRX shoulder exercises. While these exercises are more strenuous, they are more rewarding. 

TRX Alligators

TRX Alligators is an advanced-level exercise that targets the shoulders, chest, and core muscles. This exercise involves a dynamic unilateral movement, requiring significant upper-body strength and stability to execute properly.

  1. Start by adjusting the TRX straps to a mid-length position and stand facing the anchor point.
  2. Hold the TRX handles in one hand with an overhand grip, the other an underhand grip, arms extended in front of you, and lean backward at a slight angle.
  3. Maintaining a slight bend in the elbows, simultaneously pull one arm up in line with the shoulder, as the other arm pulls down towards the hip
  4. Bring your arms back to the starting position and alternate the grip to switch sides, performing the same movement on the other side.
  5. Keep a steady and controlled motion throughout the exercise. Avoid creating momentum by swinging the hips, aim to keep a controlled plank position throughout. 

TRX Alligators challenge not only the shoulder and chest muscles but also the core and obliques due to having to maintain a plank position. This exercise enhances upper body strength, stability, and coordination while providing a dynamic challenge compared to traditional exercises.

Given its advanced nature, aim for 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions per side. Focus on maintaining proper form and controlled movements, prioritizing quality over quantity to effectively engage the targeted muscles.

TRX Atomic Push-Ups

TRX Atomic Push-Ups are an advanced-level exercise that effectively targets the shoulders, chest, and triceps, and engages the core muscles intensely. So far all of the exercises covered have been standing, this exercise requires you to suspend both feet in the straps. This dynamic movement combines a push-up with a knee tuck, demanding considerable upper body and core strength.

  1. Begin by adjusting the TRX straps to mid-calf and facing away from the anchor point.
  2. Assume a push-up position with your feet in the TRX straps and your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
  3. Perform a push-up by lowering your chest towards the floor while maintaining a straight body alignment.
  4. As you push back up to the starting position, simultaneously draw your knees towards your chest, performing a knee tuck.
  5. Keep your core engaged and maintain control throughout the movement.
  6. Extend your legs back to the starting position, ready for the next repetition.

Due to the intensity of this exercise, start with 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions. Focus on proper form and controlled movements to engage the targeted muscles effectively.

Before attempting TRX Atomic Push-Ups, ensure you have mastered your TRX plank and regular TRX push-ups and have adequate upper body strength and core stability. It's crucial to maintain proper form throughout the exercise to prevent injuries, especially in the shoulders and lower back. Engage your core muscles to stabilize the movement and avoid overarching the lower back.

TRX Shoulder Scarecrow

The TRX Shoulder Scarecrow is an effective shoulder exercise focusing on shoulder mobility, stability, and strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles. This exercise helps enhance posture and shoulder joint health while targeting the muscles responsible for shoulder external rotation.

  1. Adjust the TRX straps to a fully-lengthen position and stand facing the anchor point.
  2. Hold the TRX handles with an overhand grip, walk forwards to create resistance as you lean back maintaining a plank position, arms extended forward at shoulder height.
  3. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, elbows in line with your shoulders, palms facing down. 
  4. Rotate at the shoulder so that your forearm and palms face forward and your wrists stack above the elbows 
  5. Keep the TRX straps taut and straighten your arms to create a Y Position
  6. Ensure a controlled movement and focus on engaging the shoulder muscles.
  7. Rebend the elbows, rotate to lower the forearms and palm to face the floor, and straighten the arms to return to the start position

For a start, perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions to familiarize yourself with the movement. As you progress, aim for 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions to challenge the shoulder muscles effectively.

To intensify the exercise, walk your feet towards the anchor point to increase the resistance or focus on slowing down the movement to emphasize control and muscle engagement. For individuals seeking to reduce intensity, further away from the anchor point to decrease resistance.

Try Our TRX Workout Program for Shoulders

If you’re looking for a shoulder workout you can do at home or the gym, try the circuit below. Begin with 5-10 minutes of dynamic shoulder stretches like arm circles, shoulder rolls, and shoulder mobility exercises to increase heart rate and prepare the shoulder joints for the workout.

  • TRX Shoulder Scarecrow: 3 sets, 8-10 reps, 45 rest
  • TRX Face Pulls: 3 sets, 10-12 reps, 45s rest 
  • TRX T Delt Fly: 4 sets, 8 reps, 60s rest
  • TRX Atomic Push-Ups: 3 sets, 8 reps, 60-90s rest
  • TRX Y-Raises: 3 sets, 10-15 reps, 60s rest
  • TRX Swimmers Pull: 3 sets, 10 reps, 45-60s rest

Rest for 1-2 minutes between exercises to allow adequate recovery.

Finish the workout with static stretching for the shoulders, focusing on holding stretches for 30-60 seconds each. Perform exercises like shoulder stretches against a wall, across-body shoulder stretches, and triceps stretches to help alleviate muscle tension.


For more workouts like the one above, check out the TRX Training club. You get access to 1000s of workouts from world-class trainers, all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.  Add image description


In this article, we’ve covered how TRX offers a versatile and highly effective approach to shoulder workouts. The array of TRX exercises discussed in this article, including TRX Face Pulls, Y-raises, Atomic Push-Ups, and more, target various shoulder muscles, promoting strength, stability, and mobility. These exercises not only sculpt and strengthen the shoulders but also enhance overall upper-body functionality and posture.

Incorporating TRX exercises into your shoulder workout regimen can bring about remarkable improvements in strength, stability, and muscle development. Embrace the versatility of TRX training, challenge yourself progressively, and maintain consistency in your workouts to achieve optimal results. Remember, always prioritize proper form and technique to make the most out of your shoulder-focused TRX exercises.