In the second installment of this three-part TRX Moves of the Week series, TRX Master Instructor Susane Pata will guide you through a compound movement that challenges your core, improves hip mobility, and builds stamina. The three distinct exercises performed consecutively are the TRX Crunch, the TRX Frogger, and the TRX Pike.
To get started, adjust your TRX Suspension Trainer to mid-calf and place your toes into the foot cradles so that your body is now positioned on the ground, (on hands and knees) facing away from the anchor.
NOTE: During set-up, if the foot cradles are adjustable, please make them very small so your feet do not accidentally push through during the TRX Pike. (There is a way to keep them in the foot cradles regardless of how wide the foot cradles are, but it does require skill and practice.) If the foot cradles are not adjustable with Velcro, flip the foot cradle loop over the handle once and firmly secure the foot inside the DIY smaller foot cradle loop.
To begin performing the TRX Crunch, raise your knees off the ground and come to an active plank. Stack your hands under your shoulders and flex your feet to enable the best plank alignment. Make sure to brace your core and activate muscles throughout your body for that active plank effect.
Bring your knees in toward your chest to slightly raise your tailbone, as raising your hips will slightly create more tension in your core. The position of the anchor point (overhead) enables this. Once your knees draw in right under the hips there is a mechanical advantage for additional hip flexion. Extend the legs back with control to the active plank position.
NOTE: For individuals with lower back issues, it is best to simply draw the knees in until they are directly under the hips (maintaining full neutral spine), and no further as it may exacerbate any existing issues.
From there, return to the TRX Plank and add on the TRX Frogger by drawing in and bringing your knees towards your elbows. Once again, extend your legs back with control to maintain the active plank position.
Finally, from that second return to the TRX Plank, add on a slow-paced TRX Pike. Make an effort to activate your legs by pressing into the foot cradles while keeping your legs straight and raising your hips as high as possible (perhaps right above the shoulders). Slowly lower your hips down to an active plank position, while driving your feet into the foot cradles as much as possible.
When taking this combination movement for a spin, try performing four strong full combination sets of the TRX Crunch, the TRX Frogger, and the TRX Pike, all without stopping and with precision and control. Alternating between each of the three TRX exercises makes one full set. Later, increase the number of full combination sets as strength and stamina increase.
Also, try different tempos: perform the TRX Crunch and the TRX Frogger with a regular moderate tempo, and perform the TRX Pike with a much slower tempo (i.e., 4 counts up and 4 counts down). Why? A) To do it right, B) “slow is strong,” and C) to see how high you can actually get your hips!
NOTE: Never perform these exercises too fast, or your technique and form may deteriorate rapidly.
Thanks for following along with Part 2 of TRX Moves of the Week: Compound Movements and be sure to tune in next week for Part Three!
Susane Pata is a Global Senior Master Instructor, Presenter, and Author. She has been delivering TRX education sessions to fitness professional audiences worldwide for the last 12 years, with over 27 years of experience in fitness. In 2004 she helped TRX Founder Randy Hetrick create and develop TRX's first-ever group fitness program. Soon after, as TRX’s Education Director she organized the company’s education department and later launched the first-ever TRX training studio in San Francisco. Simultaneous to this work for TRX she became one of the company’s first master educators and even though she is now based out of New York City, she continues to deliver education courses around the country, (of course now via the global pandemic, she does so virtually). Stay connected and follow her @fitnessshazam.