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By Emily Abbate, rodalewellness.com (TNS)

Finally mastered a full-body routine using free weights? Great, now it’s time to try something new. Put down the dumbbells and pick up the resistance bands, TRX training is here to stay. Short for total body resistance exercise, the popular workout involves using gravity and bodyweight to challenge the core with the help of TRX straps.

The materials? Aside from the straps, a secure spot like a door frame, tree or weight machine to anchor your workout. How it works? By suspending part of your body from the straps at any given time, you’re creating both resistance and a need for stabilization, activating different muscle groups. Whereas doing a normal push-up, for example, you would start in a plank position with both hands and feet on the floor–in a TRX push-up, you start with your hands directly under the shoulders and feet positioned in the TRX straps.

The best part? The straps can be taken anywhere, which means this workout, invented by a former U.S. Navy SEAL, is portable and easy to do on-the-go.

Seem a little overwhelming? Not to worry, we caught up with Blake Kasemeier, TRX qualified education graduate, for his five moves every TRX beginner should try.

TRX Burpee

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer so that the bottom of the foot cradles are at the middle of your calf. Stand facing away from the TRX and place one foot in both foot cradles. Lunge down and lower your hips while driving your suspended leg back, until back knee is two inches from ground. Place your hands on the ground and hop your grounded leg straight back to a plank position. Perform a pushup then hop your grounded leg forward and explode up to a jump.

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid length. Stand facing the TRX with your feet hip width apart. Position your elbows under your shoulders and lower your hips down and back, keeping your weight in your heels. Squeeze your glutes and drive through your heels to return to the start position. Keep your chest lifted throughout the movement.

TRX Low Row

Stand facing the TRX Suspension Trainer holding on to the handles with your palms facing each other. Lean back, brace your core and squeeze your glutes, and imaging that you are performing a plank while standing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and use your back and arm muscles to pull your body up until your hands are at the side of your rib cage. Slowly lower your body back down to the start position, maintaining a plank position throughout the entire exercise.

TRX Chest Press

Stand facing away from the TRX Suspension Trainer with your hands holding the handles out in front of you. Brace your core and focus on holding a solid plank. Lower your chest toward your hands, and image your entire body is just a moving plank. Stop when your hands are in line with your chest. Press yourself back up in one slow controlled movement, focus on keeping your knees, hips and shoulders in line the entire way up.

TRX Plank

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer so the bottom of the foot cradles are at the middle of your calf. Start on the ground facing away from the TRX, on your hands and knees, with your toes in the TRX foot cradles. Lift up into a hand plank position, with your elbows under your shoulders. Engage your core, and do not allow your hips to sag. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the start position by lowering your knees to the ground.

Photo by Gregor via Flickr

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