The Best TRX Exercises For A Stronger Core

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If you’ve never used TRX ropes in your training, you’re missing out, especially if your number one goal is to strengthen your core. Adapting common exercises to incorporate this suspension training kit immediately ups the challenge for your core, because you have to work harder than normal to keep your body stable during the movements.

“For my money, TRX training gives the best core workout on the planet – unless you’re an elite gymnast,” says Niko Algieri, co-founder of Equilibrium studio in London.

“It’s compound, it’s all about control and it’s always dynamic. The difficulty of exercises on a TRX can also be scaled up or down according to ability.”

Here Algieri chooses and demonstrates his top TRX core exercises. You can put them together into one core workout to rule them all, or try a few in your next session.

The Best TRX Exercises For Your Core

“You can do either elbow or straight-arm versions of the exercises – the former will provide a little respite for the wrists if you feel pain there,” says Algieri. “Funnily enough, with some of the movements, the elbow version is actually more difficult because it reduces the shoulders’ range.”

Plank

Sets 3 Time 60sec Rest 45sec

“Basic and hugely underrated,” says Algieri. “Learning a correct elbow or straight-arm plank will transfer good form to all your movements.”

“At Equilibrium we don’t hold the neutral Pilates-style plank. We tuck our tailbones, push the floor away and spread the shoulder blades, giving an almost rounded back look. Make sure your hands or elbows are shoulder-width apart.”

Pike

Sets 3 Time 60sec Rest 45sec

“Starting from the plank position on either your elbows or hands, simultaneously move your shoulders, hips and legs to lift your bum over the top of your head, and then lower back to a neutral position,” says Algieri. “Breathe out as you lift and breathe in as you lower.”

Knee tuck

Sets 3-4 Reps 15 Rest 45sec

“Generally, most people get on a TRX and perform what looks like a shit squat thrust when they try this,” says Algieri. “It becomes less of a core movement and more of hip flexor contraction. We want more muscle engagement throughout the exercise.

“Mimic the pike movement and as your hips are lifting bend your knees in. Focus on not losing your back position. Only bring the knees in level with your hips – that’s enough for a strong core contraction while maintaining a dynamic plank.”

Side plank

Sets 3 Time 30sec each side Rest 0sec

“Balancing on your elbow makes this easier because it provides more of a stable base,” says Algieri. “The classic mistake here is not stacking the shoulders. If you look at our beautiful model, his shoulders are line.

“The control of the movement should be in the shoulders and core, with the focus on the obliques. Try to swap sides without dropping – point your toes to spin in the TRX straps.”

Press-up to pike or knee tuck

Sets 3-4 Reps 15 Rest 45sec

“This is the daddy of compound core movements,” says Algieri. “It works the entire body.

“Move your hands into a press-up position and engage a plank. Then lower into a chest-to-floor press-up without losing your core position. Then push back up and as you reach plank height go straight into a pike or knee tuck.”

Gymnastic swing

Sets 4 Reps 20-30 Rest 60sec

“These are fun and challenging as hell,” says Algieri. “It torches the abdominal wall with an Anchorman-esque deep burn.

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“What’s key here is not breaking the hips and swinging your legs around like a fish flapping. The whole swing movement is controlled through your hands and shoulders. Once you’ve got this cracked you can then start turning your hips to the corresponding side and knee tucking. Watch the video for variations on the move.”