Are you getting bored with your daily pushup routine? Don’t worry; we won’t hold it against you- in fact, we believe if you are no longer motivated with your workout routine, it’s time to mix it up.
For avid pushup lovers, or even those just getting into the exercise, making use of a TRX suspension trainer could take your pushups to the next level.
TRX is a suspension training system invented by an ex-US Navy Seal to create effective workouts for military personnel that could be transported into the harshest environments.
Out of the original idea evolved an entire community of bodyweight enthusiasts who don’t travel far without their TRX system.
The main selling points of the TRX systems are minimalism, portability, versatility, and durability. Each system is adeptly engineered with these four main concepts in mind. TRX also has a clear focus on core strength, flexibility and providing accessible workouts that aren’t geographically dependent.
While there are 1000s of exercises specifically designed for use on the TRX systems, true to form, we believe in the power of simplicity.
In this article, we will discuss the TRX pushup and its modifications and give our readers a simple yet effective set of exercises to put your TRX system to good use.
Benefits of the TRX Pushup
Pushups are hard! As hard as it may be, pushups are essential in targeting a long list of functional muscle groups we use on the daily.
Like most pushup exercises, the primary muscles being targeted are your frontal deltoids (Deltoid Anterior) and your triceps (Triceps Brachii). The secondary groups are your pectorals (Pectoralis major) and your middle deltoids (Deltoid lateral).
On top of these core groups, the TRX pushup tests many stabilizers in the core and the upper chest, such as the quadriceps and the obliques.
Unlike traditional pushups that use a strong, stable base (such as the floor), TRX pushups combine balance, strength, and flexibility into a full-body workout focusing on multiplanar motion and momentum movement that is sure to condition stabilization.
With a less stable foundation, much more emphasis is put on the supporting muscles, such as the back, shoulders, and upper legs.
Despite the obvious benefits of increased strength and superhuman mobility, using a TRX system to do your pushups brings with it an endless number of variations, new “shock” movement, and a sense of fun that makes the workouts more motivating.
How to complete a TRX Pushup
As we mentioned previously, there are various modifications to this exercise to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
We will cover those in the next section, but for now, we will focus on the foundational core pushup technique that is best mastered before moving forward.
The basic TRX Pushup Technique, in bite-size steps:
- Before you start, find an adequate anchor for your TRX, and be sure to adjust the loops on the system to ensure the perfect body-height ratio. As a general rule, start with the hand loops suspended to your knees’ height when you stand straight. If you are having difficulty with this ratio, increasing the height of the loops will decrease difficulty.
- Place on hand in each loop and move your legs back behind you, so your body sits at a 45° angle to the floor.
- Starting in this position, slowly lower your chest towards the floor, keeping the TRX system stable and slightly flaring your elbows. DO NOT drop your chest below your hands, as this could result in shoulder discomfort.
- Once your chest is in line with the hands and wrists, push the TRX system down and push your body back up the starting position.
- For an added bonus, bring your forearms and elbows together when you push back up. This creates more rotational movement and provides more core stabilization.
- Be sure to engage the core, the back, and the arms during the entire exercise.
Like any other exercise, be sure to start slowly, progress efficiently, and focus on good technique. Be sure to master the foundational technique before moving on to the more advanced move listed below.
Modifications for the TRX Pushup
For anyone struggling with completing a TRX pushup, the first piece of advice is to be patient. Sometimes it takes a bit of time for your body to adapt to the extra “motion” involved when incorporating suspension training. Engaging the core and focusing on solid technique will concede impressively fast progress.
If the loops at knee-height prove to be too difficult, you can raise the height of the loops to the quads of even the waist. This will decrease the drop length of the pushup and make it easier to complete.
Finally, stepping your feet further forward towards the hand loops will make the pushup easier and is a great way to start learning the proper technique.
If you have mastered the initial technique and wish to move on to more advanced modifications, the TRX pushup has many tricks to keep it fresh (and challenging).
Using the same initial position described above, walk your feet back further to decrease your body’s angle to the floor. The lower the angle, the harder the pushup will be.
Engage your core and try and limit ANY movement whatsoever.
This means if you feel your body swinging forward or the TRX moving horizontally towards the elbows, engage the stabilizer muscles, and try and stop the swing.
Not only will this increase your technique and prevent injury, but it will provide a full-body workout that will leave your core muscles activated and burning.
Finally, for those who are looking to maximize their TRX pushup time, turn the body around and place the feet in the loops instead of the hands.
Like a decline pushup, elevating the lower half of your body gives a whole new challenge to the pushup. With the feet securely in the loops, play around with different arm extensions, bringing the hands closer together (diamond pushup) or farther apart to work the outer chest muscles.
Still not hard enough? Increase the height of the suspension loops on your TRX Trainer, and thank your chest later.
Flo has been working out since her teens. With an affinity for calisthenics and suspension training, she specialises in mobility and bodyweight strength training.