Whenever I hit the gym, I head straight to the TRX Training System, a set of two yellow and black adjustable straps that strengthens the core like nothing else I’ve tried before. TRX is my favourite workout for abs and glutes because when my hands or feet are firmly fitted in the TRX straps, leaving only two flimsy points of contact with the floor, I have no choice but to use my core muscles (which include the entire middle area, from the pelvis and glutes to the abs and chest and even back) to balance my body.
TRX, which is short for total-body resistance exercise, was developed by a U.S. Navy Seal who was looking for a way to workout in a small space and with minimal equipment while he was deployed overseas. He soon realised the way best to achieve this was by leveraging the force of gravity and your own body weight with the use of straps you can hold onto either with your arms or legs, depending on what the exercise requires.
TRX has a multitude of benefits for the body: it builds endurance, improves stability, strengthens the arms and shoulders while turning every exercise into a challenge for the core. When you do a TRX workout, be it a suspended push-up or a bicep curl, your glutes and abs are always engaged, improving both your power and balance.
All you have to do is anchor the straps to a secure spot, such as a weight machine, a door frame or, if you’re exercising outside, a particularly wide and strong branch, slip your hands or feet into the handles and start exercising away. If you’re looking for some workout ideas, I have written a few articles about my favourite TRX workouts for abs, glutes and legs.
The best thing about TRX is that absolutely everyone can do it. Although TRX can be very challenging if pushed to the limit, a good fitness instructor will be able to modify it for beginners, allowing them to get the most out of even the simplest workout. What’s more, the straps are portable, which means that, once you’ve safely learned the basics, you can easily do TRX at home or keep the straps in your car for an impromptu workout at the park. Just remember to always pull hard on the straps before you begin to exercise to make sure they’ll support your weight.
As much as I appreciate its portability, I usually perform my TRX workout at Equilibrium, a gym located in the heart of Notting Hill that helps clients develop an all round workout regime that makes become stronger, faster and more flexible by focusing on the nine elements of fitness: power, agility, coordination, balance, speed, strength, muscular endurance, flexibility / mobility and cardiovascular capacity.
Its portability and the unique combination of strength training and cardio it provides makes TRX absolutely unique. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or build muscles, it’s the only workout you’ll ever need!
Where to train: We Are Equilibrium