TRX is finally getting the attention it deserves from the climbing community, and for good reason! This suspension training tool was designed for full body fitness, with essentially every exercise requiring the use of your total core - the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and the diaphragm.
Total core strength is essential for optimal climbing performance, and when used correctly, TRX is perfect for developing those muscle groups. To help you get the most out of The Front's TRX straps we teamed up with coach (and Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner) Erin Butler to show us:
3 TRX Core Exercises for Climbers
1 | Plank
The plank is one of the most popular isometric core exercises, recruiting several muscle groups in addition to the total core including your quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, chest, traps and triceps.
Placing your ankles in the TRX straps at about shoulder height (your body should be a straight line from shoulders to heels) increases intensity by recruiting stabilizer muscles throughout your body to keep your feet aligned with your shoulders. Keep tension throughout your legs, arms, core and glutes, and don't let your hips fall below your heels.
2 | Tuck
Now that you've mastered the plank, let's get your hip flexors involved by pulling your legs in toward your chest.
It is important to create some space for your legs by pushing through your hands, extending your trapezius. Hollow out your core, sucking your belly button in toward your spine, and slowly draw the knees in. Hold for two to three seconds, then slowly extend your legs back out. Check yourself here, making sure you are returned to a proper plank position. It is common for people to do this exercise too quickly and dynamically, dropping their hips in their plank, then thrusting their legs back into their chest. You will get more from this exercise by increasing your time under tension, i.e. slowing it down and moving intently.
Starting Plank Position
Finishing Tuck Position
3 | Pike
If you'd like to increase the intensity even more, start working toward a pike. This exercise requires a fair amount of hamstring flexibility to keep your legs straight as you move your hips up, so if you have tight hamstrings you may not be able to do a proper pike (sorry, runners).
We are back to our starting plank position. From here, push through your hands again like you are trying to do a handstand, but this time keep your legs completely straight as you push your hips toward the sky and pull your feet toward your shoulders. You will feel your quads, shoulders and total core firing as you try to hold this position. Hold for up to five seconds, then with control, lower slowly back into your plank.
Starting Plank Position
Finishing Pike Position