You may have seen those black-and-yellow straps hanging from the ceiling at your gym and wondered how the heck to use them. This deceptively simple piece of equipment is the TRX Suspension Trainer, and it was developed to deliver an incredible total-body workout using only your body weight as resistance. If you want to define and tone your entire body while developing functional fitness and looking and feeling your best, then you should try TRX Suspension Training. Give this short total-body workout a try and see for yourself how suspension training can help you achieve any fitness goal.
1 TRX MID ROW
This exercise is perfect for developing integrated upper-body and core strength. HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing the anchor point and hold the suspension trainer with your arms extended straight out from your shoulders. Lean back so that your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Make sure your hips, knees and shoulders are aligned and brace your core. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up with your back muscles until your hands are at the sides of your ribs. Maintain a solid plank the whole way up. Lower your body back down in one slow, controlled movement.
2 TRX CHEST PRESS
This variation of the standard chest press helps you build upper-body strength while providing an excellent core challenge. HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing away from the anchor point, leaning forward and holding the handles out in front of you. Brace your core and focus on holding a solid plank. Lower your chest toward your hands, moving your entire body as a plank. Stop when your hands are in line with your chest. Press yourself back up in one slow, controlled movement, keeping your knees, hips and shoulders aligned the entire way up.
3 TRX HAMSTRING CURL
Strengthen your hamstrings, glutes and lower back with this posterior-chain exercise. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your legs straight and your heels in the foot cradles directly under the anchor point. Press your heels down and brace your core to lift your hips up. Imagine you are performing a plank on your back. Use your hamstrings to bend your knees and pull your heels in toward your butt. Engage your core the entire time. Send your heels back to the starting position in one slow, controlled motion.
4 TRX SQUAT
Using the suspension trainer to perform a squat will help you perfect your form and engage your core in a new way. HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing the suspension trainer with the handles in your hands and some tension on the straps. Keep your weight in your heels and focus on engaging your core. Lower your hips down and back until your knees are bent just below 90 degrees. Keep your chest up and abdominals contracted as you drive your knees out slightly on the way down. Drive through your heels and extend your hips to stand back up.
5 TRX BACK EXTENSION
Challenge your entire backside and develop functional core strength to help you in everyday activities. HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing the suspension trainer with your hands extended over your head, your weight in your heels and your core braced. Keeping your arms and legs straight, press your hips back until your upper body and lower body make a 90-degree angle. Brace your core and use your hamstrings to drive your hips forward as you stand back up. Keep your arms and legs straight the entire time.
6 TRX PIKE
An incredible total-body challenge, this move will strengthen your entire upper body and really target your lower abs. HOW TO DO IT: Start in a push-up position with your feet in the suspension trainer’s foot cradles directly under the anchor point. Your feet and shoulders should be on the same plane. Engage your abdominal muscles as you raise your hips up to the ceiling while letting your head drop between your arms and moving your feet toward your upper body. Your body should look like an inverted V. Drop your hips back down with great control and return to a plank position.
7 TRX PLANK
Just like the standard version of this exercise, this is one of the most foundational of all TRX core exercises. HOW TO DO IT: Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your feet in the foot cradles. Press through your hands and feet to lift up into a push-up position with your hands, elbows and shoulders in line. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Lower your knees to the ground.
8 TRX HAMSTRING RUNNER
For a stronger backside, incorporate this posterior-chain exercise into your workout routine. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you and heels in the foot cradles directly under the anchor point. Press your heels down and brace your core to lift your hips up off the ground. Imagine you are performing a plank on your back. Use your hamstring to pull one heel toward your butt while keeping the other leg straight. Engage your core the entire time. Send your heel back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
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