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The TRX is a go-to fitness tool because it builds strength, flexibility, and mobility quickly. It’s perfect for beginners and advanced fitness levels because adjustments are easy. When you’re getting started with the TRX suspension trainer, these 9 tips will help you maximize full-body results.

TRX Beginner Workout Tips

TRX suspension training for beginners

The TRX is perfect for all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. That’s because there are progressions and modifications for every exercise!

This means YOU get to control the exercise intensity! You can change the resistance, reduce stability (or increase stability), or a combination of both.

Since you’re using your body as resistance, small changes have a significant impact.

When some people hear modification, they think “cheating.” For instance, knees on the floor for pushups. That’s not the case, though.

Modification does NOT equal easy. You are going to improve FAR faster by mastering the basic moves first. You will get a better workout doing the modification WELL than you would be doing the progression sloppily. I promise!

So, please modify the exercise before trying to perform an advanced move when you’re just starting with the TRX.

In my online training program, Strong by Emily, I’m always adding modifications to workouts. We have lots of newbies in the program, so if you have a question ask because another community member may be experiencing the same challenge.

Once you master basic movements, then you’ve earned the right to move on to a more difficult level.

Here are 9 TRX beginner tips to get started finding your strong!

  1. Modify TRX exercises if needed.

  2. Adjust your TRX properly.

  3. Get your toes in the TRX.

  4. Position your heels in the TRX.

  5. Keep equal tension in the straps.

  6. Stop if your lower back hurts.

  7. Pull your toes toward your shins.

  8. Take it slow.

  9. Chase your plank.

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1. How to modify TRX exercises

First, beginners need to know there are modifications for every exercise. There are three main ways that you can either make an exercise harder or easier.

  1. Change your body angle.
    With the TRX, angles matter! If an exercise is too difficult or doesn’t feel comfortable, make a small angle adjustment, and you should notice a big difference.
  2. Second, change your starting position relative to the anchor point.
    The anchor point is where you have the TRX anchored, like the door, wall, or bar. For example, the exercise is harder if you walk your feet closer to the anchor. Walk your feet away from the anchor to make the TRX exercise more manageable.For exercises with your toes in the foot cradles, the reverse is true. You move your body away from the anchor point to make it harder.
  3. Change the size and position of the body’s base of support. 
    Widen your foot placement to make it more manageable or bring your feet together if you want more of a challenge. You can also try an offset foot position to make it more manageable or progress to a single-leg stance to make it harder. For example, in the TRX Swimmer’s Pull, I show you how to use an offset stance to adjust the difficulty of the exercise.

2. Make sure your TRX is adjusted properly

If you watch workout videos or are a member of my online TRX training program, Strong by Emily, you’ll hear things like adjust the suspension straps to mid-calf, full length, or fully shortened. This is an indicator of how to position the straps to get the maximum benefits from the exercise.

Second, take the time to adjust your TRX properly if you’re a beginner. This video shows you the different lengths.

3. How to get your toes in the TRX

When your feet are in the foot cradles, flex your feet or pull your toes toward your shins and drive the heels into the handles.

This gets your body in a much more active plank position. That’s the goal in every TRX exercise. You’re always trying to find that plank!

4. How to get your heels in the TRX

There are an endless number of exercises with the TRX, which makes it a great tool. There are lots of ways to freshen up a workout.

When you put your heels in the TRX for an exercise, flex your feet and pull your toes to your shins. Do not point your toes.

You may use this position for a hip press.

5. Always keep equal tension in the straps

No loosey-goosey straps!

The TRX should never hang loose while you are performing any exercise. Remember to apply an even amount of pressure throughout the entire movement.

6. Stop if your lower back hurts

Why does my lower backache with the TRX? If you’re asking yourself this question, stop!

Your lower back should not hurt when your toes are in the foot cradles, and you are facing the ground.

If this happens, try bracing the core as if you are preparing for a kick to the gut. To do this, pull the hips up, so they are level with your shoulders and squeeze your booty. Also, you can always reset by coming down to your knees.

Get yourself into a pattern. For example, do 3 reps, reset, pop back up into the strong plank and then start the exercise again.

7. Pull your toes toward your shins

When your heels are in, and you’re facing up, be sure to pull your toes toward your shins, especially if your calf muscles are on fire.

8. Take it slow

Think, slow and controlled before speed. Own your movements!! Once you perfect the move you can add some speed.

A fun way to do this is by adding tempo to your movement. Let’s say the exercise is a TRX Chest press.

  • Round 1: Slow the tempo down to a 4-4 count. For instance, lower for four and then return to start for four counts.
  • Round 2: 2-2 count
  • Round 3: Go a speed you can control

9. Chase your Plank

Finally, always do a body scan and ask yourself “if I were on the ground would I look like I”m in a good plank position?” Always pull those toes toward your shins, engage your glutes, brace your core for a belly kick and pull the shoulder blades down toward the back pocket.

Once you get into the strong starting position, work to keep the tension through your body throughout the movement.


Check out my exercise library for some more TRX video inspiration.

What TRX questions do you have? Comment below, and I’ll be happy to help you learn one of the best fitness tools! I use it for all my clients, because it really helps you FIND YOUR STRONG!

Strong Core Exercises

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