6 TRX® Exercises Powerlifters Should Know About

Inexpensive and super portable, the TRX can offer a lot to strength athletes.

While on deployment in 1997, Navy SEAL  Randy Hetrick created his first version of the TRX® out of a jiu jitsu belt and parachute webbing. He was just that keen to stay in shape with bullets whizzing past his ears.

What excuse do you have?

Now, TRX trainers are commonplace in gyms and they’re also a popular option for working out at home or working out in hotel rooms. The type of exercise this apparatus confers is dubbed “suspension training” and it’s known for being a low-impact, joint-friendly way to build strength. Indeed, while it gets a lot of hype for being a useful workout device for the elderly, the exercises can be useful to almost everyone — even the powerlifter.

The biggest knock on the TRX is after a certain point, it will not get you any stronger. After all, you’re only using bodyweight, leverage and gravity.

However, using the TRX accessory exercises for the bench press, deadlift and squat can help you attack your weaker and under used muscles, helping you round out your strength and and prevent injury while adding variety to your routine.

These exercises below train the muscles that are crucial for better performance in the big three. Consider inserting these in your accessory routine pronto.

1. TRX Inverted Row


Upper back, posterior deltoids, biceps, forearms and grip.

Good accessory exercise for

  • Deadlifts. Upper back and grip strength play a huge role in keeping the bar close, spine neutral, and just hanging onto the bar.
  • Squats. Upper back strength helps keep neutral spine and stops the squat from turning into a good morning.
  • Bench press. The upper back also plays a role in setting a good foundation and keeping the bar on the correct path.

Form tips

Keep a neutral spine by engaging the glutes and core, and keeping your shoulders away from your ears.

  • 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps

2. TRX Split Squat


Quads, glutes, hip mobility and balance.

Good accessory for

  • Squats. Training unilateral strength helps strength out imbalances between sides. Plus, split squats aid in hip mobility.
  • Deadlifts. Having stronger quads will help with leg drive when pulling heavy from the floor.

Form tips

Keep a neutral spine by keeping your chest up. Keep a slight forward lean of the torso.

  • 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps per side



Upper back, scapulae.

Good accessory for

  • Deadlifts, squats and bench press. For the same reasons as the TRX Inverted row: a strong upper back helps with stability, pulling, and pressing in all lifts.

Form tips

Feet closer to the anchor point makes it more difficult. Feet further away makes it easier. Avoid shrugging your shoulders to the ears while pulling yourself towards the anchor point.

  • 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

[See similar movements in our list of the 10 best exercises for stronger scaps.]

4. TRX Single Arm Chest Press


Chest, front deltoid, triceps and lateral stability

Good accessory for

  • Bench press. Helps strengthen imbalances between sides and strengthens triceps to help with lockout strength.

Form tips

Adjust your intensity by moving your feet closer to the anchor point (harder) or further away (easier). Make sure to keep the body in a straight line when lowering and pressing.

  • 2-4 sets of 6- 10 reps per side.

5. TRX Hip Extensions


Glutes, hamstrings, hip mobility and core stability.

Good accessory for

  • Deadlifts and squats. Hip mobility and core stability are essential for both lifts. Fully extending the hips in the TRX is difficult, which helps with the lockout part of the deadlift.

Form tips

Press the heels down into the straps and be careful not to over arch the back during the entire exercise.

  • 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps.

6. TRX Moving Forearm Plank


Core and shoulder stability.

Good accessory for

  • For everything. Ever heard of having too much core strength and endurance?

Form tips

Make sure not to arch the lower back or letting hips sag. Keeping the glutes engaged helps to prevent this.

  • 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps per side

Wrapping Up

There are a multitude of accessory exercises you can choose to improve your lifts. But the TRX gives you a break from the constant grind of gravity and the barbell, giving your body and joints a welcome break while helping to preventing injury.

Sounds like a win-win.

Featured image via LightField Studios/Shutterstock