TRX Partner Workout Ideas

In the video below, Doug Balzarini from Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego has taken some traditional exercises on the TRX Suspension Trainer and modified them to be done with a partner, for an intense workout that’s equal parts fun and effective. So if you or your friend or partner frequently find yourselves fighting over one TRX, we’ve got a compromise for you: TRX partner drills.

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TRX Tips for Effective Core Training

In an effort to clear up a bit of the ambiguity surrounding core training, TRX Director of Programing and Education, Fraser Quelch, gives us this deep dive into what surrounds your midsection. Learn about some must-have core training tools and six exercises that will set your midsection on fire.

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How Russian Boxers Ragosina and Povetkin use TRX

Two internationally ranked boxers, Russian fighters Natascha Ragosina, the #1 ranked super middleweight female boxer in the world, and Alexander Povetkin, have been using the TRX to prepare for their upcoming bouts. We recently spoke with their trainer, Jim Barcena, who has long been a proponent of the TRX and took it with him to Russia last year when he started working with Povetkin and Ragosina. “With boxers, all of their punching power comes from the legs and the hips, and power transfer is all core strength, so the TRX is an awesome tool for them.”

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TRX® Mobility 101 Part 2: Addressing the Shoulders & Thoracic Spine

Welcome back to Mobility 101, the second part of a three part series. In Part 1 we defined and addressed the importance of mobility, identifying the hips.  In case you missed Part 1, check it out here:

In this next part, we are going to take a deeper dive into recommendations on rejuvenating soft tissue and removing restriction through addressing the shoulders and thoracic spine.

When training for mobility, follow the tips below:

1.Move slowly and deliberately

2.Use low to moderate loads (easy vector or pendulum)

3.Work through large ranges of motion

4.Maintain proper body alignment

5.Take slow, controlled breaths from your diaphragm

6.If you feel pain then back off or stop

7.While the minimum recommended “dose” is two minutes, you can keep going until you make change or stop making change

Shoulders/Thoracic Spine

All too often, we think about the shoulders and thoracic spine as two separate things, when in reality they are actually part of the same system, with the shoulder blade (scapula) acting like a steering wheel for the shoulder. That being said, instead of spending most of your shoulder mobility time targeting the ball and socket, you should start incorporating a little t-spine work, too. In addition, start to regularly stress your shoulders with overhead, hang and press shapes (think pull-ups and push presses, upright rows and snatches, and bench presses or flys). We suggest regularly untacking your shoulders and t-spine with the following mobility combination:

A) T-Spine/Traps Tack and Floss against the Wall

  • Stand next to a wall, facing away from it
  • Place a lacrosse ball or other small mobility ball between the wall and the inside of your left shoulder blade (start at the bottom of the blade)
  • Pressing into the ball, slowly move the ball side to side. You can also press into it and breathe deeply from your diaphragm
  • Spend up to one to two minutes in the start position, and then move the ball up the scapula/spine
  • Repeat and keep going until you’re above the top of your shoulder blade and into the upper trapezius muscle region.
  • Switch sides

B) Duo Trainer™ Hang

  • Stand under a TRX Duo Trainer (TRX Duo Trainer set up/anchored in pull up position)
  • Using a small jump if needed, reach both arms up and wrap your hands around the bottom of the handles, making sure your pinkies are over the top of each
  • Keeping the insides of your upper arms close to your ears, hang for 10 to 20 seconds
  • Drop down to the start position and repeat for up to two minutes in total duration.

TRX Step Side Lunge

Fraser Quelch and Steve Katai demonstrate the TRX Step Side Lunge, an awesome move for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs and quadriceps.

TRX, Battling Rope, Rip Trainer Fusion Boot Camp Workout

This is an intense TRX, Battling Rope, Rip Trainer fusion Boot Camp workout from TRX Director of Training and Development Fraser Quelch at his Canadian Pagoda of Pain. The popularity of boot camps can’t be denied, and with good reason: they’re effective and fun for clients. And as a fitness professional, if you’ve spent any time researching ways to increase the profits you generate from your business, you know that boot camps are an excellent way to do just that. Running a fitness boot camp makes it easy to:

  • Train a lot of people with a little equipment
  • Set everything up without having your own gym or studio
  • Work with large groups of people all at once

You can perform a fitness boot camp at local parks, playgrounds or even in your own backyard. All you need is a little bit of room and whole lot of energy because Fraser does not disappoint! This workout will challenge every muscle in your entire body, using a combination of the TRX, ropes and the Rip Trainer (in the bonus round):

Watch the video and let Fraser show you how it’s done, then print off the workout and head outdoors to tackle the TRX Battling Rope Boot Camp. Trust us: it’s no walk in the park.

