TRX Suspension Trainers challenge the body to stabilize the core and joints while providing new ways to build strength with creative bodyweight exercises. Fitness experts who work with elite athletes—like Drew Brees, Kevin Durant and Dahntay Jones—have embraced this dynamic form of training, as has the United States military.
Dwight Daub, director of athletic performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder, says, "The TRX strap is a tremendous device that can be utilized at any level of sport with any athlete. You have such a different group of dynamic exercises that you can create." Denver Nuggets strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess praises the "fully transportable" nature of the TRX system, adding that it allows athletes to be creative with their workouts. Homewood-Flossmoor [Ill.] High School strength and conditioning coach Steve Szymkowiak credits TRX with preparing his athletes for their regular seasons, leading to championship-winning teams.
Szymkowiak discovered TRX while looking for a new tool to train pro cyclist Christian Vande Velde. After seeing the improvements Velde made, including a fourth place finish in the 2008 Tour de France, Szymkowiak convinced Homewood's physical education department to purchase six TRX Suspension Trainers. He then immediately implemented TRX training.
Homewood now has more than 50 TRX Suspension Trainers, and more than 20 teams using them. "We've got them in the field house, near the pool, weight rooms—we're even looking to put them in baseball dugouts. I'm looking for spots all the time," says Szymkowiak.
The results for Homewood have been quite impressive—multiple state athletic titles, several alums with professional contracts and a football team that went to the league semi-finals. Over the last three years, the girls' golf team was first or second in the state, and "both the girls' and boys' swim teams broke two pool records on their way to state competition after undergoing a nine-week TRX specific protocol," says Szymkowiak.
Todd at TRXtraining.com sums up the benefits of the tool for young athletes: "With 15- to 18-year-old developing athletes, the ability to both know and handle their own bodyweight is a primary emphasis. The TRX helps . . . test shoulder stability, lumbar function, core stability and proper movement patterns before loading them up." The ability to properly handle your own bodyweight prior to lifting heavy loads is critical for preventing injury.
Watch the exercises below to learn how TRX can dynamically challenge your strength and stability in one workout. [And use this blog post when making a case to your coach on why your school needs TRX Suspension Trainers.]
Drew Brees TRX Core Circuit
The Super Bowl XLIV champ performs a variety of exercises for his core, including Atomic Push-Ups, Pendulum Swings With Knee Tuck and Knee Tucks With Plank. Brees' trainer, Todd Durkin of Fitness Quest 10, cautions young athletes against raising their arms during the Pendulum Swing, saying "save it for the NFL." Keeping both arms on the ground will build shoulder stability as you progress to more advanced moves.
- Circuit Atomic Push-Ups, Pendulum Swings With Knee Tuck and Knee Tucks With Plank
- Superset the circuit with Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL
- Keep back straight for all exercises
- For Knee Tucks With Plank, finish with Plank hold for max time
Sets/Reps: 2x10-15 [each side for Pendulum Swings]
Kevin Durant Inverted Row on TRX Straps
This exercise is great for building strength in the lats—necessary for performing Pull-Ups. The addition of the stability ball creates more challenge for the core.
- Equally distribute feet on ball to prevent rolling
- Keep body in straight line
- Get full extension with arms at bottom of movement
Chris Frankel Talks Bodyweight Exercises
TRX professional Chris Frankel talks about the system's ability to provide quality movement, durability and injury prevention while preparing athletes to endure the fatigue of a long season.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock