9 TRX exercises for beginners, straight from the trainers

Although TRX bands can look intimidating hanging in the corner of the gym, they’re actually no more difficult to use than more common equipment, like dumbbells or kettlebells. In fact, if you are new to strength trainingyou might even want to start with the TRX bands before using weights, as they help support your body as you move.

TRXwhich stands for Total Resistance Exercises, is a type of suspension training tool that uses your body weight to create resistancesays the physiotherapist Alyssa Kuhn, TPD. Depending on how you position yourself with groups, you can target roughly any muscle in your body. Similar to resistance bands, you can use TRX bands to do a variety of exercises, rows and bicep curls to lunges and squats, so they’re great for full body functional training.

You might notice the thick TRX nylon straps hanging from a hook in your gym or workout studio, but you can also use TRX bands at home, says Kuhn. The home version has an anchor that closes inside the top of a door, so you can use them virtually anywhere.

If you are trying TRX bands for the first time, make sure that the strap is firmly attached to the anchor point since you will be putting all your weight on it. For security reasons, it’s also a good idea to lock the door to make sure it stays closed, says Kuhn. From there, it’s all about getting comfortable with your form, so consider starting with simple moves. Keep scrolling down the list of all the best TRX exercises for beginners that will help you master the fitness tool.


TRX Squats

Squatting with TRX bands is one way to spice up your booty workout — and the fitness equipment offers a little extra support. They are a great help if you are exercise with knee painsays Kuhn, and that’s why you’ll often see these bands in physical therapy offices.

– Face TRX Bands Anchor.

– Hold a strap in each hand with palms facing each other.

– Back up until the strips are straight.

– Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.

– Sit with your butt back to lower yourself into a squat.

– Let your arms straighten completely.

– Pull the bands to help you get up.

– For more support, take another step back.

– Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 12 repetitions.


TRX reverse line

This move targets your upper body and core, Kuhn says. It also strengthens the muscles that help you maintain good posture. As a quick tip, you can make TRX moves more difficult by keeping your feet together and leaning at a greater angle.

– Face the TRX anchor.

– Hold a handful in each hand with palms facing each other.

– Take a step or two forward.

– Keep your feet together.

– Lean back until your arms are straight and your body is diagonal.

– Pull on the bands and bend your elbows to get up.

– Keep your body stiff as a board and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

– Lower your back with control.

– Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.


TRX pumps

TJ Mentus, an ACE-certified personal trainer, says you can also do push-ups with TRX. This exercise helps strengthen chest and triceps muscles, he tells Bustle, noting that the bands can make it a little easier than a standard floor push-up.

– Move away from where the TRX is attached.

– Hold a handful in each hand.

– Step your feet back so that your body is leaning slightly forward.

– Extend your arms straight out in front of you until the straps are tight.

– Go down in push-up by folding your elbows towards your body.

– Lower until your chest is in line with your hands.

– Press the handles to get up.

– Do 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.


TRX Reverse Slot

That slot variation works your quads and glutes. “They’re also great for building single-leg strength, muscle, and balance,” Mentus says.

– Face the anchor point.

– Hold a handful in each hand.

– Pull the bands tight.

– Step back one foot and lower into a lunge.

– Bend both knees 90 degrees until your back knee slightly touches the ground.

– Step on your front foot to return to a standing position.

– For a challenge, stand up on one leg.

– Repeat on the other leg.

– Do 8-10 reps per leg.


TRX Bicep Curls

Kuhn says you can use TRX bands instead of dumbbells to do bicep curls and still work the same muscles.

– Face the anchor point.

– Hold a handful in each hand.

– Advance your feet towards the anchor.

– Straighten your arms and let yourself relax back so that your body is diagonal.

– Turn your palms so that they are facing the ceiling.

– Bend your elbows to bring your palms towards your ears.

– Slowly return to the starting position.

– Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.



Here, Kuhn breaks down a Y-fly, an exercise that will work your shoulders and back muscles.

– Face the anchor point.

– Hold a handful in each hand.

– Step your feet forward towards the anchor point and allow yourself to relax back with your arms straight.

– You will be leaning back on a diagonal.

– Keep your arms straight and pull your arms up at a 45 degree angle above your head to form a “Y”.

– Relax back to starting position and repeat.

– Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.


TRX Single Arm Rower

The one arm row is a back-strengthening exercise that also lights up your core, says Katelyn Barrons, NASM certified personal trainer and health coach. “The main muscle groups used are the lats, upper back and rear deltoid, with help from the biceps and core,” she told Bustle.

– Face the anchor point.

– Hold the TRX strap with one hand, palm facing inside.

– Bend over in an inverted position with your back straight, like a plank.

– Pull yourself up by squeezing your shoulder blades together until your arm is at your side.

– Keep your heart engaged.

– Lower your back to the starting position with control.

– Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions per arm.


TRX Hamstring Curl

Work your lower body by trying a hamstring curl using the straps. “It’s a great exercise for the posterior chainespecially the hamstrings, glutes and core,” says Barrons.

– Lie on your back with your feet in the stirrups of the TRX straps.

– Make sure your feet are directly under the TRX anchor point.

– Press your hands on the floor to stabilize and lift your hips to full extension.

– Initiate the hamstring curl by pulling your heels toward your buttocks while raising your hips even higher.

– Lower your back to the starting position with control.

– Start with 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.


TRX board

For a basic challenge, give the TRX plank a try, suggests Kuhn.

– Move away from the anchor point.

– Descend on all fours.

– Put one foot in each handle.

– Walk your hands through a plank.

– Straighten your arms or lower yourself into a forearm plank.

– Engage your core and maintain a flat back.

– Press down on each foot to keep your hips up.

– Hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute.

Referenced studies:

Fong, SS. (2015). Central muscle activity during TRX suspension exercises with and without kinesiology tape in adults with chronic low back pain: implications for rehabilitation. Evid Based Complement Alternate Med. doi: 10.1155/2015/910168. Published online June 21, 2015.

Gaedtke. (2015). Morat T. TRX Suspension Training: A New Functional Training Approach for the Elderly – Development, Training Control, and Feasibility. Int J Exerc Sci. PMID: 27182415; PMCID: PMC4833470.


Dr Alyssa Kuhndoctor of physical therapy, owner of Keep Adventure Alive

TJ MentusACE Certified Personal Trainer with Garage Gym Reviews

Katelyn BarronsNASM certified personal trainer, health coach

Leave a Comment