Whether you picked up running for the first time or are training for your 14th marathon, TRX training is a fantastic cross-training tool to help you improve your overall strength, endurance, and athletic performance.
Don’t get me wrong.
Sure, the best way to reach your full running potential is to log in more miles—quality miles, that is—but you can only run so far and so fast before things start to get boring.
And here’s the truth.
One of the best ways to improve your strength and mobility you need to go faster is with TRX training.
Regardless of your running and fitness goals, the following TRX exercises will help you build a solid and reliable foundation and strengthen all aspects of your athletic performance.
When incorporated into a training plan, TRX training exercises can boost power, build strength, improve flexibility, enhance endurance, and much more.
In this article, I’ll explain the main benefits TRX training offers and share some of the best runner-friendly TRX exercises to help you nail your net P.R.
Let’s get started.
What IS TRX?
TRX, or Total Resistance Exercises Training, is the brainchild of former Navy Seal Randy Hetrick, who developed the system out of a need to keep his fitness gains while limited both by space and time to train.
The premise is simple. TRX relies on body weight and gravity to improve muscular strength and endurance.
Performing the basic movement of push, pull, squat, lunge, rotation, hinge, and plank, anyone can fit in a powerful workout session using just this piece of equipment.
You can customize your own plan to make your training more or less challenging by changing up the position of your body.
Let me dive more into the benefits.
Additional Resource – Here’s a strength training plan for runners.
Works Your Entire Body
TRX training offers an element of instability while performing every exercise since you’re suspected in the air by the bands.
For this reason, most of your body muscles are activated and engaged and working hard to support your position.
TRX training is vital for runners since it may help reduce injury risk by muscles correcting imbalances that can cause an inefficient stride.
This, over time, leads to injury.
That’s not the whole story.
The unilateral nature of TRX helps improve mobility in the ankles and hips and improve strength in the legs while targeting the whole body to boost core strength, overall endurance, mobility, and running stability.
TRX training is a method that virtually suits all abilities and training levels.
Whether you’re a fitness newbie or an elite athlete, TRX can help.
By simply adjusting your body position, you’ll make the exercises less or more challenging. You can also regulate how hard you’re training from start to finish of your session.
TRX is Low Impact
Due to the suspended nature, exercising with a TRX offer a low-impact session that’s kind to your muscles, bones, and joints.
As you already know, running’s high-impact nature can take a toll on your body, so performing exercises that help improve your running game without adding more stress to your body is a huge bonus.
Thanks to the low-impact nature, you also stand less risk of injury while performing TRX exercises.
TRX is Safe
In most cases, TRX is safer than using free weights and weight machines.
You won’t be worried about dropping a weight on your foot.
TRX is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment out there. You can adjust the bands to provide an effective workout that works every muscle in your body.
If you like to travel like me, TRX is the perfect on-the-road training solution as you can take the bands virtually anywhere, anytime. It also slides easily into a bag and weighs just two pounds.
All you have to do is find a safe place to hang the bands, and you get started right away.
The 7 Best TRX Exercises For Runners
Without further ado, here are the top TRX exercises for runners.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 1. TRX Plank
Start the exercise by adjusting the band to mid-calf. Then, while facing away from the anchor, get on your knees and forearms, and place your toes in the foot cradles to assume a plank position.
Also, make sure to line up the straps with your knees, so the foot cradles line up with the middle of your calves.
Next, while keeping your head in line with your shoulders, lean forward and rest your weight on your forearms, keeping your elbows close to the sides.
Engage your core and lift your knees off the floor so that your hips are straight with your head, shoulders, and ankles. Keep your glutes tight, core activated, and shoulder blades somewhat separated the entire time.
Hold the position for one minute, then slowly lower your knees back to the floor. That’s one set.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 2. TRX Suspended Lunge
Begin by limning up the straps with your knees so that your foot cradles line up with the middle of your cables.
Then, while facing away from a wall with the left foot in both cradles, get into a single-leg lunge with the right foot forward. Make sure to keep your right shin is perpendicular to the floor.
Next, lower slowly into a lunge position, sending the back foot backward and keeping a 90-degree angle in the front knee.
Make sure to lower down until your rear knee almost touches the floor; then, while pushing through your heels, rise back up. Keep your core engaged, chest up, and shoulders back the entire time.
Perform 8-10 reps on each side to complete one set.
Rest for 30 seconds, then do two more sets.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 3. TRX Squat Jump
Again, set the straps to mid-calf length. Then, while standing upright and facing the anchor point, hold the TRX handles with palms facing in and squats down towards the floor.
Then, from the squat position, return to the standing position explosively, jumping as high as possible and controlling the landing by bending your knees.
Repeat 6 to 8 times to complete one set. Rest for 30 seconds, then perform two more sets.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 3. TRX Single Leg Squat
Start in a standing position while facing the anchor point, holding a handle in each hand with elbows under your shoulders.
Next, bend your left knee and raise your right leg off the floor straight in front of you with toes pointed up to the ceiling. Then, squat down by lowering your hips and back down while holding the right foot off the floor and keeping your chest up and core activated.
Keep most of your weight on the planted leg and focus on driving up through your heel, extending your hips at the top of the movement.
You should also keep your right knee over your right ankle and avoid letting the knee go too far forward.
Push through the planted leg to return to standing. That’s one rep.
Shoot for 6 to 8 reps on each foot to complete one set. Rest for 30 seconds, then perform two more sets.
Want to make the exercise less challenging? Bend the front leg or allow that leg’s heel to rest on the floor.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 4. TRX Atomic Pushup
Start in plank position while keeping your core engaged, glutes tight, and shoulders stacked above your wrist, forming a straight line.
Next, perform a push-up movement by lowering your chest to the floor and pushing yourself back up.
Make sure to lower your body toward the ground by bending your arms. Your shoulders should stay stable throughout.
The moment you push yourself back up, shift your weight forward, bring your knees into your chest, and then back out again. Again, engage your abs to bring your knees toward your chest.
Once you’re back to starting plank position, rest for a moment, then perform the next atomic push-up again.
Shoot for 6 to 8 reps for one set—complete two more sets.
Additional resource – Clamshells for runners
TRX Exercise For Runners – 5. TRX Sprinters Start
Begin this exercise on a standing plank at a 45-degree angle from the ground. Hold onto the TRX hands and face away from the anchor.
Next, while making your body into a straight line and fully extending the TRX straps, lean forward and walk your feet toward the anchor point unit, your body is forming a 45-degree angle.
Then, assume a sprinter position by stepping back with your right foot and bending your left knee.
TRX Exercise For Runners – 6. TRX Squat To Row
While facing the anchor point, set the TRX strap to mid-length, then while keeping them shoulder-width apart, hold both handles with palms facing each other with arms extended.
Next, lean back to a 45-degree angle by bringing your feet in closer to the anchor point.
Next, while activating your core so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe, lower into a squat, then drive through your heels to start.
Next, bend your elbows to pull your chest to the hands for a row. Keep doing it for 30 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds.
Then, from the squat position, start coming back while rowing.
That’s one rep. Perform 8 to 10 to complete one set. Then, do two more sets with 30 to 45 seconds of rest.
Want to make the exercise easier? Step away from the anchor point. Then, to make it harder, step closer to the anchor point.
Additional resource – Single leg bridge technique