Put these 5 TRX exercises together the next time you bring you TRX Suspension Trainer to the gym to add an extra challenge to your workout by incorporating a bench, a box, or any other sturdy knee-high surface.
We know you have a weight bench lying around, so put it to good use with these five exercises, created by strength coach and personal trainer Doug Balzarini. “By adding the bench to a number of traditional TRX exercises, your strength, balance, coordination and core stability demands are greatly increased,” says Doug. As always, we advise using caution when executing these exercises, and ensure you are proficient in them before having your clients or athletes perform them.
1. TRX Elevated Row By elevating your lower body for a TRX Row, you are now closer to parallel with the ground, making the exercise extremely challenging. Maintain a neutral grip (palms facing each other), elbows by your sides with a neutral spine throughout the movement.
2. TRX Elevated Rollout This is a favorite exercise of Doug’s due to the full body control that is required. All the spinal stabilizers must be firing in order to maintain proper technique, and your posterior shoulder/scapula stabilizers must be engaged the entire time. Use a slow, controlled manner as you extend your arms and body out to your end range.
3. TRX Elevated Single Leg Squat (aka Pistol Squat) In addition to the increased balance component, the addition of the bench allows the “free” leg to extend out a little lower than if you were to perform this exercise on the floor. This is a good alternative if you don’t have the ankle mobility in the working leg or hip flexor strength in the free leg to perform a pistol squat on the floor. Be sure to keep your arms relatively straight and try to keep your weight on the heel to the mid foot while maintaining an upright posture.
4. TRX Elevated Hip Press Doug loves using this exercise with his MMA athletes due to the demands of the sport. They require a great deal of strength and endurance in the hips and glutes, and this exercise targets this area nicely. If you plan to add weight, it’s best to have a trainer or partner nearby to assist you. Adding the bench to this exercise allows you to get a greater range of motion through the hip joint.
5. TRX Elevated Hip Hike Similar to exercise #4, being elevated on the bench allows you to drop the hips lower than when performing the movement on the floor. Make sure your shoulder and elbow are in a safe alignment and use a controlled tempo throughout.
Try these moves on for size during your next workout, and you’ll find the added elevation will result in new heights of mobility, stability and strength.
Doug Balzarini works at Fitness Quest 10 (www.fq10.com) as a personal trainer, strength coach and Operations Director for Todd Durkin. A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State College. Since moving to San Diego, he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training and FMS training. He has also appeared in eight fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.