9 TRX Exercises For Beginners, Straight From Trainers

You'll get the hang of it.

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A roundup of trainer-approved TRX exercises for beginners.

While TRX bands may look intimidating as they dangle in the corner of the gym, they’re actually no harder to use than more common pieces of equipment, like dumbbells or kettlebells. In fact, if you’re new to strength training, you might even want to start with TRX bands before using weights since they help support your body as you move.

TRX, which stands for Total Resistance Exercises, is a type of suspension training tool that uses your body weight to create resistance, says physical therapist Alyssa Kuhn, DPT. Depending on how you position yourself with the bands, you can target pretty much any muscle in your body. Similar to resistance bands, you can use TRX bands to do a variety of exercises, from rows and bicep curls to lunges and squats, so they’re great for full-body functional training.

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

If you’re trying TRX bands for the first time, make sure the strap is securely attached to the anchor point since you’ll be putting all of your weight on it. For safety, it’s also a good idea to lock the door to ensure it stays shut, Kuhn says. From there, it’s all about getting comfortable with your form, so consider starting off with simple moves. Keep scrolling for a list of all the best TRX exercises for beginners that’ll help you get the hang of the fitness tool.


TRX Squat

Squatting with TRX bands is one way to spice up your booty workout — and the piece of fitness equipment happens to offer a little extra support. They’re a big help if you’re exercising with knee pain, Kuhn says, and it’s why you’ll often see these bands in physical therapy offices.

- Face the TRX bands anchor.

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

- Step back until the bands are straight.

- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.

- Sit your butt back to lower into a squat.

- Allow your arms to fully straighten.

- Pull on the bands to help you raise yourself back up.

- For more support, take another step back.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 12 reps.


TRX Inverted Row

This move targets the upper body and the core, says Kuhn. 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 on a bigger angle.

- Face the TRX anhor.

- Hold a handle 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 on a diagonal.

- Pull the bands and bend your elbows to raise yourself up.

- Keep your body stiff like a board and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

- Lower back down with control.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.


TRX Push-Up

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

- Face away from where the TRX is attached.

- Hold a handle in each hand.

- Step your feet back so your body is leaning slightly forward.

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

- Lower into a push-up by bending your elbows back towards your body.

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

- Press into the handles to raise yourself back up.

- Do 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.


TRX Reverse Lunge

This lunge 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 handle in each hand.

- Pull the bands tight.

- Step back with one foot and lower into a lunge.

- Bend both knees 90 degrees until your back knee lightly taps the ground.

- Press into your front foot to return to standing position.

- For a challenge, raise up onto one leg.

- Repeat on the other leg.

- Do 8 to 10 reps per leg.


TRX Bicep Curl

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 handle in each hand.

- Walk your feet towards the anchor.

- Straighten your arms and let yourself relax back so that your body is on a diagonal.

- Turn your palms so they face the ceiling.

- Bend your elbows to bring your palms to your ears.

- Slowly return to the starting position.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.



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

- Face the anchor point.

- Hold a handle in each hand.

- Walk your feet towards the anchor point and allow yourself to relax back with your arms straight.

- You’ll be leaning back on a diagonal.

- Keep your arms straight and pull your arms at a 45-degree angle overhead so you make a “Y” shape.

- Let yourself relax back to the starting position and repeat.

- Do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.


TRX Single-Arm Row

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

- Face the anchor point.

- Hold onto on TRX strap with one hand, palm facing in.

- Lean back into an inverted position with a straight back, like a plank.

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

- Keep your core engaged.

- Lower back to the starting position with control.

- Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps per arm.


TRX Hamstring Curl

Work your lower body by trying a hamstring curl using the straps. “This is a great exercise for the posterior chain, specifically the hamstrings, glutes, and core,” Barrons says.

- 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 into the floor to help stabilize and lift your hips up to full extension.

- Initiate the hamstring curl by drawing your heels toward your butt while raising your hips even higher.

- Lower back to the starting position with control.

- Start with 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.


TRX Plank

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

- Face away from the anchor point.

- Lower down onto all fours.

- Put a foot in each handle.

- Walk your hands out into a plank.

- Straighten your arms or lower into a forearm plank.

- Engage your core and maintain a flat back.

- Push down into each foot to keep your hips in the air.

- Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

Studies referenced:

Fong, SS. (2015). Core Muscle Activity during TRX Suspension Exercises with and without Kinesiology Taping in Adults with Chronic Low Back Pain: Implications for Rehabilitation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. doi: 10.1155/2015/910168. Epub 2015 Jun 21.

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


Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, doctor of physical therapy, owner of Keep Adventure Alive

TJ Mentus, ACE-certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews

Katelyn Barrons, NASM-certified personal trainer, health coach

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