Training: TRX Core Workout

Info Box

Manufacturer: TRX
Price: Various
Level: Intermediate
Time: 30 minutes

Most people seek their ideal ‘beach body’ and many want to reveal their chiselled abdominal muscles in time for the summer season it’s no wonder why there are always new exciting workouts being devised to target this area.

The TRX is excellent at providing the right muscular stress on the core muscles whilst performing all exercises, due to the unstable nature the TRX puts you in. However, to feel a real burn, there are specific abdominal exercises that will bring out your abs, tone up your obliques and strength your core. Combining some of these into your current core workout could give you the right boost to break plateaus or could be used for a completely independent workout entirely.

Furthermore, with the great mobility of the TRX, it can make for a great single piece of equipment to take on holiday or for trips away to keep yourself in shape whilst away from the gym. Handing itself so well to building a strong and stable core, you’d be crazy not to include it.

Before you continue, please remember that you need to warm up.

If are are unsure about some of the terms used in this article, it’s worth having a quick read through our Glossary of Terms before you get started with your workout.

TRX Plank. Click for full exercise


TRX Plank

The plank is a good exercise performed normally. However, using the TRX this basic move is transformed into something that people with the strongest core can struggle with. Having your feet elevated and unstable means a much bigger stress is put through the core muscles, causing more development.
For this the TRX should be set to mid calf height, laying facing away from the anchor point with toes in the foot cradles. The aim is then to keep ears, shoulders, hips and knees aligned.

Target: 30 second hold (beginner), 60 second hold (intermediate), 2 minute hold (advanced)

TRX Side Plank. Click for full exercise


TRX Side Plank

The side plank is great for strengthening and tightening the obliques and lower back. It also works well on core coordination and is easily adapted to the fitness level of the individual. Loop your feet into the foot cradles and place your elbow under your body, holding on your forearm. Place your top leg in front of your bottom one, in the foot cradles. Raise your hips up so you make a straight line from ears to foot.

Target: 30 second hold per side (beginner), 1 minute hold per side (intermediate), 2 minute hold per side (advanced)

TRX Pike. Click for full exercise


TRX Pike

Starting in a press up position with feet in the TRX foot cradles, positioned mid calf height, bring your hips up and forward to fold your body in half. Then control yourself back down to the press up position. This is great for strengthening the abdominals in both the concentric and eccentric phases.

Target: 10 pikes (beginner), 15 pikes (intermediate), 20 pikes (advanced)

Supine Plank. Click for full exercise.


TRX Supine Plank

A good alternative to a regular plank. Place your ankles into the foot cradles and lie on your back, push up onto your hands so your arms are straight to the floor underneath you. Keep your core tight and hold it in a straight line from neck through to ankles.

Target: 20 second hold (beginner), 40 second hold (intermediate), 1 minute hold (advanced)

TRX Incline Plank. Click for full exercise.


TRX Incline Plank

This gets a little bit more tricky. In a normal plank position place one foot into both foot cradles, the other foot on the floor. Walk this foot backwards until it can’t reach the floor, keeping hands on the floor. Keep going backwards until your feet are high and your hands underneath the anchor point. Hold this position. If you struggle getting the height you can do it slightly lower until you’ve strengthened your core enough to go higher.

Target: 20 second hold (beginner), 40 second hold (intermediate), 1 minute hold (advanced)

Single Leg Crunch. Click for full exercise


Single leg crunch

Starting in a press up position with one foot in either or both of the foot cradles. Bring the knee of the foot in the cradle up and into your chest, your hips will raise slightly. Having just one foot in will create more stress on the abdominals and oblique’s as it will require more stabilisation. To regress this put one foot in each cradle and bring the knees up together.

Target: 10 crunches per leg (beginner), 20 crunches per leg (intermediate), 30 crunches per leg (advanced)

Atomic Pike Push-up. Click for full exercise


Atomic Pike Push-up

Starting in a press up position with toes in the foot cradles, perform a regular push up. Once you come to the top of the press up position, lead with your hips straight into a TRX pike. This becomes one flowing movement once you get used to it and gives your core a really good workout by itself alone.

Target: 5 pike push-ups (beginner), 10 pike push-ups (intermediate), 20 pike push-ups (advanced)

These TRX core exercises make great additions to your current plan or can be used independently for an anywhere core blast.

Why not try adding one or two to the end of your current daily workouts if you haven’t got time to add another complete workout in. All in all the TRX makes a great mobile, lightweight piece of equipment, great for toning, sculpting and strengthening the whole body.

Before you finish, remember that you should spend time cooling down.


About Author

Olly is the Short Motivation fitness and training advisor. He is a level-3 PT instructor, specialising in TRX and kettlebell instruction, and manages his own gym in the United Kingdom.