By Sarah Caracciolo
DHAC Assistant Fitness Director
So now that you have successfully memorized the anatomy of a TRX, are you ready to workout? Not just yet! We need to discuss the rules of 6:6:3.
TRX exercises are very specific and have very specific guidelines to properly execute each one. These guidelines focus on 6 body positions, 6 procedures, and 3 principles of progression. It seems like a lot but is ESSENTIAL for proper use of the TRX. Here, let me break it down for you:
6 body positions:
- Standing facing the anchor point
- Standing facing AWAY from the anchor point
- Standing sideways to the anchor point
- Ground facing the anchor point
- Ground facing AWAY from the anchor point
- Ground facing sideways to the anchor point
- Adjusting the length of the TRX
- When we get to the specific exercise portion, you will notice that each move should be performed with the TRX Suspension Trainer set to a specific length.
- To shorten the TRX: Hold one strap. While depressing the cam buckle with one thumb, use your other hand to pull the yellow adjustment tab up along the strap (sort of like a bow and arrow)
- To lengthen the TRX: Simultaneously hold both cam buckles and pull down away from the anchor point
- Single Handle Mode
- A lot of the unilateral and rotational movements require you to use the TRX while it is in single handle mode. If you need assistance with this, please see one of the DHAC Exercise Physiologists…Safety is the top priority here
- Hold the two strap handles (one on top of the other) The top will be A and the bottom B
- Pass handle B through the triangle shaped webbing of handle A
- Repeat by passing handle A through the triangle shaped webbing of handle B
- Switch hands
- Heels In
- This procedure is used for most of the ground facing exercises
- Adjust the length of the TRX so the bottom of each foot cradle is ad mid calf length (about 8-12 inches off the ground)
- Sit facing the TRX and hold each foot cradle between your thumb and index finger
- Roll back and bring your knees to your chest and place each heel into the foot cradle
- Press down with your heels and extend legs
- Toes In
- First of all, don’t get frustrated! This was a toughie for even us exercise physiologists to get!
- Adjust the TRX to mid-calf length
- Sit facing the TRX
- Place right foot, toes in first into the left cradle. Then cross left foot over right foot and place into right cradle
- Keeping pressure on the foot cradles, roll over onto your hands and knees allowing the feet to rotate inside the cradles.
- Even Pressure
- Applying even pressure into the handles or foot cradles of the TRX prevents sawing and will also encourage core stability
- Keep tension on the TRX the entire move. The straps should never have slack during your movements
- The TRX is NOT a pulley system. Do not perform sawing motions and keep equal pressure on the handles at all times
- Offset Foot Position This position allows you to unweight some of the upper body during the movement into your lower body. It sounds easier than it actually is. You are not standing with a huge distance between your feet. You are simply stepping back slightly (about toe to heal) to maintain even tension throughout the full range of motion.
3 Principles of Progression
These 3 principles allow you to modify your intensity for any exercise you perform on the TRX Suspension Trainer.
- Vector Resistance Principle: a. Change your body angle to adjust resistance i. To increase or decrease your resistance on a TRX move, you take a step forward or backward (depending on the exercise)
- Stability Principle: a. Change your base of support to adjust your stability i. Stability is maximized with a large base of support and the center of gravity (COG) in the middle of that base ii. As the base of support decreases or the COG moves out of base of support, stability decreases iii. When standing, we increase or decrease the distance between our feet. The wider your feet are, the easier it will be to execute the move, and vice versa. To make it most difficult, stand on one leg (but EARN that right to progress first!)
- Pendulum Principle a. Changing the starting position to adjust resistance i. When not in use, the TRX hangs down in a neutral position directly below it’s anchor point. You can ASSIST or RESIST an exercise by moving closer or further away from the anchor point ii. Moving your starting position to the far side of neutral (head closer to the anchor) will make the exercise easier to perform iii. Positioning your body so that your feet are positioned on the near side of neutral (head farther away from the anchor) will make the exercise harder to perform