Be aware of your focus…
It can be easy to just create momentum when performing core exercises, often swinging your legs back and forth or upper body up and down.
Gravity can make it easy on the eccentric (negative/downward phase) and a multitude of other muscles can aid to create momentum on the concentric (positive/upward phase).
However, this is not what we want and will only hinder your potential returns.
Focus on keeping your entire body stable and creating movement by squeezing your abs as hard as you can to perform the full ROM.
The goal isn’t to move your body, it is to contract your abdominal muscles under intensity, which in turn generates the movement.
Tips when exercising with a TRX for abdominals
The abdominal muscles help create the tension system of the abdominal wall. They can be divided into two categories, the lateral abdominal muscles and the anterior abdominal muscles.
To put this simply – the front and back. They support the lumbar spine, under-active abdominal muscles can lead to poor posture and slouching.
The primary muscles of your core are the abs, they are a vast area of muscles. Most commonly we refer to the abs as the rectus abdominals, otherwise known as the 6-pack.
The rectus abdominals acts to flex the spine, rotate the torso, and resist spinal extension (prevent your lower back from arching inwards).
Abs Tip 1 – Contract throughout
To contract the abs when performing a specific exercise or when stabilising yourself through a range of motion think about pushing your stomach outwards or try slightly bending forward using your abs to initiate and hold.
Abs Tip 2 – Flex
Think about flexing your spine (curling your body tightly together) when doing exercises such as crunches to help initiate a powerful abs contraction.
Tips when exercising with a TRX for obliques
The external oblique muscles are located on the outer surface of the sides of the abdomen, on each side of the rectus abdominals.
The typical V-shape is often a by product of a healthy diet and toned obliques. The muscles extend from the lower ribs to the pelvis.
The external oblique muscles are responsible for the twisting of the trunk.
The oblique muscle will come into play as a strong stabiliser throughout this Program and we will utilise two specific TRX exercises to effectively target them.
Obliques Tip 1 – Squeeze
Focus on pulling your body into a side bend by squeezing not by pushing when performing oblique-specific exercises
How to perform each exercise (Tempo)
The analogy ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is the best way to think of using a TRX.
I believe that la TRX gives you more bang for your buck because so many stabilising muscles and secondary muscles come into play when performing exercises using it.
Although you may be primarily training your chest with a TRX Chest Press, there are many secondary muscles incorporated to keep you in a stable position to allow you to perform the range of movement.
Your core, shoulders, glutes and quads will all be engaging and under tension, much more so than if you were lying on a bench with two dumbbells.
This is one of the reasons I believe the physique you can achieve with TRX training appears natural, developed and well rounded.
Not to mention the functional fitness benefits that comes with training instability combined with large ranges of movement such as flexibility, a strong well performing shoulder girdle and a solid-defined core.
The slower and more controlled you perform TRX exercises the greater the above comes into play.
To ensure good technique and control, yielding the best results in the safest way always try to focus on the tempo of 222 (this is perfect for beginner and intermediate).
Focus on this tempo unless otherwise stated:
2 seconds on the upward (concentric / positive) phase: This would be the press-up part of a press up
2 seconds hold and contract / squeeze at the top of the exercise: This would be when you are holding yourself with straightened arms in a press up position
2 seconds on the downward (eccentric / negative) phase: This would be lowering yourself to the floor on a press up
The exception to this rule would be when performing explosive exercises such as the TRX jump squat where it is better to perform the movement as a whole focusing on moving your body through a 4D space.
Or partial exercises such as partial bicep curls or isometric holds.
Or where the plan specifies a different tempo such as 111 with high rep ranges.
Here, it’s all about locking in mentally, challenging your nervous system and pushing through till you reach the rep number. Form is allowed to slip as you just GO FOR IT!
Let’s get to it