Doug Balzarini: TRX Sequences for Strength Gain

Why do one exercise when you can do two? Back-to-back exercises with TRX will help increase your strength and power endurance.

As mentioned in previous articles, the TRX suspension trainer is used in all of my training programs. Over time, I’ve seen its effectiveness when incorporating interchanging sequences, which why I’m sharing the list below. These five movements require alternating between two exercises, and you’ll actually perform one rep of one exercise followed by one rep of another exercise, continuing to alternate back and forth until reaching the desired rep count. Using the interchanging sequence requires much more concentration, coordination, strength, and core stability. With that, check the list below.

1. TRX Bicep Curl to Row
A popular interchanging sequence you may have already seen before. Perform a TRX bicep curl with your palms up and your upper arm parallel to the ground. After one rep of your bicep curl, rotate your hands to a neutral grip and perform one rep of a low row with your elbows down by your side and your spine neutral throughout. This is a great “upper body blast” working both the front and back sides of the body.

TRX biceps curl to row from Doug Balzarini on Vimeo.

2. TRX Pistol Squat to 1-Leg Balance Reach
When performing the single leg squat (pistol), keep your arms relatively straight, keep your weight on the heel to the mid-foot, and maintain an upright posture. After each pistol rep – hinge from your hip, maintain pressure into the handles, extend your heel towards to back wall, and lower down into a balance reach or deadlift position with a neutral spine throughout the exercise. This is a great lower body combo that works the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads.

TRX pistol squat to 1-leg balance reach from Doug Balzarini on Vimeo.

3. TRX Curtsy Lunge to Lateral Lunge
Begin by lowering down into a reverse lunge position and reaching the rear leg diagonally back to the 4 o’clock position (if looking at a clock). On the way up bring that rear leg way out to the 9 o’clock position and line up the ankle, knee, and hip joint while keeping the trail leg straight. You should feel a good adductor (groin) stretch on that trail leg side. Head and chest should remain upright and both feet should remain forward throughout the exercise.

TRX curtsy lunge to lateral lunge from Doug Balzarini on Vimeo.

4. TRX Burpee to Scorpion
A no joke combo. After the pushup portion of the burpee, you’ll perform the scorpion by rotating your torso and bringing the “free leg” under your body and then rotating your torso the other way to bring that “free leg” over your body. Next, return to the pushup position and drive that knee up before standing tall to complete one rep. Confused? Check out the video to help make things more clear.

TRX burpee to scorpion from Doug Balzarini on Vimeo.

5. TRX Row to Triceps Extension
Keep a neutral grip for your row exercise and pull explosively in order to carry you through and under the anchor point to go right into an overhead triceps extension movement. This too will be done explosively to return back to the row position. Make sure the strap length is in an “over-shortened” position and only offer this to healthy and experienced TRX users.

TRX row to triceps extension from Doug Balzarini on Vimeo.

It’s important to note that these aren’t traditional exercises I do every week to build muscle and improve endurance. I like to mix them in occasionally to keep things fresh and my clients’ bodies guessing. While I wouldn’t recommend substituting these combination exercises in as full workouts, use them to supplement your current training to increase your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

About the Author
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments. For more great articles check out his blog at www.DBstrength.com

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