Coach and human performance expert Nick Tumminello uses the TRX Suspension Trainer and kettlebells together to create what he calls “perfect paired sets,” allowing you to deliver a total body workout that can be quickly progressed or regressed to meet the needs of almost anyone. Watch the video to see a perfect pairing between two classics: the TRX Atomic Push-up and Kettlebell Swing.
Here are some coaching tips on these exercises:
TRX Atomic Push-up:
- Keep your shoulders and hips square and level. This engages the core muscle and improves spinal stability.
- Keep a straight back and be sure not to elevate your feet too high in the TRX straps.
- Be sure to make this a smooth, rhythmic transition from push-up to knee tuck. Do not make them two separate, robotic actions.
- Keep your entire body straight and do not extend your lower back beyond neutral.
- Think of this as a fast, explosive hip hinge!
- A proper kettlebell swing should look more like a Romanian dead lift than a squat.
- Be sure to have a good hold (tight grip) on the kettlebell while performing this exercise.
- Do not allow your back to arch in a kyphotic manner. Keep a lordodic curve throughout the swing action.
- At the bottom of each swing, touch your forearms to your thighs. This allows you to use your lower body as the primary driver of the kettlebell instead of “arming” it up.
There are three primary ways you can perform this exercise with your clients and athletes:
- Density Set - Choose a given amount of time from five to eight minutes. Perform each exercise back to back for as many rounds as possible within that given time frame. Nick suggests performing eight to 20 reps of the TRX Atomic Push-up and 16 to 20 reps of the Kettlebell Swing. Attempt to get more work done in the same time frame with each consecutive training session.
- Timed Set – Choose a given number of reps for each movement (see above for rep # recommendations). Perform a given number of rounds (one paired set of both exercises is one round) in as little time as possible. Nick suggests anywhere from four to eight rounds. Attempt to finish in a faster time with each consecutive workout.
- Traditional Set – This is the most basic form and still a very effective training method. Perform each exercise as a super-set for a given number of reps, rest as needed between sets and complete a specific number of reps. For improved muscle endurance, use higher reps with less rest. For improved strength, use higher loads or wear a weighted vest on while performing TRX drills and perform more sets with less rest and increase the length of the rest period.
For more ideas on using the TRX with kettlebells, check out TRX Kettlebell: Iron Circuit Conditioning.
Nick Tumminello is founder of Performance University, where he delivers world-class health and performance training and education to everyone from exercise enthusiasts to professional athletes. Nick is a highly sought after coach and educator and the inventor of the Core Bar. He has produced numerous educational DVDs and is a regular contributor to popular websites like T-Nation and Strengthcoach.com.