“How much you do you bench?” It’s a common question fit and muscular people field. A question that’s less frequently asked: “How long can you hold a plank for?” While putting up 400 pounds on a bench is certainly impressive — we can’t do that, can you? – holding a plank with strict form for 5, 10, or 15 minutes also demonstrates massive bodyweight strength and a rock-solid core. TRX and other suspension training methods can do more than increase bodyweight strength, such as boost cardiovascular fitness and torch fat.
Another perk: the TRX is versatile. You can set it up virtually anywhere that provides enough space to stretch your arms or legs, and where there’s a sturdy anchor point (a tree, door, playground monkey bars, etc.). Plus, you can control how difficult the movement is by adjusting your body to enhance or decrease how much strain you’re putting on your muscles. Once you’ve mastered the basics like inverted rows, squats, lunges, bench presses, triceps extensions, and push-ups, include these more advanced exercises to up the level of difficulty:
TRX Single Leg Squat
Execute high-reps for three or four sets and your lower body will be screaming. Along with added muscle endurance, this move can detect weak points in your hamstrings, glutes, and core. Remember, the lower you sink into the squat position the more difficult the movement becomes. And remember to keep your knee facing forward as you squat down (opposed to allowing it to veer to the left or right).
A stronger core benefits you in all areas of athletics and weightlifting. So if you want to up the ante on your planks — and really put your core to the test — add the TRX hinge to your regimen. Adjust the straps to mid-length and place your feet hip-width with your shins in a vertical position. Roll your hips forward until you hit a plank position; your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders. Get back to the starting position by bending the knees and rocking backward quickly. It’ll feel clunky at first but give it few run throughs.
TRX Push-Up To Pike
You’ll be working the chest, tri’s, and overall conditioning as you improve your pressing strength and core stability. Because so many elements are involved, this is also a good exercise to toss into the mix if you’ve hit an upper-body plateau.
Get into a push-up position and slip your feet into the TRX straps. Perform a push-up rep, return to start position and thrust your hips upward as high as possible (your legs should remain straight); return to start position. That’s one rep. A more advanced version is the Super Atomic Push-up To Pike, which is done the same way except you’re using two sets of suspension straps.
TRX Sprinter’s Start
It’s a quads and hamstrings burner, but in the end you’ll develop lower-body explosiveness. Grasp a TRX handle in each hand and step forward until there is no slack; the straps should be near elbow-height. Lunge forward with your left foot and shift your weight forward; both heels should be off of the ground as you balance on the balls of your feet. From the sprinter’s stance, keep your back flat as you explode upward and push off the ground with your rear foot and bring that knee to your chest. Land softly and return to the start position. Perform the movement for reps, and then switch legs.
These are advanced movements that require massive amounts of energy and focus. P4’s workout supplements Pre Game Formula, Energy Formula, and Recovery Push Formula can help you ramp up for the most challenging workouts as well as support recovery after the final rep. All three products are NSF Certified for Sport and a label-claim-verified to contain no banned substances that have been identified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).