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By Monica Nelson

If you’re looking to switch up your workout routine or are short on time, this TRX sequence is the perfect workout for you.

“TRX” is short for Total Body Resistance Exercise. It’s a type of training that uses your own body weight and gravity to build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability, all while preventing injuries.

It’s important to realize that we move our bodies through twisting, bending movements and we’re going left, right, down, up, side-to-side, forward and backward, resulting in multi-plane movements. Since your body is moving on all these different planes, don’t you think it’s important to train in the same way?

That’s why the TRX is helpful — you use your muscles differently than your typical workouts (it’s also a smart way to beat workout boredom!). We depend on our bodies to move in a functional way, so we should also train with functional exercises and movement. Here are five of my favorite TRX moves to incorporate into your next workout:

1. Squat to back row

Works glutes, legs, upper body, back, core

Stand facing the TRX, grasping one handle in each hand. Hinge at the hips and bend the knees dropping into a squat, allowing arms to extend fully, keeping core engaged throughout the movement. Pull back up to standing position, performing a row at the top of the movement: draw the elbows straight back alongside the body while guiding the handles to the chest. Re-extend the arms, start at the starting position, repeat.

2. Bicep curls and tricep extensions

Works biceps, triceps, core, forearms, shoulders

Bicep curls on TRX: Face anchor point. Hold handles with arms extended. Lean back. Make sure there is no slack and keep your neck in a neutral position. Bend elbows until hands are next to temples, with palms facing forehead. Return to start position with arms straight. Important to keep elbows high throughout movement.

Tricep Curls on TRX: Face away from anchor point. Hold handles with palms facing down and arms extended, hands at eye-level. Lean forward. Keep hands separated. Bend elbows until hands are behind head. Return to start position by driving hands forward until arms are straight. Keep shoulders pulled down and back throughout movement. You may find being on your toes more helpful.

3. Plank into suspended knee tucks

Full body movement focusing on strength and stability of the abdominal muscles, hip flexors and shoulder girdle

Come into a plank with feet in foot cradles (handles) so tops of feet face the floor. Keep shoulders down and core engaged. Bend knees into torso, allowing the hips to lift and spine to flex. With control, slowly return to starting position. Think “knee tucks.” Go slow for more of challenge. A great core and shoulder strengthener.

4. Suspended lunge

Work legs and core

Place your right foot in one handle facing away from the anchor point. Plant your left foot firmly on the ground. Keeping your chest up tall, slowly push your right foot back towards the anchor point and bend your left knee to descend into a lunge. Push back up with your left foot to return to the starting position. Keep your core engaged and don’t drop your hip. Work each leg for one minute.

For an extra challenge (to get the heart rate up and those legs burning!), add in a small hop at the top of each rep.

5. Forearm plank body saw

Works shoulders, triceps, glutes, abdominal

With handles one foot off the ground, kneel and place your feet in handles directly under the anchor point. Position forearms on the ground directly under your shoulders and lift one knee at a time coming to a plank position. Keep your shoulders down, inhale and glide forward, aiming to shift head just past hands. Exhale and glide backward, ending with head behind hands. Continue to glide back and forth (like a saw). Keep your shoulders and hips square and prevent your low back from arching. Note that your hips don’t drop too low or arch too high. Also make sure that your shoulders don’t crunch up.

As always, remember to keep that great form and have fun!