Live in the San Francisco area?? TRX Summer Bootcamp Training is here. We have three TRX TEAM bootcamp sessions guaranteed to get you beach-body ready. Details here.

Fraser Quelch is Director of Training and Development for TRX. An expert in functional training and endurance athletics, Fraser has presented at events worldwide and is featured in numerous fitness DVDs. Fraser holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and in 2011 was named co-recipient of IDEA’s Program Director of the Year award.

12 Bench Ab Exercises to Train Your Core (Plus a Workout)

Ami McMullen

Building a strong core can have numerous physical and aesthetic benefits. It helps improve posture, balance, and stability, and can also help with back pain. Exercising your abs on a bench can add a different level of difficulty to your workout routine and target your core muscles at new angles.

There are also plenty of benefits working your abs on a bench that you wouldn’t get from a regular ab workout. Let’s take a look at some of the best bench ab exercises you can do today! 

Are Benches Good for Ab Exercises?

Benches can be a great tool for ab exercises. They provide a stable, padded surface to perform exercises on, and can also challenge your body by elevating your legs and changing your angle of incline. Benches also allow you to perform exercises that might not be possible on the floor, such as decline twists. Having knowledge of bench exercises is especially helpful when traveling. Hotel gyms don’t always have a ton of equipment, but they usually have a bench!

Benefits of Abs Exercises

Ab exercises help to strengthen the muscles in your torso, including the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis. Strong core muscles help to support the spine from every direction and can improve posture, reduce back pain, and increase balance and stability.

Incorporating ab exercises into your fitness routine (along with avoiding a ton of junk food and alcohol) can also help sculpt your waistline and create a toned, defined midsection. The best part is you don’t need to do an extensive core workout either. If you set aside 15 minutes to exercise your abs, you’ll see the results as long as you stay consistent!

The Best Bench Ab Exercises

Now that we’ve looked at why you should do bench ab exercises, here are some exercises you can try during your next core workout.

12. Reverse Crunch

When you use the bench to do a reverse crunch, you can target the abs without putting too much stress on your spine and neck. Here’s how to do a reverse crunch: 

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: On your back, arms grabbing the bench behind or next to your head

Start: Knees tucked toward chest

Movement: Lift the hips off the bench, tucking knees further into chest

Return: Lower hips back down slowly. Repeat to the desired number.

11. Bench Crunch

The bench crunch is a modified version of the traditional. The exercise is designed to be less challenging because it doesn’t require lifting your legs in the air. With the bench acting as your support, you can concentrate solely on your abdominal muscles through controlled movements.

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: On your back, feet on the bench or in the air

Start: Hands behind head or across chest

Movement: Curl head and shoulders off the bench

Return: Lower head and shoulders back down with control

10. Copenhagen Slide Plank

The Copenhagen side plank is a slightly more challenging side plank variation. With this bench variation, you’re mainly targeting the groin and hip muscles. If you don’t have a bench, you can use our TRX Suspension Trainer to complete this exercise. 

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie sideways on the ground, perpendicular to the bench

Start: Put your bottom elbow underneath your shoulder. Put your top leg on the bench

Movement: Lift hips off ground, lift bottom leg up to meet the bottom of the bench. Hold.

Return: Lower leg and hips back to the floor with control.

9. Decline Twisting Sit Up

The decline sit-up with trunk rotation is a little more difficult because it involves twisting the torso. This rotational movement targets the transverse abdominis and oblique muscles as you move through the transverse plane of motion. Incorporating rotational exercises into your workout routine is essential for developing a strong core, yet many people tend to neglect this aspect. However, you should not do this workout if you have disc issues. 

