Challenge: Try This 15-Minute TRX Upper Body Workout

The TRX Suspension Trainer has devotees around the world because it’s an effective, adaptable tool for a full-body workout that anyone can use: whether you want to work less or more, all you have to do is adjust your angle. So what happens if you want to progress beyond steep angles and body weight? Does that mean you’ve outgrown your Suspension Trainer? Not at all! When you’re ready to take your training to the next level, simply increase your bodyweight by packing on the pounds… in an XD Kevlar weight vest.


A weight vest lets you add the perfect amount of load to make any upper body exercise on your Suspension Trainer more challenging. We love this adjustable, pre-weighted 20-pound version, which helps you turn up the intensity when you're ready to push yourself a little harder. (Not feeling the 20-pound increase? You can remove weights from the vest in one-pound increments to find your ideal load.)

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Although you can wear a weight vest for any TRX exercise, we love using this tool to give the lats, rhomboids, and traps some extra love. If you’re new to exercising with a weight vest, or just want some ideas for a quick workout, we’ve programmed a 15-minute upper body drill featuring a bonus-weight TRX Low Row, High Row, and Pull-Up triple threat, followed by a Strength Band finale. For this drill, try an every-minute-on-the-minute, or EMOM, approach. You’ll get a brief break, about 30-60 seconds, after each three-minute period. 

Strap on your weight vest, adjust your TRX straps to the midway point. Your goal is to complete 8-10 reps of your TRX Low Row in one minute. If you have a balance of time on the minute, you get it for recovery. Repeat this one-minute challenge two more times. 

Next, you’ll attempt 8-10 reps of the TRX High Row in a three-minute EMOM format, followed by a TRX Pull-Up EMOM three-minute drill. (Don’t forget to over-shorten your TRX straps for those TRX-Pull-Ups!)

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Finally, set your TRX straps aside and pick up your TRX Strength Band to finish the set. We’re adding in a hinged row—with an optional tricep kickback—for your final move. 

With the sides of the band touching to form a long line, step on the center of the Strength Band and wrap your fingers around the two rounded ends; like you’re gripping a handle. Hinge at the waist, and engage your glutes and lower back. With your elbow close to your rib cage, pull up on the rounded “handle” ends of the strength bands until your wrists meet your rib cage. To add a tricep element to this move, straighten your elbows and extend the “handles” back for a tricep kickback. Use the same 8-10 rep EMOM configuration as you did for the first three exercises, and repeat for three minutes.

There you have it: in 15 minutes or less, your upper body will be on fire, and you’ll be on your way to your strongest year ever. Remember, there are hundreds of ways to use your Suspension Trainer, whether you’re chasing strength, flexibility, or mobility, and you can always add to a Suspension Trainer exercise by increasing your load with a weight vest. Anybody, anywhere, anytime, the Suspension Trainer can be your training partner for life.


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