Highlighting yet again the versatility of the TRX Suspension Trainer, Doug Balzarini is back, showing us five exercises you can do on the TRX when it’s anchored from a low anchor point. These are great when you’re in a vertically challenged space or for those times when you just want to switch things up a bit. As we always say, it’s nice to have options. And with the TRX, they're truly endless.
1. TRX Posterior Chain Y Raise At first look, people may mistake this movement for an abdominal exercise. At Fitness Quest 10, they actually cue this exercise as a pulling movement, therefore activating the backside of the body, especially the posterior shoulder muscles. Try to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement with no lumbar flexion. To do this, apply pressure into the cradles to ensure backside activation and a tall, neutral spine.
2. TRX Dragonflag Made popular by Bruce Lee, this exercise is one that requires a lot of core strength and stability. When you’re at the “top” of the movement, make sure you are supporting your weight with your upper back and not your neck. Again, apply pressure into the handles to help stabilize the body. Use a slow, controlled movement when lowering the legs and try to maintain a neutral spine without arching your back.
3. TRX Single Leg Hip Extension Begin supine with your head near the anchor point, one handle held with both hands, and the opposite strap around one heel. Initiate the movement by pushing your heel into the strap and extending at the hip. As you lift up onto your back, stabilize your body by bracing your torso and using your hands with the off handle. Slowly lower back down to the floor without arching your back.
4. TRX Split Squat Variations Utilizing the low anchor position while performing split squat variations allows you to use the handles to aid with balance and really maintain an upright posture throughout the movement. Facing the anchor point, get into a “lunge” or split squat position and lower down for the desired number of reps. Lifting the back leg will really engage the quad muscle of the front leg and challenge your balance.
5. TRX Pistol to Single Leg Deadlift Start with a similar setup to the split squat position (#4). This is a compound movement that combines a single leg squat and single leg deadlift. When performing the single leg squat (pistol), try to keep your weight on the heel to the mid foot and off the toes while maintaining an upright posture. After each pistol rep, hinge from your hip, maintain pressure in the TRX handles, extend your heel towards the back wall and lower down into a deadlift or “balance reach” position with a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
Using the TRX with a low anchor point just opens the door to many more possibilities, so give these five moves a shot and tell us what you think below.
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.