I am a big fan of working out with the TRX straps. I have some in my home gym, and often take them with me when I’m traveling for an extended period of time.
They add an extra level of resistance to bodyweight workouts and you can get an incredible workout for your entire body. You can also find them in many gyms.
The straps lend themselves to all kinds of training styles. I can get super isolated strength training in as well as intense cardio.
Innovative badass Navy Seal Randy Hetrick invented this versatile tool while staying mission fit. His original design paired old jiu-jitsu belts with surplus parachute webbing – which he later refined to the simple, elegant design we use now. Thanks Randy!
One of my favorite things about working with them is the constant instability they provide, forcing the core and stabilizing muscles to fire to assist with balance. While I also love weight training, some of the bigger lifts engage larger muscle groups and don’t recruit the stabilizers as much.
Mixing up your training styles is a super effective way to develop real strength and a balanced body.
I shared some of my favorite lower body TRX moves recently, so today I wanted to show you some great moves you can use for your core and upper body as well!
*Note: This is an intermediate to advanced workout. Adding the straps adds an additional level of core recruitment and stability. Try these moves but don’t force yourself to complete all rounds if you find yourself struggling. Work up to it, and get stronger with bodyweight workouts.
7-Move TRX Workout for Upper Body and Core
FORMAT: 3 Rounds, Prescribed Reps
Move 1: Sit to Straight Arm Fly – 15
- Hold the TRX straps with a forward facing grip and engage your shoulders back and down.
- Lower your hips toward the floor to come to an L-shape with your body, arm straight, legs straight.
- Engage your core and draw your arms out and to the sides into a Y-shape as you lift yourself up straight. You’ll be activating your mid and upper traps.
Move 2: Face Pulls – 10-12
- Hold the TRX straps with a forward facing grip.
- Walk your feet down a bit (you can play with the angle til you find the spot that gives you the right amount of tension to perform 10-12 reps) and keep your body in a straight line, core engaged, legs straight.
- Engage between your shoulder blades and row the straps up to either side of your face.
- Your elbows will come up and be parallel with your ears.
Move 3: Plank Pikes – 10
- Adjust your straps so they’re low enough to hook your feet into comfortably while you’re in a plank position. I like to go just a little below where my shoulder height would be in plank.
- Face away from the straps and kneel, placing one foot in to the loop, then the other. Your heel will rest against the bar grip that you hold with your hands in the rowing moves – this helps stabilize your feet.
- Walk your hands out and come to tall plank, feet elevated in the straps. Engage your core. Be sure your hands are below your shoulders.
- Drive your hips up high, engaging your core, coming into an inverted L shape. You’ll really feel this in your lower abs and get a lovely bonus burn in your shoulders.
Move 4: Oblique Crunches – 8-10 each side
- Walk yourself back out to a tall plank, feet still in the straps, core engaged. Hands below shoulders. Feet even in the straps.
- Draw your knees in and to the right. Straighten back to plank. Draw them in and to the left. Straighten. This is one rep.
Move 5: Narrow Rows – 12
- Stand tall and adjust the strap length, palms facing in toward each other. Engage your core and lean back (as you get stronger, lean back farther for more of a challenge). Arms are straight, there’s a slight engagement between the shoulders.
- Draw the straps toward your hips, bending the elbows to 90 degrees, bringing yourself up straight. Keep your elbows hugging in toward your ribcage and your core engaged. This movement initiates between your shoulderblades.
Move 6: Single Rows – 10 each side
- Wrap the TRX straps so you have just one handle to grab. Hold it with a palm facing in grip.
- Lean your body back with one arm extended, core engaged (as you get stronger, adjust the angle of your body). Add a little engagement between the shoulderblades, and square your hips.
- Row yourself up with just one arm, keeping it in close to your side.
Move 7: Reverse Plank Scissors – 20
Lower your straps slightly and sit down, facing the straps. Place your heels into the cup of the TRX and the ball of your foot against the handle.
Lift up onto your hands coming into a reverse plank with your feet elevated. Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your chest is open.
Open and close your legs in a scissor motion.
BONUS BURN: Reverse Runners
- Stay up in your reverse plank and alternate driving your knees into your chest and back out, until you fatigue!
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Sustainable, consistent action is what builds good habits to support your healthy life! Check out Joanna’s progress in Rock Your Life with JUST ONE challenge – and imagine what she can do as she builds on her success!