Adjustment: Decline Bench

Position: Lie on back with legs in leg holder (if bench has one)

Start: Cross arms over chest or reach them forward

Movement: Sit up lifting torso off bench, twisting your shoulder towards the opposite knee

Return: Lower back down with control. Repeat on other side

8. Decline Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are essential for cardio endurance and sculpting muscle groups. The best part about this exercise is that you also incorporate shoulders, triceps, and your chest. Here’s how to do a decline mountain climber: 

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: On all fours with body perpendicular to the bench. 

Start: Weight on hands, step feet up onto the bench. Continue in plank position.

Movement: Bring one knee forward toward chest and keep the rest of the body in plank position. 

Return: Return the leg to the bench and repeat with the other leg. Make sure to keep slow, controlled movement.

7. Elevated Side Plank

Here’s another variation of the side plank that you can try. This exercise focuses on engaging the shoulders and hips so that you can maintain a straight alignment. Furthermore, elevated side planks don’t put any strain on your back while stabilizing your lower body.

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Stand to the side of the bench.

Start: Place elbow or hand on the bench and position your shoulder right on top of it. Extend your legs out to side plank position, perpendicular to the bench.

Movement: Hold for desired time.

Return: Place other hand on bench to stand up. Repeat on other side.

6. Jackknife

The jackknife is one of the most challenging bench ab exercises on this list. To make sure you’re getting the most out of this exercise, make sure your movements are slow and thorough. Your arms should also be fully extended and parallel to your legs at the top. 

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie on your back with your legs in the air. 

Weight Position: If using a weight, have it in your hands. 

Start: Reach your hands towards your feet while lifting shoulders off the bench

Movement: Lower the legs down toward bench while lowering hands back overhead. During this movement, make sure to stay flat

Return: Crunch back up bringing hands and feet back up towards each other.

5. Decline Russian Twist 

Russian twists are one of the most popular ab exercises due to its ability to burn the excess flab on the side of your waists. On top of this, the exercise promotes stability since you’ll exert a lot of energy towards balancing your body. However, this is also another exercise we don’t recommend doing if you have disc issues. 

Adjustment: Decline Bench

Position: Lie back, feet in foot holder if bench has one. 

Start: Hands crossed over chest, lean your torso back so that it’s halfway off the bench.

Movement: Twist your torso slowly right to left, keeping the torso the same angle off bench. 

Return: Lie back or sit up to rest.

4. Leg Raises

Leg raises engage multiple muscle groups such as the abs, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and lower back muscles. Although leg raises mainly target the hip flexors, it also works the lower abdominal muscles. Here’s how to do leg raises on the bench:

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie on back with hands holding the bench at the sides, or overhead. 

Start: Lift legs toward the ceiling, knees can be bent (easier) or straight (harder)

Movement: Lower legs slowly toward bench, keeping back flat and stable

Return: Raise legs back up toward the ceiling and repeat.

To do leg raises correctly, you need to keep your legs straight throughout the movement and avoid any swinging or jerking motions. Instead, focus on a slow and controlled lifting and lowering of the legs.

3. Bicycle Crunches

Like Russian twists, bicycle crunches are very effective for slimming your waist. Bicycle crunches use more leg movements than most bench ab exercises. This helps stabilize your core and even increase flexibility in your legs. Here’s how to do bicycle crunches: 

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie on back

Start: Hands behind head

Movement: Pull one knee in towards the chest, lift shoulders off bench in a crunch position and twist towards that knee, kick the other leg straight out ahead of you.

Return: Switch by bringing the other knee toward the chest, twisting the shoulders toward that knee, and kicking the other one straight out ahead. Continue for desired reps.

2. Flutter Kicks

If you target lower abdominal muscles, then add flutter kicks to your routine. This exercise also engages the glutes, hip flexors, and quads because you raise each leg individually. Compared to doing flutter kicks on the ground, this bench variation is more challenging due to the increased angle of your upper body. This places constant tension on the abdominal muscles throughout the exercise.

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie on back

Start: You can be lying flat on the bench or holding a crunch position with your shoulders lifted off the bench. Arms down by sides (easier) or behind head (harder)

Movement: Straighten legs out and hover them a foot off the bench. Flutter them slowly brining one higher while dropping the other one lower and switching back and forth

Return: Flutter kick for the desired amount of reps/time

1. Knee to Chest Crunches

Adjustment: Flat Bench

Position: Lie on back. 

