Best TRX Moves for Runners

Being a strong runner requires more than having strong legs. Improving speed and endurance takes more than logging in miles, but also building overall body strength. One of the easiest and most efficient way to build strength is with TRX suspension training.

"Not only does TRX simultaneously build muscular strength and endurance, it also improves coordination, balance, mobility, flexibility, and core stability," says Justin Thomas Sanchez, certified personal trainer and master TRX instructor. "Runners constantly use the three-joint movement of the hip, knee, and ankle to propel themselves forward. When the runner heads back out on the road after training regularly with the TRX, their standard (gait and stride) improves, improving their whole running performance."

1. TRX Plank
Line up the TRX handles with knees so that foot cradles line up with middle of the calves. Place feet in cradles toes first, then roll over to face away from anchor. Start on forearms with knees down, shoulders pulled down and back. Flex feet to fire up quads and squeeze glutes and thighs together, lifting hips to plank position. Hold for 10 seconds, then rest for ten seconds. Repeat three times, then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do 2 more sets.

2. TRX Suspended Lunge
Line up the TRX handles with knees so that foot cradles line up with middle of the calves. Combine both foot cradles together and, standing slightly in front of the anchor, place the ball of the right foot in the cradle. Line up cradled foot with anchor, keeping the other leg straight and placing hands on hips to balance. Slowly lower into a lunge, sending the cradled foot backward and keeping a 90-degree angle in the standing knee. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 8-10 reps, then repeat on the other leg. That’s one set. Rest for 30 seconds, then do 2 more sets on each leg.

3. TRX Hamstring Curl to Hip Press
Line up the TRX handles with knees so that foot cradles line up with middle of the calves. Place heels in foot cradles directly under anchor and lay on back, arms extended at sides. Raise hips several inches off the floor, keeping spine straight. Curl heels in toward the butt, then press hips toward the ceiling. Reverse, lowering hips to a neutral spine and extending legs straight. That’s one rep. Perform 8 reps, then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do 1 more set.

4. TRX Atomic Pushup
Line up the TRX handles with knees so that foot cradles line up with middle of the calves. Start in a high plank position with toes in foot cradles. Lower chest to floor, then push up back to high plank. Engage core to lifting hips and simultaneously bring knees toward chest. Extend legs back behind you while lowering back down into a pushup. Repeat 5-10 times.

5. TRX Sprinters Start
Fully lengthen the TRX straps. Start in a standing plank at a 45-degree angle from the floor, holding on to TRX handles and facing away from anchor. The handles and straps should be between your arms and torso. Step one foot backward into sprinter stance, then drive your knee forward—you can add a hop for an extra challenge—before stepping back again and immediately repeating. Continue on one leg for 30 seconds, the repeat on the other side. That’s one set. Rest for 30 seconds, then perform 2 more sets.

6. TRX Low Row
Shorten the TRX straps so that handles line up with hips. Facing anchor point, grab handles, palms facing each other, and lean backward with arms straight until you feel tension on the straps. To make it easier, walk further from the anchor point. To make it harder, walk closer to the anchor point. Engage shoulders and back to pull chest up to the handles, then return to start. That’s one rep. Do 12-15 reps for 2 sets.

7. TRX Lunge to I Fly
Set TRX straps to mid-length. Face the anchor point, with arms straight up overhead and palms facing away. Step back while holding handles so that there is tension on the straps. Take a big step backward with left foot and drop into a lunge, lowering arms to chest level. Drive through right heel and lift arms to return to starting position. Repeat on right leg. Continue alternating for 10 reps on each leg, then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do 1 more set.

8. TRX Bottom-Up Squat
Set TRX straps to mid-length. Facing anchor point, stand with feet hip-width apart and hold the handles in front of you. Lower down into a squat, dropping hips as low to the ground as possible while keeping the chest up. Drive through your heels and use the TRX to return to stand. Do 5 reps, then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Do 2 more sets.

9. TRX Squat to Row
Set TRX straps to mid-length. Facing anchor, hold both handles with palms facing each other, arms extended, and lean back to a 45-degree angle. Engage core so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Lower into a squat, then drive through heels to return to start. Bend elbows to pull chest to handles for a row. Continue for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. That’s one set. Do 2 more sets with 30 seconds of rest between each. (To make this move easier, step away from the anchor point; to make it harder, step closer to the anchor point.)

10. TRX Squat Jump
Set TRX straps to mid-length. Facing the anchor point, grab handles with palms facing in and elbows in tight to body. Lower into a squat position with weight in your heels, using the handles for balance. Drive through the heels to explode off the ground as hands rotate to use handles for extra lift. Land softy and repeat. Continue for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 4-8 times. (To make it easier: Simply lift up from the squat without the jump for less impact.)

This original article appeared on Runner's World