Use this TRX Workout Routine to Maintain Strength Training During the Race Season
Six TRX Suspension Exercises to Maintain Strength During Race Season
- Power Pull
- Curtsy Lunge
- Plank and Pike
- Single Leg Squat
Using a TRX workout routine will keep your whole body strong, particularly during the bike, run, or triathlon season when you want to maintain strength but not cause additional fatigue.
Plus the TRX or suspension straps will really stress your core muscles as they work to keep your upper body stable.
A former Navy SEAL and MBA graduate invented the TRX (Total Resistance eXercise) straps to provide a functional workout with just a strap.
My daughter calls the TRX bands the T-Rex bands, and using them will definitely help you get strong!
What I love about them is regardless of what you’re working, you get a great core workout as well as you have to stabilize your body.
The more horizontal your body, the more difficult the work.
Clench the cheeks with your TRX workout routine
When you are leaning with the TRX, you need to keep your body straight like a board.
I taught middle school students for 23 years, so I still have a juvenile sense of humor.
I tell clients that when I worked with adolescents at ropes courses and we were doing trust falls, I reminded them to keep their bodies straight.
To illustrate how they should feel, I told them to imagine their crush, the person they’ve liked since kindergarten, is standing right next to them.
But you really, really need to fart.
That butt clench needed to hold in the fart is how you should hold your body straight.
Six exercises for a TRX workout routine
Here are six exercises as part of a TRX workout routine that build overall strength and core fitness for cyclists and runners.
I designed the routine to be a full-body program that endurance athletes can use one or two times per week to maintain strength throughout the racing season.
I also suggest using these exercises any time in a training routine.
For example, we regularly use suspension pushups and rows in strength training sessions.
There are links to youtube videos for each exercise.
This pushup, a key part of the TRX workout routine, builds chest, shoulder, arm, and back strength, in addition to torso stability.
Stand with the handles in front of you and the straps over your shoulders.
Start with your arms stretched in front of you.
Lean forward as if you were doing a wall pushup. Keep the straps on your arms as you lean and bring the handles to your armpits and push away.
Move your feet backward to create more difficulty, or put your feet on a bench or riser to increase the challenge.
You can also make this a chest fly by widening the spacing of the handles.
Start with the straps at your armpits. Lean back so your arms are straight. Pull yourself back up.
To make the row more difficult, move your feet forward and make your body more horizontal.
You can also do the row one-handed, keeping your torso straight to create anti-rotation stress.
Rows build strength in your back and arms, which are critical in maintaining upper body stability while running and cycling.
As part of your TRX workout routine, you can also alter your grip so that for one row, your palms face up, your second, your palms face each other, and the third, your palms face down.
Each of these movements create a different stress on your arms and back muscles.
3. Power Pull
This is a deceptively difficult exercise especially as your body gets more horizontal.
Where the row and pushup focus on torso stability, the power pull focuses on torso rotation.
You have to maintain strength throughout the torso rotation as well as build strength in your hips, shoulder, and arm.
Hold onto one handle with both hands and face the strap.
With your feet staying in place, release one hand and rotate your torso and reach to the ground with your other arm.
Then, pull yourself back up and touch the strap at the buckle.
This exercise in the TRX workout routine develops torso strength that keeps your upper body stable and strong.
4. Reverse Curtsies
These are powerful moves to build mobility in your hips and knees, as well as building strength in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
In particular, the curtsies or Skaters, build the sides of your glutes (medias, minimus) that often get neglected by cyclists and runners who are usually moving forward in one plane.
Start by holding the straps at your arm pits. The straps are your support as you lean back holding them.
Step one foot backwards and then behind and to the outside the foot on the floor.
Push the side of your hip out so that you feel the muscles at the side your your hip working.
You may end up doing just a few of these in your TRX workout routine since your medias and minimus may tire quickly!
Stand back up and switch legs, pushing your hip out on the other side.
5. Plank and Pike
By now, you can see the trend of building torso and core strength in this TRX workout routine.
These are a bit challenging to both get into and actually do, so use caution as you get into it.
Get your feet in the straps so that the top of your foot is on the handle; keep your heel outside the strap.
I usually sit facing the straps, get my feet in them, then roll over. However, other people manage to be on their knees and put their feet into the straps.
I’d recommend having a mat on which to rest your knees and hands/elbows.
6. Single Leg Squat
For me, the only downside of using only suspension straps is that we don’t lift heavy weights doing deadlifts.
However, doing single leg squats like this can be really effective exercises in the TRX workout routine to build glute strength.
Do this set up slowly! Lift up one foot like you were a horse about to get a shoe on your hoof! Put the foot in the strap and use the other leg to hop forward so that your front knee is roughly over your front ankle when you drop into a squat.
The key is to drop your butt straight down so that your knee stays over your ankle.
Most of your weight is also on your front heel.
To make this more challenging – as if it wasn’t tough enough – hold a dumbbell overhead in one hand or a bar in overhead both hands.
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Paul Warloski is a:
- USA Cycling Level 3 Coach
- RRCA Running Coach
- Training Peaks Level 2 Coach
- RYT-200 Yoga Instructor
- Certified Personal Trainer