Recently, TRX bands (or straps) has gained wide popularity. This is not surprising, the fitness industry does not stand still, every year there are all kinds of new training. So, what is TRX workout, what are its advantages and disadvantages? Can beginners effectively train with TRX?
TRX Workouts’ Background
Not only lovers of bodybuilding can have problems with the place for training. That may well happen to anyone, for example, with military personnel. This is what happened to one of the officers of the army of the United States in the 1990s. During the planned exercises, he found that his subordinates did not use basic exercises enough.
However, training in real-life (field) conditions was not very simple. It was at that point that he had the idea to use bands for practicing, in that situation these bands were made of rubber. As a result, the soldiers had the opportunity to conduct solo training using for that purpose the weight of their bodies. This idea seemed attractive to many people, and TRX bands appeared quickly enough. It should be noted that Murph Crossfit has been also invented in field conditions. Today you have the opportunity to get acquainted with the most effective exercises with TRX bands.
The design of this sports equipment is extremely simple: two bands made of soft material and fixed to elastic cables. To perform a workout, you only need to attach the cables with the help of carbines to the bar, stairs, etc. In addition, TRX bands are equipped with a mechanism for adjusting the length. This is needed for performing different types of exercises, as well as for load displacement.
TRX Workout Plan: Features, Pros and Cons
Here are key points on TRX workout plan:
- Since a lot of muscle tissues are involved during the training, the calories are quickly burned and a person loses fat mass. Of course, during the training with the bands, virtually all the muscles of the body are actively working, but no set of exercises with TRX loops can eliminate the consequences of excessive consumption of calories. This is the reason that many quit TRX training, because they do not lose weight. You might be interested in what steroid burns fat.
- There are no isolating exercises with TRX bands (any pseudo-isolating exercise, even bicep curls, will involve several joints and muscle groups, therefore, it will be considered a compound exercise).
- There is no need to perform specific workouts for each muscular area (for example, as in the case of boulder shoulder workout in classic bodybuilding), taking into account the specificity of the load, all target muscle groups are usually involved in the work.
- Beginners without special training have the opportunity to develop only slow muscle fibers. Undoubtedly, performing complex movements, muscle growth would be much more powerful, but, unfortunately, it’s very difficult to master them independently. Thus, gaining really large muscles can only be achieved by complex and high-intensity exercises.
- Working with TRX bands may be associated with the risk of getting injuries. If we compare training with TRX and CrossFit (you might like our article on steroids in CrossFit) or weightlifting workouts, then the TRX exercises are safer, but in terms of gaining weight they are inferior to properly organized bodybuilding sessions.
- It takes a lot of effort to maximize muscle loading. We have already said that it is necessary to master complex movements in order to quickly and effectively gain muscle mess. In turn, simple exercises are comparable in effectiveness with cardio loads, but not with strength training.
- Try to find YouTube video materials on TRX workouts. That videos will help you to learn proper technique of exercises’ execution.
TRX Workouts for Beginners – How to Execute Them?
If you’ve just bought TRX bands, then, of course, you can immediately go to compound exercises, but this will not give good results. First, your muscles will not be ready for such a load, and secondly, you are unlikely to be able to perform a large number of repetitions. Because, you need to start your workouts with relatively simple exercises designed to train the chest, back, legs and muscles of the core (read more about beginner core workout, [link to article 47]).
Back row with TRX band is one of the most effective TRX exercises. It involves almost all muscles of the shoulder girdle, back, core (the necessary condition to keep the balance) and even the legs. Moreover, you can vary the load, making it more difficult or easier to perform by changing the angle of the body (this can be done by adjusting the setting of your feet).
The movement itself is very similar to any rows in the gym, but it is worth noting a number of mandatory conditions for the execution technique:
- Your body should be straight, representing one line.
- Your sight is to be directed only straight (to prevent the neck from bending forward).
- You need to strain the muscles of the back and shoulders, trying to exclude the work of the hands (the arms should intensively work only at the end of the amplitude, when you need to lift TRX bands to your chest).
- All movements must be slow and concentrated. Beginners are forbidden to make sharp movements, which can be traumatic.
TRX push-ups are another exercise adapted for TRX, which will be an excellent alternative and complement to barbell press and push-ups. The technique of doing this exercise is not very different from the usual push-ups, but you need to consider some features of TRX bands:
- Given the un-fixed and loose position of TRX, your body will include stabilizer muscles to maintain balance. Also in the first 2-3 weeks, you can feel a shiver in the muscles. This is considered a normal reaction, even for non-beginners.
- At first, you can reduce the amplitude to the one in which you can perform 10 repetitions (if you can do 10 repetitions at once, you may not follow this recommendation).
- Correctly adjust the length of the straps and select the right angle of the body when performing the exercise, this critically affects the technique.
- The arms should be straightened at the chest level.
TRX sit-ups are a good exercise for the legs. The basic technique is simple: you need to hold on to the straps (handles, if available) and perform squats. You can put your feet in any way, but it’s important to make the back flat. You can slightly shift the axis of the load back to include different muscular areas.
The next step in the complication of the technique will be squats with the move of the leg back or forward. This is a direct way to learning how to do one-legged squat in the future (this exercise will create an impressive load and will allow you to train your legs well).
When performing any variation of squats, it is important to remember about the following points:
- your heel should not come off the floor;
- your back should be level;
- it is not recommended to pull the straps with your arms, helping yourself to get up, as this will significantly weaken the load and make the exercise less effective;
- you should not tilt your head, you have to look forward.
30-Minute TRX Workout (in Circuits)
It is performed for half an hour and involves all muscle groups. It is aimed at burning excess calories and fitting the body. Well, this 30-minute TRX workout consist of classic movements:
- TRX Sit-Ups;
- TRX Pull-Ups;
- TRX Push-Ups.
Each exercise should be done for several cycles of 15 repetitions.
As a result of training with TRX training loops, the following beneficial effects will definitely occur:
- increased endurance;
- better strength, perfect coordination and balance;
- improvement of the work of the respiratory system and cardiovascular system;
- increased muscle tone;
- muscle mass growth;
- better joint mobility.
Some people are wondering: “Are there any disadvantages of TRX workouts?” The main disadvantage is that for comfortable training with straps you need a free space from the suspension point: about 3-4 steps forward and around. In addition, you need to find that suspension point. But in general, TRX workouts for beginners are a good choice.
You might also be interested in TRX full body workout routine.