The 4 Good Form Principles To Build Lean Muscle With a TRX Suspension Trainer

October 03, 2023

Brought to you by…
Coach Adam
(aka TRX Traveller)
Bodyweight Transformation Specialist
Founder of Fitness Freedom Athletes

Just grabbing a TRX and ‘mindlessly moving’ does need lead to muscle building results that transform your body.

Instead, we use slow and controlled movement and specifically focus on contacting and working the muscle area we are training.

These 4 good form principles lay the foundation to how I teach people to transform their body with a TRX suspension trainer…

The 4 Good Form Principles I Use To Build Lean Muscle With a TRX Suspension Trainer

Mastering and applying them will lead to greater transformational results, I guarantee it!

Let’s get to it…

1. Practice and develop the mind-muscle connection

Whilst the mind-muscle connection is a widely debated topic, most leading athletes and leading fitness experts recommend practicing and incorporating it.

The goal is never just to move you body  through a motion, the goal is to try and place effort on the muscles being used by contracting them as hard as possible through the full range of motion.

The tool used for this in our instance is a TRX suspension trainer (or resistance band). Think of it this way:

“If you can’t challenge your muscles just by the resistance of contracting you have no right to be picking up weights to add more resistance to contract them”

In simple terms, if you can’t feel or control (contract) your muscles without the use of a weight, then why are you training with a weight to do it?

Mastering technique and feeling your muscles (mind-muscle connection) shoild always come first, before more or harder.

2. Full range of motion

Moving a joint and muscle through a full range of motion with control and correct technique is our primary goal.

Not only does this lead to a healthier body (specifically with your joints as you get older), but it also places the muscle or area we are training under more intensity in order to re-develop fuller and be more balanced.

It ensures equal strength capabilities at all points of movement through the range of motion and allows for efficient understanding of movement patterns.

Using a full range of motion means more focus needs to be placed on technique as it requires more effort. To do this effectively we need to use a lighter weight.

For example, on a TRX Chest Press you may assume that you ought to have your body at a smaller angle to the floor since this makes the exercise harder.

However, because of this you might only go halfway down before pushing back up to perform it.

Instead, if you were to utilise a full range of motion, which is more beneficial, you will find that to do a TRX Chest Press you will need to use a greater angle sometimes even just slightly off from standing upright.

Heavier is not always better.

For example, with a band curl for the biceps you may assume that you ought to have the band with a high degree of tension when you curl it which makes the exercise harder.

However, because of this you might only curl half or three quarters before lowering your wrists and band back down.

Instead, if you were to utilise a full range of motion, which is more beneficial, you will find that to do a band curl you will need to reduce the tension on the band to make it feel lighter.

Heavier or more tension is not always better.

We’re looking for quality throughout all of the exercises in order to get you a truly noticeable body transformation.

3. Controlling the negative

This refers to the eccentric part of an exercise and means lowering your body weight with a slow controlled movement.

For example, on the TRX Back Pull / TRX Row, once you’ve pulled your body up towards the TRX handles the negative phase would be lowering your body back down. Don’t allow your body to drop with gravity.

Instead resist gravity and lower yourself slowly.

For example, on the Resistance Band High Back Row, once you’ve pulled the band towards you the negative phase would be allowing the band to move away from you.

Don’t allow the band to ping back to it’s original elastic shape too fast, instead resist the tension and slowly return it to the starting position.

This is important for safety but also because this phase of the movement (the negative / eccentric), when performed correctly, has been found to cause the most breakdown of muscle tissue thus leading to greater repair and overall development.

By the way…

If you’re looking for a proven Program to build lean muscle and transform your body with just a TRX suspension trainer or Resistance Band…

Then Take My ‘Which Program Quiz’ to find the best Program for your level & fitness goal.

From beginner to advanced, I’ve got a Program for everyone!

Or view all the Programs here.

4. Correct breathing

Breathing is something that will come with practice and will not be the first thing you focus on, nor would I advise it to be.

Your main focus should be perfect technique and feeling your muscles contracting through the range of motion first.

Once you get confident with executing exercises as the plan progresses then start to take note of your breathing. It can help greatly with performance.

