By Dan Little, Digme's Head of Fitness
In our new HIIT studio in Oxford, the TRX is going to be a key piece of equipment for my programme MATRIX.
I’ve designed MATRIX to focus on the core principles run, condition, move and the TRX comes into play for the second one. It’s incredibly versatile – you can do so many different exercises with it – and it’s suitable whether you’re a complete beginner or professional athlete; no one is too weak or too strong.
I’ve always liked the TRX because of how easy and light it is to carry around – I usually take mine with me when I travel because it’s like having a ready-made gym wherever you are. People who have to travel with work often complain that they get out of their routine because of lack of gym or time. Take a TRX and you don’t even have to leave your hotel room – just smash out 15 minutes of high-intensity exercises which is far more enjoyable and time efficient than slogging it out on a boring treadmill for ages.
The best thing about the TRX is the suspension element, meaning you’re not stable; your body is having to work hard to hold position as well as doing the exercise in question. Whether you’re grasping the handles or have your feet in the loops, you’re not rooted to the ground so your core is working doubly hard to keep you stable, thus making it a total body workout.
Imagine having your feet in the loops so your legs are suspended off the ground, and you do a press-up. It’s going to be far more challenging and will activate way more muscles than a standard press-up because your core is working overtime to keep you stable as well as all your supporting muscles. Because of this, pretty much every exercise you do on a TRX will improve your core strength.
TRX truly is my go-to exercise tool and I’ve got some fun, challenging exercises for you. When they’re done in conjunction with the other components of MATRIX, you’ll be getting a workout like no other. This is going to take your fitness, strength and conditioning to another level!
My three favourite TRX exercises
Pike up – with your knees on the floor, place your feet in the foot cradles, then lower your chest to just above the floor with your hands under your shoulders. Keeping your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles in alignment, push back up to plank position then immediately hinge at hips. Drive your bum up while keeping your torso straight. Keep your body tight and engaged and lower back down to a plank position.
Atomic press-up – this is quite an advanced one but it’s amazing for working your entire body. Again, get in a plank position with your feet in the loops. Drop down to a normal press-up, keeping your whole core engaged. Come back up then with your feet close together bring your knees are far towards your chest as you can. Push your legs back to the start and repeat.
TRX single arm pull – this helps develop unilateral strength as well as challenging the core, arms and back. Pull your working arm to your side and activate your whole core as though you are holding a standing plank. Lower your body in one smooth controlled movement. Pause for a moment at the bottom to reengage your core. Use your lat and arm to pull you back up to the start position.