If you want to build some serious upper-body strength while developing functional fitness that will help you move, feel and look your best, then you should give TRX Suspension Training a try. Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training was initially conceived of as a way for the world’s most-elite military to stay in shape while deployed in austere conditions with minimal gear, time or space.
Now you can find these black and yellow straps in almost any gym and they’ve become a go-to workout tool for personal trainers, top athletes and celebrities everywhere. The following TRX upper-body workout develops strength in your arms, chest, back and core, with movements that translate to the way you move in everyday life. Try adding this workout to your strength-training regimen to get a taste of how suspension training can take your fitness to the next level.
1. Atomic Pike Push-Up An incredible total-body challenge, this move will strengthen your entire upper body.
HOW TO DO IT: Start in a push-up position with your feet directly under the anchor point in the foot cradles of the suspension trainer. Brace your core and perform a standard push-up. When you reach the top of the push-up, pause for a moment, then pike your hips up while keeping your legs as straight as you can. Pause for a moment at the top, then lower your hips back down to the starting position.
2. TRX Chest Press Build strength in your chest, shoulders and triceps with this classic TRX exercise.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing away from the anchor point, holding the handles out in front of you. Brace your core and focus on maintaining a solid plank with your body at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Lower your chest toward your hands and focus on moving your entire body in a straight line. Stop when your hands are in line with your chest. Press yourself back up in one slow, controlled movement, focusing on keeping your knees, hips and shoulders in line the entire way up.
3. Inverted Row This exercise is excellent for developing core stability and upper- and lower-back strength.
HOW TO DO IT: Face the suspension trainer with your chest directly under the anchor point, holding the handles with your palms facing each other. Bend your knees to 90 degrees, brace your core and engage your glutes. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and use your lats to pull your body up until your hands are at the sides of your rib cage. Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position.
4. TRX Pull-Up This TRX variation of a body-weight training classic will strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and core.
HOW TO DO IT: With the handles of the suspension trainer shortened, sit directly under the anchor point with a handle in each hand and your legs in an L position. Pull your chest to your hands while keeping your legs straight and feet planted on the ground. Lower yourself to the ground in one slow and controlled movement and reset when you hit the ground.
5. Triceps Press Incorporate this move into your routine to increase strength and definition in your triceps while developing your core strength and improving your active plank.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand facing away from the anchor point and hold the suspension trainer by the handles. Keep your elbows high and in line with your shoulders. Put your hands next to your temples with your palms facing away from your body. Brace your core as you lean forward so that your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Focus on maintaining tension throughout your entire body. Press down into the handle, keeping everything stable except for your elbow joints, until your arms are fully extended. Lower your body down in one slow, controlled movement until your hands are back at the starting position.
The original article “9 TRX Exercises to Sculpt an Insanely Strong Upper Body” appeared on LIVESTRONG.COM.
By Blake Kasemeier
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