Ed Le Cara practically has the entire alphabet of letters behind his name: DC, PhD, MBA, ATC, CSCS. He’s a chiropractor, an PhD, and a trainer—which is to say he knows a whole lot about helping people move and feel better. When he was first introduced to the TRX Suspension Trainer more than a decade ago, Le Cara was skeptical. But, once he learned how to use it, he realized that it was a tool he could use with patients at every level. “You can get the fatigue factor and the feeling like you did a really good workout without having to risk injury,” he explained.
Today, Le Cara—in addition to his chiropractic and training practices— is a TRX Master Instructor. He teaches qualification courses for TRX coaches and uses TRX to work with clients. We decided to quiz Le Cara on his three favorite TRX Suspension Trainer exercises, and his answers might surprise you. Le Cara singled out the TRX Hamstring Runner, TRX Low Row and the TRX Y-Deltoid Fly as his top picks.
TRX Hamstring Runner
Most people focus on their quads and neglect their hamstrings, but the TRX Suspension Trainer can restore balance to an athlete’s body. “I think the Hamstring Runner is really, really good to have to not only utilize the hamstring, but also utilize the core at the same time,” Le Cara explained. “So many people don't train their hamstrings in that shortened position that it can be really fatiguing really quickly." Le Cara says the TRX Hamstring Runner is an easy exercise to learn that he can quickly introduce to people.
TRX Y Deltoid Fly
Le Cara likes the Y Deltoid Fly because it activates the backside of the body, without a lot of load on the shoulders, and forces muscles that are not typically worked well—or are overstretched in being in our normal computer position—to activate. “I can use it from everybody from post-surgical patients all the way to people that are pretty high level athletes,” he said.
TRX Low Row
Very few rowing positions can mimic the low row position with a TRX Suspension Trainer. Le Cara likes this move because it gets lots of muscle activity, and it’s easy to progress or regress it depending on what a person can tolerate.
For anyone who’s new to a TRX workout program, Le Cara emphasizes that all three of these moves are easily modified when applying the vector principle. (In other words, move forward or back to adjust the exercise to your fitness level.) Le Cara says that TRX exercises for newbies should be fairly comfortable for the first couple of visits before progressing the move.
As for people tempted to jump into too-tough movements from the start? Le Cara recommends taking time to scale back to the basics. “I'm not a ‘no pain, no gain’ type of a guy… so if somebody can't finish the rep scheme, that just tells me that they're not strong enough for that position and we need to regress them to a point where they can finish it—especially for the first few sessions so they can learn how to deal with that extra stress.”