Sponsored by TRX

The Best TRX Exercises for Runners

Anthony J. Yeung
by Anthony J. Yeung
Share it:
The Best TRX Exercises for Runners

Want to run faster and farther than ever? We’ve got just the thing for you. When added to your training routine, exercises with the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ can build strength, boost power and increase flexibility. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in any gym and it unlocks countless bodyweight exercises to help any runner.

We asked Marc Coronel, a TRX Master Instructor and exercise physiologist, for his top-10 TRX exercises to help you nail your next PR. Whether you’re training for your first 5K or 20th marathon, these movements will develop a solid foundation and strengthen all aspects of your running.

1. TRX HAMSTRING CURL

Why you should do it: To run faster and prevent injuries, you need to keep your body balanced between the front of your body (anterior) and the back (posterior). “Most runners have a weaker posterior chain,” says Coronel. “Anytime they work the backside is a plus.” That’s where this exercise comes into play.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-calf length, lie on your back facing the anchor point and place your heels in the foot cradles. Keep even pressure in your heels, engage your glutes and core, keep your hips lifted and drag your heels as if they were on train tracks until your knees are stacked over your hips. Straighten your legs while maintaining a tight core.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

2. TRX HAMSTRING RUNNER

Why you should do it: With this exercise, there’s an added challenge of rotation and core work, which is beneficial for runners of any distance. “Runners need to control rotation if they want to produce more power and be faster,” says Coronel. The goal is to ensure you keep even pressure on the foot cradles throughout the movement.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-calf length, face the anchor point, lie on your back and place your heels in the foot cradles. Keep even pressure in your heels, engage your glutes and core, keep your hips lifted. Drag your right heel as if it was on a train track, while maintaining even pressure in opposite heel. (Think about dragging your heel instead of bending your knee so the straps stay level.) Straighten your right leg while maintaining a tight core. Repeat with the left leg. That’s one rep.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

3. TRX SQUAT TO ROW

Why you should do it: “The engine of our body is located on the back of our body,” says Coronel. By combining a squat with and a row, you’ll target everything from your back to your glutes as you also improve your posture.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-length, face the anchor point with your feet shoulder-width apart, your thumbs on your chest and your elbows behind your ribcage. Sit down and back, extend your arms and engage your core. Sit down as far as you are comfortable. Drive through your heels to stand back up, squeezing your glutes and pulling your elbows to the floor until your thumbs are back on your chest. That’s one rep.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

4. FORWARD LUNGE WITH HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Why you should do it: “Most runners have tight hip flexors from sitting or focusing on muscles at the front of their body,” Coronel explains. “Opening your hips will help you maintain or improve your stride length, which means more efficient running times.”

How to do it: Stand facing the anchor point, feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended in front of you at shoulder height. Lunge forward with your right foot as your raise your arms to make the letter “Y.” Keep your back leg straight, hips square and squeeze the glute on your left leg as you drop your left arm to the ground and your right arm reaches for the sky. Keep tension in straps as you return to the starting position. Repeat by stepping forward with the left foot. That’s one rep.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

5. SIDE-TO-SIDE LUNGE

Why you should do it: This exercise strengthens your body in a different plane of movement — side-to-side or “frontal plane” — so you don’t overemphasize the same muscles. “All muscles perform a role, and balancing your body will keep you injury-free and maintain or even increase performance,” says Coronel.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-length, face the anchor point with your feet in a wide stance, toes facing forward and elbows on your ribcage. Extend your arms as you sit your right glute back-and-down behind your right heel. Drop as low as you are comfortable. Inhale, drive through your right heel and stand tall. Keep tension on the straps and in your core. Repeat on your left side. That’s one rep.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

6. CROSSING BALANCE LUNGE

Why you should do it: “Transitioning from one leg to another requires balance,” says Coronel. “To do it faster, you need more strength.” With this exercise, you’ll strengthen the muscles around your hips and core, which helps as you run on different surfaces.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-length, face the anchor point with your feet shoulder-width apart and your elbows on your ribcage. Extend your arms as you step your right leg back-and-left so your right knee passes behind and past your left ankle. Touch your right knee to the floor. Drive through your left heel as you stand back up, and drive your right knee to the sky as you squeeze your left glute.

Perform 8–10 reps on the right side before moving to the left side for 8–10 reps. Complete 3–4 sets.

7. PLANK

Why you should do it: “The plank is the foundation of all movement, as it requires total body tension,” says Coronel. It helps with endurance, posture, overall strength training and even injury prevention. “All runners will benefit from a strong core,” he adds.

How to do it: With the straps at mid-calf length, face away from the anchor point, lie on your stomach and place your toes in the foot cradles. Keep your toes pointed toward your nose with your elbows below your shoulders. Squeeze your quads and glutes, and pull your shoulder blades to your back pockets.

Hold for as long as you can or up to 30 seconds. Repeat for 3–4 sets.

8. TORSO ROTATION

Why you should do it: “Producing and controlling rotation are important to runners,” says Coronel. “This will allow runners to have more power in all types of running activities.”

How to do it: With the straps at mid-length, hold onto the handles at the center of the chest and stand sideways to the anchor point. Point your foot closest to the anchor point forward, as you allow your body to rotate toward the anchor point. Reach your hands out to extend your arms and maintain a lengthened spine as you rotate your body away from the anchor point. Then rotate your body back toward the anchor point to return to start. That’s one rep.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps, switching your bottom hand after each set.

9. PRONE ABDUCTION ON HANDS

Why you should do it: “Training in all planes of motion is one of the best things any athlete can do for themselves,” explains Coronel. This movement targets your core while strengthening your inner and outer thighs.

How to do it: Starting in a TRX plank, drive your ankles outward as you open your legs. Hold this abducted position for 2–3 seconds before inhaling to adduct/close your legs. Be sure to maintain an active core throughout the movement.

Perform 3–4 sets of 10–15 reps.

10. SINGLE-ARM ROW

Why you should do it: Improving your runs isn’t only about leg and core exercises; you need to target your upper body, too. “Running is a total-body exercise,” says Coronel. “Pulling the elbows back faster allows for increased endurance and power.” Building upper-body strength will also keep your body balanced.

How to do it: Stand facing the anchor point and grab both straps with your right hand. Make the “thumbs up” sign with your hands, and place the handles at your ribs. Your right hand should be holding the straps, while your left hand will be free — aim to position it on your hip or follow along with the movement using it as a ‘ghost arm.’ Drive your shoulders toward your back pockets as you extend both arms. Avoid rotating and stay square to the anchor point. Drive both elbows to the floor as you return back to the starting position.

Perform 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps.

Written by Anthony Yeung, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a fitness expert at Esquire, GQ and Men’s Health and trainer for guys getting in shape for their wedding at GroomBuilder.

Sponsored By

Sponsored by - TRX
About TRX

Whether beginning a fitness journey or pushing towards your summit, TRX Training helps you to move better, feel better and live better. We never stop creating new ways to make fitness simpler and more effective for you. What started with a single TRX Suspension Trainer has since expanded to a full line of inimitable signature products and functional training tools. Make your body your machine.

About the Author

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung

Anthony, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is a fitness expert at Esquire, GQ and Men’s Health and gets guys in shape for their wedding at GroomBuilder.

Related

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MapMyRun desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest running advice.

Great!

Click the 'Allow' Button Above

Awesome!

You're all set.