The ultimate TRX workout

TRX stands for total-body resistance exercise and though it may take some liberties in its approach to acronyms it’s a great bit of kit that gives a total-body workout using your own weight as resistance. Best of all the difficulty of each exercise can be tailored to your needs simply by altering the length of the ropes to change the angle the exercise is performed at. The closer you are to the ground the harder it is.

The workout
Strength and conditioning specialist Alexis Antonopoulos has designed this workout to target all the key muscles. To do the workout you should complete all nine exercises back to back with a two-minute rest between each. Repeat this three times or if you prefer to failure. Each move should be done for 16-20 reps unless otherwise stated.


Targets Chest triceps
Form Assume an incline stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest towards your hands keeping your entire body as straight as possible – similar to a press-up – then return to start position.

Beginner Start from kneeling position
Intermediate Start from a standing incline position
Advanced Add a weighted vest or raise your feet using a step


Targets Quads hamstrings glutes
Form Stand facing the TRX holding a neutral grip. Keep your arms straight and sit into a squat position with your legs parallel to the floor. Use your glutes to return to a standing position.

Beginner Arms straight regular squat
Intermediate Do a small jump at the top of the squat
Advanced Do the same but only use one leg alternate the leg you use between reps


Targets Core
Form From a kneeling position place your arms through the loopholes so the TRX is resting halfway down your forearms. Lift your knees off the ground so your feet are the only part of the body still in contact with the floor. Ensure your body is in a straight line and try to maintain a 90? angle at your elbow and shoulder joints.

Beginner Hold the position for 20-60sec
Intermediate Slowly open the angle at your elbow and shoulder by just a few centimetres to increase the tension in your core then return to the start position – 16-20 reps
Advanced Maintaining a strong core position reach one arm forward several centimetres while lifting your opposite foot off the floor as high as you can. Return to the original position and repeat on the other side – 16-20 reps


Targets Biceps back shoulders
Form Take the handles lean backwards with extended arms and walk forward three small steps. Keep your chest high and pull your body up until your chest touches the handles. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower back to the start position.

Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Increase the decline by only walking forward two little steps
Advanced Add a weighted vest or alternate between each leg – or do both if you’re feeling brave


Targets Hamstrings glutes core
Form Adjust the TRX loops until they are about 30cm off the floor. Sit on the floor in front of the TRX place both heels in the loops and lift your hips off the floor. Keep both feet flexed towards your shins and your legs hip-width apart. Press your heels into the foot cradles elevate your hips and pull your heels towards your glutes before returning to the start position.

Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Lift your hips while bringing your heels towards your bottom
Advanced The same as intermediate but only using one leg at a time


Targets Core
Form Keep the TRX loops about 30cm off the floor. From a kneeling position put your feet in the loops and assume a full press-up position so your feet are suspended. Pull your knees in towards your chest and return to the start position engaging your core to keep a straight back the whole time.

Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Pull both knees diagonally across your body towards the opposite elbow return to the start position and alternate
Advanced Use just one leg (the opposite leg remains above the floor in line with your body)


Targets Triceps
Form Adjust the TRX so it is at mid-length. From a standing position take the handles and extend your arms overhead in front of your body and walk back for a couple of small steps. Keeping your upper arms rigid and your body aligned bend your elbows and lower your body to make a 90? angle of flexion. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.

Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Extend the TRX until it’s longer than mid-length
Advanced The same as intermediate but only use one arm at a time


Targets Quads glutes hamstrings
Form Adjust the TRX until the loop is at knee height. Assume the same stance as a regular split squat (a forward lunge position) but place your rear foot through one of the loops. Maintain upright posture and lower your back knee until you feel a stretch in the hip flexors of the rear leg then return to the start position.

Beginner Follow the form guide exactly
Intermediate Add a weighted vest
Advanced Hop at the top of the movement


Targets Obliques
Form Adjust the TRX so the loops are around 30cm off the floor. Then lying on your side put your feet into the loops and lift your hips off the floor so your weight is supported by the TRX and your forearm. Hold steady and raise the opposite arm to make a T shape.

Beginner 20-60 seconds each side
Intermediate Do side plank dips: lower your hips 5cm from the floor then lift them up as high as you can while maintaining form – 16-20 reps each side
Advanced Thread the needles: reach with your opposite arm underneath your body rotating at the waist and slowly return to the start position – 16-20 reps each side

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Trainer bio

Alexis Antonopoulos is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the owner of NKD Ambition a private personal training club in central London where he oversees an extensive team of trainers strength and conditioning coaches sports rehabilitation specialists and dieticians who can help achieve your fitness goals.


Comments to The ultimate TRX workout

  • We have 2 rooms and we decided to add Indo rownig because it was the 1(one) group class that our competition doesn’t have. ( in fact nothing close compares to it and we are only Indo rownig fasciity within 100s of miles. But we offer most of our classes as a spin/fusion like spin-row , Spin/row Circuit, Pilates- row, Pilates -spin etc ..We think Spinning rules and want to be identified as a spin studio, but it’s had to make money in a depressed area when the 6am and 6pm classes are overflowed, we had to break that time into two sets of classes simultaneously! And it’s seems to be working super well, so far. However for the most part I agree with Bill whose opinion I truly value. But Ido have 2 rooms, rownig instructors were easy to find in a rownig town like Buffalo. And we have 2 seperate sterio systems and they are pretty sound proof.

    Laurence 17/09/2015 10:49 am Reply

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