6 Tips for TRX beginners
Feb
4th

Back when I posted about getting our TRX, a lot of people mentioned that they had been meaning to try it. I thought it might be helpful for today’s Fit Tip Tuesday (thanks to Lisa for hosting!) to share some tips for beginners. Next week, I’ll be sharing a beginner workout so you can put them into practice.

Even if you’ve been active for a long time, suspension training works your body very differently. These tips will help you get the most out of your workout and ease you into this new kind of training.

6 Tips for TRX Beginners.jpg

1. Foot placement. Where you place your feet when you are using the TRX makes a big difference. That’s because the amount of weight you are lifting changes depending on the angle of your body, and your foot position is what changes that angle. As a general rule, to make an exercise easier, move your feet away from the anchor point. To make it more difficult, move your feet towards the anchor point (so your body gets closer to horizontal).

Move feet to change difficulty

When you are first starting out, stability is extra important. Don’t force yourself into a steeper angle just because you think you “should” be stronger. Make sure you feel stable and secure so you don’t get injured.

No matter how far you are from the anchor, you can create more stability by separating your feet. This is helpful if you’re having trouble balancing or your core is fatiguing (see tip 2).

Foot position

Keeping your feet together will make an exercise more difficult, separating them will make it easier. Again, when you are first starting out, I suggest erring on the side of stability and separating the feet.

2. Keep your core engaged. Part of the reason I love TRX is that your abs are engaged the whole time. Even if you aren’t specifically targeting your core, your abs are working. To maintain proper form, keep your body in one straight line, just like you would in a plank. This may seem obvious, but as you fatigue, you may start to arch your back to try and swing your weight up, or drop your hips back because your abs are tired.

Body in one straight line

3. Keep your shoulders down. Again, this one may seem obvious, but it’s harder than you think. I find it especially difficult during bicep curls, so I used that exercise to demonstrate. As you fatigue, your shoulders will start to hunch, so focus on pressing them down away from your ears.

Shoulders down

4. Setting the TRX height. If you’re holding the straps in your hands, the length of the straps doesn’t matter very much. You may want to adjust them based on the amount of space you have, but no matter how long they are, you can just change your distance from the anchor point as needed. However, when you are putting your feet in the straps, the height is important. Adjust the straps so that the bottom hits you roughly mid-shin.

TRX height

5. Keep your grip loose during lower body exercises. When you’re working your legs, you want to really work your legs! Your grip on the TRX should only be for stability, you don’t want to be supporting your weight with your arms. The best way to ensure you have a loose grip during lower body exercises is to hold on with just one or two fingers from each hand.

light grip

This will keep you stable but prevent you from pulling, forcing you to use those legs.

6. It will feel different. This may seem like a cop-out tip, but it’s the truth. TRX is very different, so it’s important to keep that in mind. For example, in certain exercises, you pull your bodyweight up towards standing, so you aren’t really lifting much weight at the end of the motion. This makes a lot of the exercises look deceptively easy. It may also get frustrating because it will feel like it should be easy, but it won’t be. You are moving a lot of weight at the beginning of the motion, and you’re challenging your body in a new way by incorporating balance/stabilization. You may feel like you aren’t doing it right, but chances are, you are, and you’ll feel it tomorrow! Don’t get frustrated. You get used to the feel of it with practice. 🙂

The first time I did TRX I was sore for four days. It wasn’t because I wasn’t strong, it was just that different. That’s what I love about it though, so I hope these tips will help you love it too!

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Questions: Have you tried TRX? Do you have other questions about it? Veterans, any tips I missed? Bloggers, why does creating graphics take so long?!

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36 comments on “6 Tips for TRX beginners

  1. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

    I’ve tried TRX but only after I’ve had the exercises demonstrated to me but I really enjoyed some of them. Especially the one where you are in plank position with your feet through the loops and you do sort of mountain climbers with them <<< possibly the most confusing explanation ever but I hope you know the one I mean!

    Love all these tips and tricks!
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Why I cut off my hairMy Profile

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Haha I know exactly what one you mean because I just did a variation of that move yesterday! 🙂 I definitely love all the plank style moves like that – they kill me shoulders and core.

      Reply
  2. erin @ The Almond Eater

    Thanks for the demonstrations and the tips! Sometimes, I’m really good at ignoring my form (I’m working on fixing this) so knowing the right form from the start is so important. I’ve never done TRX but I imagine I’d be for DAYS as well.
    erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Why Yoga?My Profile

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      You’re welcome! I’m usually good about form, but the more tired I get, the worse it gets for use.

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      We got ours during a half-off special but it is normally $200. However, there are off-brand versions like the MostFit system which is only $30. I haven’t used it, but it looks like you can use it for most of the exercises. There are also tutorials to make your own, but I’d be nervous doing that!

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      The true TRX is definitely expensive, but there are other brands that are much cheaper like MostFit ($30). We only got ours because it was 50% off during the holidays. But if you want to try try it out, I would definitely suggest getting one of the cheaper ones! It’s so good for home workouts.

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      So funny! Seriously, they took me soooo long! It’s kind of embarrassing because it really shouldn’t have, but I’m just not that good with picmonkey yet (although doing these definitely helped).

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      You should definitely try it! Next week I’m posting a beginner workout for exactly that reason – a lot of people want to try it but aren’t totally sure what to do.

      Reply
  3. Anna

    I’ve never tried TRX but these are such greats tips and photos! I will definitely consult this when I do try it, and I plan to because I LOVE new workouts.

    Also, I will never get over your adorable dogs and the fact that they always watch you. Please never stop including them in your photos!
    Anna recently posted…February GoalsMy Profile

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Thanks! I feel like they are generally perplexed by my antics, but I love that they add some extra fun to my pictures 🙂 You should definitely try TRX, it is seriously amazing!

      Reply
  4. Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

    This is such an awesome tip!! I love the pictures and edits for them! (the arrows and lines were a great tool!!) I have been dying to try TRX but haven’t yet because I don’t have the gear or the space in my apartment. 🙁 Hopefully going to soon!

    PS – that dog in the background is so freaking cute!!

    xo
    Lisa
    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health recently posted…Fit Tip Tuesday #4!My Profile

    Reply
  5. Jenn

    Hi Kim!!

    Thanks for sharing these TRX tips! I see the TRX equipment at the gym all the time and despite taking a few classes, it is always hard to remember the exercises since I don’t do them that often. I would love to get a TRX suspension kit for home! That is super cool that you have it. Where did you get it?

    xoxo
    Jenn
    Jenn recently posted…Shop Smarter: Secrets to Grocery ShoppingMy Profile

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      I’m happy to share! I love TRX so I want to expose more people to it. I’m actually sharing a beginner workout next week, so maybe that will help you if you forget the moves. 😉 I bought our system directly from TRX during the holidays, there was a 50% off special. You can also get them on Amazon and there are other brands as well, (although I haven’t tried them and can’t vouch for the quality!).

      Reply
  6. Kathia

    This is great!! Thank you for posting them!! We do have them TRX items at my gym and the videos on how to do them are always running so I should take more advantage of this now that I got your explanation here! Great post and please tell me how did you make the very first graphic? Love it!!

    Kathia

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Great, I hope you try it! I have some workouts using the TRX coming soon too, so hopefully those will help. 🙂 I made all the graphics using PicMonkey, if you aren’t familiar with it it’s a free website for photo editing!

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      I know you can buy them online, but I’m not sure if you can get them in stores. Maybe at like the big box sporting goods stores? There are other brands too, TRX is just the original (and the only one I’ve used).

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Seriously, it manages to simultaneously be a lifesaver and my nemesis. You should get TRX (or a knockoff) for your shiny new place!!

      Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Thank you so much Mike, that means a lot! I love TRX, so I’m hoping to encourage more people to try it and benefit!

      Reply
  7. Ron

    Great article! I read that you said it uses your core while using the TRX. Does it use your abs a lot more than other normal exercises?

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Thanks for reading! To answer your question, it would depend on what the other exercises are. There are other “normal” exercises that can work your core more than certain trx exercises, but there are also a LOT of normal exercises that work your core less. The thing that I love about trx is that you are using your core in every single exercise. Some trx exercises work you core more than others, but every move forces you to use your core.

      Reply
      1. Ron

        Thanks for the commentm. To be specific, I hear a lot of people say it works your core more during exercises like a push up or back row. Those were the ones I was curious about.

        Reply
        1. BusyBod Post author

          Ah I see. Regular push-ups definitely do work your core, but you are correct that push-ups on the TRX work your core even more. Same goes for rows. I hope that helps!

          Reply
  8. Tiana

    Hello, just tried your beginner workout, I do have a question. do you find it easier when using the leg straps for planks, hamstring curls etc, to be barefoot? and will that hurt the back of my heels (the skinny part LOL). I tried doing it with tennis shoes but it’s super hard to get my feet in and I nearly kill myself getting out LOL. I have an off brand called WOOS I got for $35 it had tons of 5 star reviews on Amazon, but I wonder if the foot straps arent’ made as big as TRX.

    Reply
    1. BusyBod Post author

      Hi Tiana! I definitely find it easier barefoot. It depends of course on what all you are doing in the workout, but I find it earlier to get my feet in and out (although it also gets easier with practice). It doesn’t bother my heels at all, although I’m not sure if your off-brand model is padded the same way. Another option is to use barefoot/lightweight shoes instead of running/tennis shoes. They are smaller and I think will more easily fit in. Hope that helps, and hope you liked the workout!!

      Reply

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