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TRX for Runners: Improve Speed and Endurance with Suspension Training

Runner using TRX

As a runner, you know that improving your performance requires more than just putting in miles. To optimize your performance and prevent injuries, incorporating strength training into your routine is crucial. TRX training is an excellent way to build strength, stability, and mobility, all while targeting muscles that are vital to running. If you still need convincing, we included a list of benefits of TRX at the bottom of this post, along with some frequently asked questions. But first, let’s jump into some of the best TRX workouts for runners.

 

TRX Workout for Runners

 

Ease into a TRX workout sequence with this straightforward, effective routine that we’ve crafted with runners in mind. We recommend starting out 60 seconds per exercise, with minimal rest between exercises. Do these three times each.

 

TRX Suspended Lunge TRX lunge

 

  • Correct Running Imbalances: The TRX suspended lunge is an excellent exercise for correcting running imbalances by improving core strength, single-leg stability, balance, and mobility.

 

  • How to: Stand facing away from your anchor point with your TRX trainer at the mid-calf position. Place one foot through both foot cradles and stand with your shoulders positioned over your hips. Slowly lower into a lunge, driving the suspended knee back, and lowering your hips until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your rear knee on the ground.  Repeat on other leg.

 

TRX Low RowTRX Low Row

 

  • Improve Core and Posture: The TRX row will help increase your pulling strength. This will help you maintain proper running posture and prevent muscle imbalances.

 

  • How to: Facing your anchor point, grab the TRX straps with your palms facing each other. Keep a plank position with shoulder blades down and back, arms at your rib cage, and lean back with your arms straight out in front of you until the weight is on your heels. Focus on driving your elbows back to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep your core tight as you pull your chest up to meet your hands. Slow release down to keep tension in the back and arms.

 

TRX PlankTRX plank

 

  • Improve Breathing, Core Strength, and Arm Drive While Running: The TRX plank is an excellent exercise for improving your running posture, as it helps to keep your chest upright and open for better breathing and arm drive.

 

  • How to: Place your feet in the TRX straps and roll over to face away from the anchor and lift your hips to the plank position with forearms on the ground, engaging your quads, glutes, and thighs.

 

TRX Hamstring RunnerTRX hamstring runner

 

  • Correct Imbalances and Improve Rotation: The TRX hamstring runner is a great exercise for overcoming muscle imbalances in the posterior chain, leading to better performance and reduced risk of injury.

 

  • How to: Think of this move as mountain climbers on your back. With the TRX straps at mid-calf length, begin by lying on your back and place your heels in the foot cradles. Flex your glutes and lift your hips off the floor, extending both legs in front of you. While keeping tension on the straps, pull your right heel towards your pelvis while keeping your left leg straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.

 

TRX PikeTRX Pike

 

  • Target Your Core, Upper Body, and Hip Flexors: The TRX pike is an excellent exercise for targeting your core, upper body, and hip flexors.

 

  • How to: Start by adjusting the straps to mid-calf length. Facing away from the anchor point, begin in a suspended plank position with both feet in the foot cradles. Engage your core and lift your hips up towards the ceiling (as if there was a string attached to your tailbone) while bringing your legs towards your chest. Lower back down into your plank position. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.

 

 

Alternate TRX Exercises for Runners

 

Honestly, it’s hard finding a TRX exercise that doesn’t benefit runners! If you’re looking to target a certain muscle or improve your running form, here are some other TRX moves for runners that you can incorporate into your workout routine.

 

TRX Hamstring Curl

 

  • Activate Your Posterior Chain: One of the primary muscles used during running are the hamstrings, making the TRX hamstring curl another good exercise for runners. By targeting the posterior chain, you’ll be able to generate more power and speed during your runs.

 

  • How to: To perform this exercise, set the TRX straps to mid-calf length. Lie on your back with your feet towards the anchor point, and place your heels in the foot cradles. Pull your feet towards your butt while you engage your hamstrings, glutes, and core. Slowly return to the start position, keeping your core tight and upper back flat on the floor.

 

Forward Lunge with Hip Flexor Stretch

 

  • Improve Stride Length and Mobility: Runners often experience tight hip flexors, which can lead to a shortened inefficient stride and decreased performance. The forward lunge with hip flexor stretch helps to improve hip mobility and stretch the hip flexors, leading to better running times.

 

  • How to: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the TRX handles at shoulder height with arms extended in front of you. Take a large step forward with your right leg into a lunge position, while lowering your right arm towards the floor and raising your left arm overhead. Your left knee should touch the ground.

 

TRX Single Leg Squat

 

  • Boost Glute Strength and Power: The TRX single-leg squat is an excellent exercise for building strength, power, and stability in the glutes. This can help improve your running performance by allowing you to generate more force with each stride.

 

  • How to: Start by facing the anchor point with your elbows under your shoulders and tension on the straps. Lift your left leg off the ground and lower your hips down and back, allowing the knee of your assisting leg to bend. Keep most of your weight on your working leg and focus on driving up through your heel, thoroughly extending your hips at the top of the movement. Repeat on the other leg.

