Five TRX Moves You Probably Haven’t Seen

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Here are five TRX movements you probably haven’t seen before. They’re fairly advanced and will definitely test your core strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.

They aren’t traditional movements but are rather complex. I only occasionally incorporate them into my programming if I want to challenge my athlete/client beyond his comfort zone. I only suggest these to clients who are in good health and who don’t have any musculoskeletal issues. I can’t stress enough that I don’t recommend these movements for all clients, so please use caution when performing any of them.

1. TRX plyometric hand hops

This is an explosive movement to help develop pushing power through the shoulders and arms while keeping the trunk engaged the entire time. This isn’t an exercise I use with the everyday client. I’ve used it with some of my MMA fighters who need to develop explosive upper body strength so they can push their opponent away during a scramble. It isn’t recommended if you have any wrist or shoulder issues.

2. TRX inverted star

This is a great movement that works the posterior chain from the glutes and low back all the way up to the traps and rear deltoids. This is really just a progression of the traditional “Y shoulder raise.” By lowering the body down under the anchor point, we’ve created a much more challenging angle. I like this movement because it gets the posterior lower body and posterior upper body working together to create that explosive extension. I’ve used this movement with some “overhead athletes” (volleyball, baseball) and MMA fighters. I prefer to stick with the “Y shoulder raise” with the everyday client.

3. TRX inverted gator chomp

Similar to the “inverted star,” this exercise requires core and backside strength. To get the most benefit, control this movement on the way up and on the way down. Unlike the “inverted star,” I slow this movement down a bit both concentrically and eccentrically to increase the time under tension and really challenge the backside of the shoulders. This is an exercise that can be used with most clients who have healthy shoulders by using the appropriate foot position.

4. TRX inverted windshield wiper

A spin off of the traditional hanging windshield wiper (see, this exercise is a true test of body weight strength and torso control. You must have sufficient grip strength and strong abs and obliques to perform this movement correctly. Be sure to control your trunk rotation and keep your core braced the entire time. I like to test my advanced clients with this move from time to time to see if they can get ten reps.

5. TRX pommel horse

Derived from the gymnastics world, the TRX pommel horse challenges the core and shoulders. To be honest, this isn’t an exercise I’ve ever done with a client. I’ve showed some of my advanced, well-conditioned athletes this exercise, but their feet/ankles were too big. It helps if you have smaller ankles so your feet will fit in the cradles.

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About the Author

Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA, where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and operations director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He has completed some graduate work in biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his own two-DVD set on strength training for combat athletes, has appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and is currently a coach on The Ultimate Fighter television reality show.