Start: Bend knees so feet are flat on bench. Hands behind the head. 

Movement: Crunch up by lifting the shoulders off the bench while also bring both knees to the chest. 

Return: Slowly lower the shoulders and legs back down to meet the bench at the same time. Repeat for desired reps/time. 

Sample Ab Bench Workout

Using the twelve exercises above, here’s a circuit workout you can try out. See how it feels for you. Remember to move slowly, with control. A smaller range of motion at first is a good way to test the exercise. You can go bigger/faster if you’re comfortable and pain-free. 


Reps/ Time

Rest Time


Bench Crunch

15 Reps or 30 Seconds

15 Seconds

Lift your head and shoulders at the same pace

Reverse Crunch

15 Reps or 30 Seconds

15 Seconds

Avoid momentum

Elevated Side Plank

30 Seconds per Side

15 Seconds

Feet can be staggered or stacked. 

Knee to Chest Crunches

15 Reps or 30 Seconds

15 Seconds

A more beginner option is to lift one leg at a time.

Bicycle Crunches

30 – 60 Seconds

15 Seconds

Try kicking the straight leg out to the same spot every rep.

Leg Raises

30 – 60 Seconds

15 Seconds

Slower is harder on this one. Control it!

Decline Russian Twists

30 – 60 Seconds

30 Seconds


Decline Twisting Sit Up

30 – 60 Seconds

30 Seconds

Start with a small range of motion

Flutter Kicks

15 Reps or 30 Seconds

15 Seconds

The lower the legs, the harder it is

Decline Mountain Climber

30 Seconds per Side

30 Seconds

Slower is harder on this one. Control it!

Jackknife Crunch

15 Reps or 30 Seconds

30 Seconds

Add weight to hands to make harder

Copenhagen Side Plank

3 Sets of 10 Second Holds Per Side

30-60 Seconds

Keep bottom knee on ground to make this easier

Incorporating bench ab exercises into your workout routine can provide a new challenge to target your core. With a wide range of exercises to choose from, you can find the perfect routine to suit your fitness level and goals. Remember to warm up properly before starting any exercise, and listen to your body so you don’t injury yourself. With some repetition, these exercises will help you build a strong and toned core.

Train Your Core the Right Way

There are plenty of different ways to train your core. You can do traditional exercises–like sit ups, butterfly kicks, and leg raises. You can also incorporate equipment like kettlebells into your ab workout. 

However, adding a bench for your ab exercises will let you train your core at angles you’ve never done before. While kettlebells and medicine balls can add extra weight, the bench creates variations that force your core to move in new ways. Next time you’re in the gym, try our bench ab workout and let us know how it feels!


Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, September 22). Why your core muscles matter. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from

TRX Hamstring Circuit

I like incorporating this TRX hamstring circuit into my training regimen on a regular basis, especially when my body needs a break from the usual hamstring culprits that many are used to relying on; RDL’s, Single Leg RDL’s, Hamstring Curls, Glute Ham Raises, and Eccentric Hamstring Drops.  All of these exercises are great for increasing strength, but it’s good to try something new.  With the TRX Suspension Trainer, it’s always easy to freshen up your training while improving your quality of movement and keeping your overall workout efficiency and effectiveness at a high level.  The Exercises 1. Hamstring Hold x10 seconds*Position your heels in the foot cradles of the TRX.  Legs are straight, triceps and elbows are flush with the ground and can provide stability, slowly press heels into straps, slowly raising lower body off the ground, and hold in a straight line. 2. Hamstring Curls x10*Heels stay in the foot cradles of the TRX, triceps and elbows are still flush with the ground and can add stability as you slowly elevate lower body, and bring heels under your glutes.  Important to keep hips extended throughout the movement, this will help to really isolate your hamstrings. 3. Hip Thrusts x10*Place balls of feet in the foot cradles of the Suspension Trainer, knees are bent at 90 degrees, press feet into straps, raising hips up and down, focusing on the high hamstring (where the hamstring meets the glute).Give this hamstring circuit a try at the end of your next leg day, and smoke those hamstrings!Coach Thom- Create a great day!  Scott Thom recently completed his second season with the Washington State University men’s basketball program as the team’s strength and conditioning coach/player development, after serving in the same capacity at California the previous four years. Prior to joining the staff at California, Scott coached basketball and taught physical education for seven years at Vintage High School in Napa, Calif. Scott received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Chico State in 2002, a teaching credential in physical education from Sonoma State, and a masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University. He is certified though both CSCS and USAW.  Scott writes articles for STACK and Harbinger Fitness.

