In the third and final installment of this three-part, TRX Moves of the Week series, I will guide you through a lower body compound movement that not only challenges the core, but it improves hip mobility, and hip and leg strength—a super powerful combination that gets right down to business. The three distinct exercises performed consecutively are: the TRX Single-leg Squat, the TRX Crossing Balance Lunge, and the TRX Single-leg Hinge.
Each of the three TRX exercises can flow seamlessly from one to the next, once the TRX Suspension Trainer and the body’s start position are set up properly. So let’s start by adjusting the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid-length and stand facing the anchor.
Begin by performing the TRX Single-leg Squat. From the “stand-facing-the-anchor” position, hold the handles with elbows aligned directly under the shoulders (only at the set-up point) and palms facing each other. Raise one leg off of the ground and extend it directly out in front of the hip, if possible. Make sure to strongly activate glutes and core while standing tall in this start position.
NOTE: If this is too intense, the leg can be extended out to a lower height. If necessary the foot of the extended leg can even touch the ground and gradually raise, as strength develops. Also, please do not lean back--not even a little bit (unless, of course, there are knee issues/pain). Make sure to feel the body’s weight primarily in the middle of the foot while in this start position, and keep the weight there throughout the entire movement.
Lower the tailbone down into a squat maintaining a strong neutral spine and extended “float leg.” Press the foot off the working leg into the ground to get back up into a strong upright position.
NOTE: Again, be mindful to not lean back. While moving through this exercise, you can use the TRX Suspension Trainer to help you get back up (straight up) if needed, and not from a “leaned back position.”
Next, perform the TRX Crossing Balance Lunge. Bend the extended leg (from the previous exercise) keeping the knee at hip height. Gradually lower down into a lunge and bring the “floating-leg” knee back and behind the standing-leg heel. Press the foot of the working leg into the ground and stand back up while raising the knee back up to hip height.
NOTE: It gets tricky at this point and most people begin to lean back a bit. Again, only use the TRX Suspension Trainer to help you get back up (straight up) if needed, and not from a “leaned back position.”
Finally, to perform the TRX Single-leg Hinge, flex at the hip as much as possible while leaning and reaching forward with extended arms and fingertips. The standing leg has a very slight bend in the knee while the “floating leg” extends and reaches back as long and as high as possible. Keep the foot off the standing leg pressing firmly into the ground, maintaining the body’s weight in the middle of the foot. Keep the toes off the “floating leg” pointing toward the ground at the top of the movement; do not let them turn out. Maintain a strong neutral spine and use the glutes to lift the “floating leg” as much as possible. Slowly return to an upright position and be very mindful not to rush this part of the movement as many are tempted to do.
This no-nonsense combination movement can be performed in a number of ways. Begin by practicing a set of each of the three exercises. Later, combine each of the three in sequence (as described above) for a combo set. From here, stay on the same leg for a few combo set reps, or continue by alternating sides per combo set.
NOTE: Never perform these exercises too fast, or your technique and form may deteriorate rapidly.
Thanks for checking out this week’s TRX Move of the Week - Compound Movements, Part Three. Be sure to tune in next week for some more fresh TRX Moves!
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 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.