My recommendation is:

  1. Inhale during the eccentric (negative / lowering phase.
  2. Exhale during the concentric (positive / push phase).

Practice this in your warm up to so it becomes habit as you take it into the main Program.

The importance of all this good form waffle

The ‘progressive overload principle’ which is the basic foundation of improving over time within fitness should be thought of as not just adding more intensity or effort, but adding more tension onto the muscle itself.

Think of it as:

Overloading a movement by allowing form to break down or cheating, does not necessarily imply that more tension has been added to the muscle. (There is an exception to this rule if it is high rep rages where to goal is to lock in and GO FOR IT!)

We’ve all seen the case of people trying to lift a weight that is too heavy for them and getting through the lift by ‘cheating’ with elements of swinging or overarching their back…

Since the use of excessive momentum and the involvement of assisting muscles can help ‘move the weight’ the focus of effort is not solely on the part of the body we are wishing to train. But more ‘spread out’ resulting in less effort placed on that specific muscle group and thus less adaption is needed and less overall results achieved.

The two primary reasons for focusing on technique are:

Safety

Any form of exercise movement with intensity can be dangerous and cause injury.

Consistently practicing perfect technique with light intensity will ensure that you have ingrained the proper exercise movement habits allowing you to then increase the intensity to challenge yourself more, in the safest manner.

Results

Along with ensuring you are exercising safely, good form and technique will also yield the greatest gains (and I don’t mean you will suddenly blow up like The Hulk).

I mean gains in terms of flexibility, muscular development (lean / toned body) and in mental focus.

It’s possible to be so focused on technique, form and how your body feels when exercising with a band in your own space, that it can become meditation – your mind is so focused on one thing, it does not wander to anything else.

How do you know if you have good form?

What specifically defines good form is slightly different for everyone as we’re all built different.

As you progress in strength and body transformation so will your understanding of form and being able to critique yourself to improve.

Self-reflection is great and I encourage you to record yourself doing exercises regularly to look back on and review your progress.

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Coach Adam  (aka TRX Traveller)

Coach Adam (aka TRX Traveller)

Bodyweight Transformation Specialist

I help people build lean muscle, lose fat, and transform their body anywhere! With my complete body transformation TRX Suspension Trainer and Resistance Band Programs, and Private 1-1 Coaching.

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Take The ‘Fitness Freedom Quiz’ And Discover The Best Suspension Trainer Or Resistance Band Program For Your Level & Fitness Goal!

The 7 skills to TRX better handbook

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Apply These 7 Skills Right Now In All Your Workouts For Quicker And Greater Fitness Results! Downloaded 70,000+ times!

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FAQs

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I'm new to using a TRX or Band, where shall I start?

First up, welcome! Out of all the millions of websites out there thank you for visiting this one. Secondly, your interest and motivation will change your life. It did for me and thousands of fitness freedom athletes in our community of all ages.

The best place to start would be with the Beginner TRX Total Body Transformation Program. It’s the most popular Program and will teach you the effective muscle-centric TRX technique to transform your body and begin your life-changing journey.

If you’re seeking a resistance band Program, get stuck into the Band Muscle Toning Program which is for beginners/intermediates to learn the band muscle-centric technique and transform their body with just one resistance band.

Do you have any training courses or Programs?

Yes absolutely, I have TRX Suspension Trainer & Resistance Band Programs for all levels and fitness goals. They will teach you the effective 'Muscle-Centric Technique' that will transform your body! And cover everything from nutrition to mindset and performance execution.

PLUS, once you become a Fitness Freedom Athlete, you'll get access to a tun of member only resources and bonuses within the Fitness Freedom Athletes platform.

I got you covered for every challenge and every goal.

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I guess at first, you shouldn’t. Trust is built and earned over time. Check out my reviews and success stories so you can get a better understanding of what I am about and who I help.

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I am mainly based in London, UK. But I love travelling, specifically backpacking our beautiful world and experiencing other cultures... So most likely I may be based on the side of a mountain or little beach hut. Perhaps I’ll even meet you in person at some point… That would be just awesome!

Adam Atkinson TRX Traveller Fitness Freedom Athletes
Adam Atkinson TRX Traveller Fitness Freedom AthletesAdam Atkinson TRX Traveller Fitness Freedom Athletes

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