Don’t Be Intimidated By the TRX Suspension Trainer

Most things that intimidate us really aren’t all that bad once we understand them. If you’ve been too intimidated to try the TRX Suspension Trainer™, let’s take a moment to discuss some TRX myths versus facts, and why those black and yellow straps are actually so easy to setup and so easy to use for a full-body workout.

MYTH:  TRX is too hard.
FACT:  TRX is only as difficult as you make it.

The TRX Suspension Trainer is the most adaptable piece of fitness equipment you’ll ever find–it actually utilizes your bodyweight for exercise and for the level of intensity. 

To clarify…
If you weigh 150 pounds, does that mean that every rep on the Suspension Trainer is loaded with 150 pounds? Absolutely not. 

In most basic TRX moves, at least some part of your body will be connected with the ground, whether it’s your upper body or lower body. That connection means you don’t have to be 100% responsible for your weight when completing exercises. In fact, some exercises can be easier with the TRX than when you use bodyweight alone.

Let’s use a push-up as an example. In a standard push-up, your hands and feet are connected with the ground, and they have to support your bodyweight as you raise and lower yourself. With a TRX Chest Press, by contrast, you’re using the same form and muscles that you would with a standard push-up, but you can adjust your angle to increase or decrease the level of intensity, making the move easier or harder. In that TRX Chest Press, the closer you walk your angle forward to stand perpendicular to the floor, the easier it will be. The further you walk it back to parallel with the floor, the harder it will be.

The result is anyone can use a TRX Suspension Trainer: beginners, fitness junkies, young people, old people, adaptive athletes, professional athletes, and more. It is a universal tool that anybody can use anywhere.

MYTH:  TRX is too easy.
FACT:  TRX is only as easy as you make it.

Now we’re on the flip side of the difficulty argument. The Suspension Trainer serves different functions for different people. For most people—novices all the way to professional athletes—it’s the ideal strength and conditioning tool on its own. For athletes chasing gains, try incorporating additional equipment into a TRX workout. That could be adding a wall ball or slam ball to a TRX Lunge, or increasing your load by strapping on a weighted vest before your TRX Squats, Rows, or Chest Presses. Bodyweight is just the start, not the limit of TRX strength training.

Even if you’re into CrossFit or Olympic lifting, the Suspension Trainer is excellent for warm-up, recovery, and mobility work. For example, CrossFit’s Fittest American Woman, Kari Pearce, said she uses her TRX Suspension Trainer for both workouts and recovery stretching. In fact, she often keeps her TRX Suspension Trainer with her in her backpack. “Probably 70 percent of the time, I carry it with me around New York City. When I have a little break, I go to Central Park and hook it up on the pull-up bars,” she said. While Pearce’s training incorporates more heavy weightlifting, she regularly uses her TRX Suspension Trainer for muscle activation exercises. 

MYTH:  I don’t know how to set-up a TRX Suspension Trainer.
FACT:  Set-up is simple and can take less than a minute.

Even in your home, it’s easy to use your straps practically anywhere. The TRX Suspension Trainer can be set-up on any hinged door in your home, office, or hotel room, or using a tree or a sturdy pole like a street lamp or a jungle gym. The TRX HOME2 SYSTEM, your full-body and lightweight, portable gym, comes with a door anchor and a suspension anchor so you can set it up whenever and wherever you want, no tools or drilling necessary.

As part of the TRX HOME2 SYSTEM, you get both the Suspension Trainer, and one year’s FREE access to the TRX App, regularly $49.95, which includes unlimited workouts programmed by world-class trainers. (Yoga, running, HIIT—it’s all in the app!) It’s one of the smartest fitness purchases you can make.

Now that we’ve separated fact from myth, put that information to good use. This is the perfect time to get your TRX HOME2 SYSTEM and start working toward your goals, so what are you waiting for?