Here Are Some Favorite Core Training Exercises Using the TRX

A special ops team member pushes himself during a TRX workout.
Cyle Brewer, a member of the Copperas Cove Special Weapons and Tactics team, pushes himself during the TRX training circuit at the Applied Functional Fitness Center at Fort Hood, Texas, Dec. 16, 2015. (Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt/U.S. Army photo)

The diversity of the TRX training device has continued to increase each year since it exploded in the fitness world a few years ago. The TRX just keeps getting better as more creative users post videos and the company, TRX Training, strives to build state-of-the-art programming for trainers, professional athletes, military, special operation personnel and many others throughout the fitness spectrum.

After researching the TRX when the National Strength and Conditioning Association endorsed the device and its programs, it was clear to see why professional athletes like Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, many MMA champions like Bas Rutten, military special ops teams, military boot camp and other law enforcement agencies are using the Suspension Training TRX.

Statistics from military test sites on the device show increases in job performance (i.e., ruck marches, PT tests) and significant decreases in injury prevention compared to those not using the TRX in training. Swim teams are reporting seconds off of their team times in all races. But most importantly, the intensity of the TRX is totally scalable, and by a simple positioning of the feet or hands, it can be an exercise for a pro athlete or an inactive senior citizen.

Some of the favorite exercises used by Stew Smith’s Military Preparation Group-Heroes of Tomorrow are the following upper-body and core strengthening exercises:

TRX atomic push-ups: Place your feet into foot straps and get into the push-up position. Bring your knees up toward your stomach, straighten your legs and do a push-up. Repeat knee-up/push-up cycle for multiple reps.

TRX atomic pushups down TRX atomic pushups in
TRX knees to alternate elbows (between push-ups): You also can mix in a push-up between this twisting exercise or just bring your knees to your left elbow for a rep and to the right elbow for a rep. Do at least 10 each side.
TRX core workout left

TRX rollout: This is similar to a plank pose with some movement added in. Place your arms into the foot straps of the TRX just below your elbows. Lean forward in a plank pose so your TRX is vertical with the ground. Then pull back with your abs/hips to a standing position. I like to place the straps about knee high off the ground. The lower you go, the harder this exercise is. The higher, the easier.

TRX rollout 1 TRX rollout 2

As an avid user of the TRX, I can say that my back is stronger now at the age of 44 than it was when I was in the SEAL Teams at 24 -- Stew Smith.

The TRX was invented by former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick to help his teammates exercise when deployed. His idea has turned into a multimillion-dollar business and created a revolutionary fitness device that is the future of functional training for everyone, including military special ops, law enforcement, firefighters, athletic performance training, and general health and fitness as well.

Note: Former Navy SEAL and fitness author Stew Smith does not work for TRX and only endorses products that he personally uses with his students and personal programs. Stew Smith features the TRX in his Military Preparation eBooks as well as his published book – Navy SEAL Weight Training – Adding Weights to Your Special Ops Prep.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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