The last thing you think when you look at a TRX is, "Wow, I'm going to build a lot of muscle with it! I can not wait to do more climbers and crunches!"
Well, after I've been tinkering with the TRX for a couple of years, I actually found it very useful. Believe it or not, I have even found that it is an effective tool for hypertrophy. Granted, not every exercise with a TRX is good for winning winnings, but I've found a few top-notch exercises to help you gain in size and break through plateaus.
1 – Tricep Extension
Wrap Resistance Bind around your back, hold it in each hand and use your body weight to extend the length of the TRX straps. This movement (with the band) compensates for the force curve, making the middle and end of the movement as difficult as it was at the beginning.
These are killers. They allow you to get a serious tension in your lower triceps. The increase in mechanical tension is one of the main drivers of hypertrophy. It's almost the opposite force curve as a tricep pushdown, which means that the muscle is overloaded in another way ̵
It is also very easy to develop or regress. The beauty of the TRX is the ability to adjust the tension easily. They simply step closer or farther away from the apparatus to gain more or less tension.
You want a bigger challenge? Add a drop set. Finish the set with the tape, drop the tape immediately, and keep pushing to get a serious pump. And do not plan to do anything that uses your triceps the next day. Trust me.
2 – Reverse Row
With your feet raised, the TRX Series requires much more power to get your body moving. The key is the pace. Since the TRX is not the best way to create high mechanical stresses, we need to add some metabolic stress. As? By working with a full range of motion and at a controlled pace.
Lower slowly (about 4 seconds down) and pull up in a controlled manner (about 1-2 seconds). In this way, there is a constant tension on the eccentric and the concentric.
I also like static handles on top. This forces a strong contraction with all the back muscles. This tempo looks like 4114: four seconds down, one second down, one second up, four seconds up.
Try weight too. Applying a weight vest or weight plate to your abdomen will increase the mechanical tension and this exercise from a gentle beginner's exercise to a hard exercise that requires real power.
Similar to the triceps extensions, you can add a band to take this exercise to the next level.
However, it is more difficult to use a slow pace here. In fact, the band promotes explosive repetitions.
3 – Bulgarian Split Squat
This exercise has progressed so much that I was reluctant to be on that list. It is more of a strength exercise than a pure muscle. The stability needed to get it right is crazy. A regular Bulgarian Split Squat is heavy enough to balance, coordinate and stabilize. The TRX increases the requirements many times over.
Being unstable in nature, you will notice compensation everywhere you load it with a decent weight. Normally, I see hyperextension in the lower back and instability of the hip as the TRX or hips sway from side to side. Try to prevent that.
Load this movement just by firing your oblique heads, quads, ham, and glutes until they burn. Find a weight that will help you fully stabilize your hips, back leg, and front leg. You should be able to get a full ROM with a large stretch in the gluteal muscles at the bottom.
4 – Ham Curl
WTF? Think about this after your first workout with this exercise. Scratch that up – that's how you'll think after the first sentence!
Ham crinkles on the machine are a standard exercise in the gym. Perhaps you have reached a plateau and have moved on, or you have gained weight on the machine that inflates your ligaments and tendons in the knee, and you had to stop. Whatever the reason, you probably have not felt a "functional pump" – for want of a better term – quite so.
These force your hamstrings to work hard. Unlike traditional machine lock braces, they require hip extension and knee flexion. This means that the thigh muscles run through a complete ROM. Machine curls aim for knee flexion and neglect of the hip extension. A proper TRX ham curl fires both, big time.
It is a good thing if you also recover. This was a great exercise for me in the later rehab phases, when I recovered from a broken thigh muscle.
5 – Face Pull
Facial features are not really known as toning, but hey, the TRX is not. These are also crucial for rotator cuff strength and upper back growth in general.
To get the most out of them, you should increase your time under tension at a slow pace. It is too easy to lift yourself from the lowest position and to train the muscles for a short moment in a minimal ROM. Slowing down slows down your muscles, and prolonged tension is a great way to stimulate growth.
If you have access to a TRX and want to get a bit bigger, you can run some of them in your program. The profits will shock you!
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