 

 

TRX Mountain Climbers

 

  • Increase Core Stability and Balance: Core strength is essential for runners and endurance athletes as it helps to increase balance and stability. The TRX mountain climber targets the core muscles, helping to improve your overall running form.

 

  • How to: Set your TRX straps to mid-calf length. Begin in a plank position with both feet in the foot cradles and engage your core. Pull one knee up towards your chest while still keeping tension on the strap, then push it back. Alternating legs as you would with mountain climbers.

 

Benefits of TRX for Runners

 

  • Improves Strength & Endurance: Running is a high-impact exercise that can take a toll on your joints and muscles. Using your own body weight, TRX training can help to build strength in your muscles and joints, which can reduce your risk of injury. By working your upper body, core, and legs, TRX can help you become a stronger and more well-rounded runner.

 

  • Improves Mobility: The TRX can help improve mobility in your hips and ankles by allowing you to move in multiple planes of motion. This flexibility allows you to stretch your hip flexors and other muscles that may not be fully utilized during running.

 

  • Enhances Core Stability: Core stability is crucial for runners, as it helps to maintain proper posture and alignment while running. TRX effectively improves core stability, as many TRX exercises require you to engage your core muscles. By strengthening your core, you can improve your overall running form and reduce your risk of injury.

 

  • Improves Range of Movement: Daily activities involve movements in three planes: front-to-back, side-to-side, and twisting. While running primarily involves the front-to-back plane, neglecting the other planes of motion can lead to muscle imbalances that can negatively impact your performance. The TRX can help you work on all three planes, ensuring that you are targeting all the relevant muscles.

 

  • Low-Impact & Safe: The TRX is a low-impact and safe way to train your muscles. Unlike free weights, there is no risk of dropping heavy equipment on your feet or damaging your joints. Plus, with a proper warm-up, the TRX is a much safer option than other forms of strength training.

 

  • Increases Variety in Your Workout: Variety is important for any exercise routine. By incorporating TRX training into your running routine, you can add variety to your workouts and prevent boredom. This can help you stay motivated and committed to your fitness goals.

 

  • Prevents Injuries: One of the primary benefits of TRX is that it can help prevent injuries. As a runner, it’s important to have strong muscles, especially in your lower body. By incorporating TRX exercises into your routine, you can strengthen the muscles that support your joints, reducing your risk of injury.

 

  • Increases Power and Speed: TRX training can help increase your power and speed. By focusing on explosive movements and high-intensity exercises, you’ll develop more power in your legs, which translates to faster running. Additionally, TRX can improve your reaction time, allowing you to react quickly to obstacles while running.

 

  • Helps with Proper Form and Technique: Finally, TRX can help with proper form and technique. By incorporating exercises that target your core and lower body, you’ll develop better balance, coordination, and stability. This can help you maintain proper running form, which is crucial for avoiding injuries and improving your performance.
 

 

TRX Frequently Asked Questions by Runners

 

Should I do TRX on the same day as my runs?

 

You can do TRX on the same day as your runs, depending on your fitness level and goals. However, it’s generally a good idea to separate your TRX workouts from your running workouts by several hours or perform them on different days. Think of it as your strength training. This allows you to focus on each workout and give your body adequate recovery time. If you decide to do TRX training on the same day as your runs, consider doing your TRX workout after your run to prevent muscle fatigue from impacting your running performance.

 

Can I combine TRX with other strength training exercises?

 

Absolutely! TRX can be combined with other strength training exercises, such as free weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises, to create a well-rounded workout. This can help you target different muscle groups and address any weaknesses in your running form.

 

How often should I do TRX as a runner?

 

Just like any strength training best practice for runners, you should aim to incorporate TRX into your routine 2-3 times per week. This frequency allows you to build strength, improve mobility, and prevent injuries without overtraining or detracting from your running workouts.

 

Can I use TRX for cross-training on my non-running days?

 

Yes, TRX is an excellent cross-training option for runners on non-running days. It allows you to work on strength, stability, and mobility while giving your joints a break from the high-impact nature of running. Cross-training with TRX can help you maintain overall fitness and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. If your looking for more leg work, you might also like our article on TRX leg exercises.

 

Is TRX effective for long-distance runners?

 

Yes, TRX training is effective for long-distance runners and other endurance athletes, as it helps build strength, stability, and mobility, which are crucial for maintaining proper form and avoiding injuries during long runs. Incorporating TRX into your routine can also help improve your running efficiency and endurance.

 

Can TRX training help me recover from a running injury?

 

If you’re sidelined with an injury, TRX and other bodyweight exercises can be an effective go-to workout to stay in shape while overcoming muscle imbalances, as it allows you to perform low-impact and controlled exercises. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist. They can help guide you through appropriate exercises and modifications based on your specific injury and recovery progress.

 

Are there any specific TRX exercises I should avoid as a runner?

 

Most TRX moves can be beneficial for runners when performed with proper form and technique. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort. If you’re new to TRX, start slow to get the form and move down so you are controlled.

 

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